Since its inception in 2003, Coastal Heritage Alliance has used historic vessel restoration projects as opportunities to pass on knowledge and skills to apprentices who are dedicated to learning the trade. CHA apprenticeships have been designed around projects within in the fishing communities of the Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound, and Bristol Bay, Alaska. The organization believes that the transfer of traditional maritime crafts to the next generation is imperative if the working waterfront culture and economy are to be sustained.
As an art form, historic vessel restoration requires that an individual devote a substantial amount of physical and mental energy in order to persevere; because of this, those who master it often become advocates for its continued practice. The availability of CHA apprenticeship opportunities is dependent upon the projects at hand at any given time. Apprenticeships are customized to meet the needs of the student, the existing project, and the goals of CHA.