about TSCA

WHO we are

The Traditional Small Craft Association, Inc., is a nonprofit educational organization working to preserve and continue the living traditions, skills, lore, and legends surrounding working and pleasure watercraft whose origins predate the marine gasoline engine. We encourage the design, construction, and use of these boats, and we embrace the contemporary variants and adaptations of traditional designs.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, America saw the development of boats that are some of the most beautiful, most efficient, and most perfectly adapted boats ever conceived. Catboats, Whitehalls, wherries, peapods, dories, sharpies—the list is seemingly endless and filled with wildly different designs and uses—each share one thing in common: they individually represent a long line of development that resulted in boats that were, and still are, virtually unsurpassable for their intended purposes.

The membership of The Traditional Small Craft Association appreciates these boats for what they are—vessels that were designed to be used profitably and with pleasure. Many of our members are boat builders (professional and amateur) who appreciate the materials and methods that went into the original construction of these boats. As an organization, we happily embrace the design and also the use of new materials and techniques for building these boats. Our boats tend to be more individualistic and more specifically suited to the actual purposes to which we put them. They also tend to be smaller!

our MISSION

As a nonprofit educational organization, we work to preserve and continue the living traditions, skills, lore, and legends surrounding working and pleasure watercraft whose origins predate the marine gasoline engine. We encourage the design, construction, and use of these boats, and we embrace the contemporary variants and adaptations of traditional designs.

The Traditional Small Craft Association appreciates these boats for what they are—not relics of the past or sterile objects of museum-quality venerability, but vessels that were designed to be used. We happily embrace the use of new materials and construction techniques as well.

The sense of history and tradition that surrounds these boats is certainly one of the attractions. But the average TSCA member simply enjoys the thrill of “messing about” with friends, in boats that perform superbly and without compromise, whether it’s passage-making under oars, a sedate cruise around the harbor, a romping sail home from the fishing grounds, or a quiet paddle up a tidal estuary. If this kind of boating appeals to you, we would like to invite you to join TSCA and find some like-minded souls and a chance to enjoy some of the finest boats ever created.