specializing in traditional and modern wood boat construction and restoration
We design, build, and restore every boat with passion.
About Barnwell Boatworks
Roman Emory Barnwell developed a love for the Great Lakes, their boating traditions and history growing up along the shoreline in Harbor Springs, Mich. After graduating from the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana, and earning a degree with distinction at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, England, he returned to the fresh water of the Great Lakes to establish Barnwell Boatworks on Mackinac Island, Mich.
He enjoys building wooden boats because the process is creative and challenging, plus the people who own and care for wooden boats have an understanding of what goes into the finish and detail. "It's a skilled craft that’s similar to sculpting," he explains. "When I draw something on paper to scale and bring it to life it is in every way like a sculpture made out of mahogany, not stone. It’s a work of art."
His business is near the shoreline where he has a connection to the water and boating community. "When people visit my workshop on the historic Coal Dock of Mackinac Island they realize I’m a part of the island’s waterfront. They can witness the progress of a boat as I’m building it," explains Roman.
To discuss your next wooden boat project, please contact him by email or stop in his workshop on Mackinac Island.