As a child, John Brooks loved to build models and sail with his grandfather. When most teenagers were at the prom, John was changing jibs in the Indian Ocean, halfway through a 35,000-mile, two-year cruise. He began building boats in commercial yards at 19, while studying boat design and building his own boats. John worked for many years honing his craftsmanship on fine yachts, small boats, custom furniture, and a harpsichord. He has been a instructor at the WoodenBoat School in Maine since the mid-1990s, teaching glued-lapstrake boatbuilding, fine interior joinery, and carving. Ruth Ann Hill grew up on the coast of Maine. A writer, boatbuilding assistant, naturalist, and graphic artist, Ruth is the author of Discovering Old Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park: An Unconventional Guide and a contributing editor for Maine Boats & Harbors magazine. John and Ruth started their business, Brooks Boats, in 1991. They design and build glued-lapstrake boats in West Brooklin, Maine-and get out to enjoy their handiwork in its proper element whenever they can.