Building Strong Boats
Sailing Rough Waters

Tacoma Community Boat Builders works with at-risk youth crafting and sailing small wooden boats

Boat Building Skills

Youths work with mentors to learn woodworking and boat building skills. Through the practice of craftsmanship and patient skill building they develop a sense of accomplishment


As the youths work with mentors building boats they create a community of trust where building relationships and teamwork are essential

Building Whole People

Participants learn how to shift out of crisis mode and into a more steady, intentional path, learning the value of goal setting, critical thinking, planning, problem-solving, and successful work

On the Water

In addition to learning the principles of boat handling and sailing, participating youths discover the rewarding experience of getting on the water in boats they have built together

Tacoma Community Boat Builders

Building Strong Boats. Sailing Rough Waters

Tacoma Community Boat Builders

Building Strong Boats. Sailing Rough Waters

$11,000 Awarded to TCBB in Matching Grants!

Three Matching Grants Total $11,000. Make Your Contribution Now!

Come celebrate our first epic year! Promises Made, Promises Kept: A Fundraising Event. July 1.

We can’t wait to tell you our exciting news and show you all the beautiful work our apprentices have created.  Please join us for Wine and Hors d’oeuvres and Songs of the Sea by Puget Sound Revels.

Wednesday July 1, 2015,  7:00-8:30 pm. It’s at the TCBB Boat Shop, 1118 East D St. (Just over the 11th Street Bridge)


It will be an evening you won’t soon forget, and maybe the most fun you will have at a fundraiser all year!

KING 5 News Features Tacoma Community Boat Builders

If you are unable to view this video on your device, click here (includes advertising).

KING 5 News in Seattle featured TCBB’s program on November 25, 2014, Promises Made, Promises Kept.

In Tacoma, juvenile offenders are making a promise to turn their lives around, thanks to a program that’s teaching them to build boats – and much, much more. They’re enrolled in a program called Tacoma Community Boat Builders.  More

Tacoma Community Boat Builders

Tacoma Community Boat Builders works with at-risk youth crafting and sailing small wooden boats. Our youth participants work with mentors to learn woodworking, boat building and sailing skills. They also discover the value of integrity and a solid work ethic. Through the practice of craftsmanship and patient skill building they develop a self-discipline, confidence, and a sense of pride in the work they do. TCBB offers a safe and engaging experience that can lead to expanded horizons, better decision-making, higher employability, and positive involvement in our community.

Our Leadership Team

Shannon Shea

Executive Director

As executive director, Shannon works in collaboration with both the Board of Directors and our staff and volunteers to nurture and guide TCBB. She comes to us with many years of experience in the arenas of education, youth empowerment, and creating points of access to education and healthcare for vulnerable populations.

Chuck GraydonChuck Graydon

Program Facilitator

Chuck Graydon is Program Facilitator for TCBB. Prior to joining TCBB Chuck was the Boatbuilding Instructor with Bates Technical College for 13 years. He also taught Boatbulding and was a Team Building instructor with Home Port Learning Center in Bellingham for five years. Chuck is a highly skilled Teacher, Boatwright, and Craftsman dedicated to the art and science of working with young people through hands on learning and mentorship experiences. 

Paul Birkey

Chairman & Founder

Boatwright and business owner, Paul Birkey is the founder of Tacoma Community Boat Builders. Paul is known as a leader who cultivates open communication, honesty and respect. If there’s work to be done, and there always is, you can count on Paul to roll up his sleeves and set to it.


TCBB Appoints Dr. Shannon Shea as first Executive Director

We were joined by our first official Executive Director in April, 2015, Dr. Shannon Shea!  Shannon has a great record of successful non-profit development and we couldn’t be more excited about the passion and ideas she has already brought to the program.

Tacoma Community Boat Builders founder and president Paul Birkey said: 

Shannon dropped out of the sky right when we needed her. We started with an idea and built it up as far as we knew how to. A lot of great work has already been done. We know how to build boats and how to be mentors and craftsmen but in order to for TCBB to fulfill its potential as a true and lasting organization dedicated to serving the needs of our community we need someone with Shannon’s experience and vision to lead us into the future.

Welcome Aboard!  See the complete News Release.

TCBB: Our First Year!

A year ago Tacoma Community Boat Builders opened its doors. Though months of work had gone into getting to that first day, we see it today as the day it all started. Happy birthday to the Tacoma Community Boat Builders! Thanks to all who made it possible. In the shop alone 1000’s of hours have been logged by our dedicated cadre of Mentor-Craftsmen, 35 students have come through our doors logging in more than 800 hours of shop time and boat building.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

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We can't wait to see you at the celebration of our first year tonight! We'll see at 7, just in the other side of the 11th street bridge. ... See MoreSee Less

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