A sad loss for the classic boat world: Dan “Danny” Sutherland, boatbuilder and teacher

Dan Sutherland, courtesy Chesapeake Bay Maritime MuseumI was incredibly distressed to see on the Facebook feed of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum today that Dan “Danny” Sutherland, who ran the Apprentice for a Day program there, passed away on Saturday. I have written often of Dan and the time I spent with him as part of the CBMM’s Apprentice for a Day program. I learned a ton about boatbuilding from him and it is this set of sessions, more than anything else, that set me up to successfully complete my current boat, AL DEMANY CHIMAN. Dan’s style was open and welcoming, showing deep knowledge and great willingness to share. He took participants at whatever level and taught them as they wanted to engage. His understated presentation masked the level of expertise he had and made it the more surprising when we nonchalantly made a perfect joint.

While I feel a great loss in his passing knowing the influence he had on me, I know that I am not alone in his wake. There are many amazing boats with his imprint on them out there and these will serve as wonderful monuments to him. Prayers for his friends and family and, of course, fair winds and following seas to you, Danny.

4 Comments for “A sad loss for the classic boat world: Dan “Danny” Sutherland, boatbuilder and teacher”

Rick Lapp


Thanks for letting us know Bob. I first met Dan when he ran Sutherland Boat & Coach in Hammondsport and was happy to see his talents well spent at CBMM. Condolences to his family and fair winds Dan. Rick


A memorial service and celebration of Dan Sutherland’s life will be held at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on Saturday, March 10, at 2:00 pm. We expect the service to begin in the Small Boat Shed, and continue over at our Boat Shop, a fitting place for a memorial for Dan.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations in memory of Daniel Sutherland be made to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum where they will be placed in CBMM’s Boat Building Apprentice Endowment Fund, CBMM, PO Box 636, St. Michaels, MD 21663

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