Person, Place, Thing: Dave Dormond

Talking sailboats, schooners and full-size pirate ships at Independence Seaport Museum's boatbuilding shop.

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Person: Dave Dormond, 33, boatbuilder

Place: Workshop at the Independence Seaport Museum, Tuesday afternoon

Thing: Checking the hull

Is she ready to launch? We’re about halfway done, I’d say. This is actually a restoration. It’s a 1970s Beetle Cat sailboat.

And when you’re done? We’ll launch and test, and from there, it’ll become part of the museum’s collection or be sold, depending on which direction the museum wants to go.

How long have you been building boats? About four years now. I worked in insurance for five years after college and was miserable. I applied to boatbuilding school in Maine. I worked there for three years and just moved back to Philly last October.

How many people work at the shop? We have five full-time employees.

How many boats do you build a year? Depends on how big the project is. This year, we’re building a new exhibit for the museum—a full-size pirate ship. You can walk on board and get the experience of being on a 62-foot schooner back in the 1700s.

Do you have a boat yourself? I don’t. Hopefully one day. It’s just a matter of time and money. But I’d love to have my own schooner.

Originally published in the October 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.