specializing in traditional and modern wood boat construction and restoration



Our designs offer classic beauty with modern appeal. 


We specialize in both traditional and modern composite construction.


Complete structural and cosmetic restoration services.

We design, build, and restore every boat with passion.

Patriot Wave
Sanding Step
Sea Sea
A Gentleman's Runabout
Estella's Launch

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.

Barnwell Boatworks is located on scenic Mackinac Island, Mich.
The Straits of Mackinac is an ideal location to launch new projects such as this 16' Gentleman's Runabout named Sea Sea.


R. Emory Barnwell

P.O. Box 1194

Mackinac Island, MI  49757



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