The Buffalo Maritime Center’s mission is to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the joy of being on the water, to learn maritime history, and to achieve higher levels of craftsmanship.

Through collecting, preserving, and interpreting maritime artifacts, we widely share our passion for traditional skills, experiential learning, and the rich maritime culture of the Niagara Frontier.


Buffalo Maritime Center will expand on a cohesive range of facilities and programming:

  • A vibrant boat shop and waterfront facility for building and using wooden boats.
  • Quality maritime heritage exhibits, artifacts, and resources available to the diverse communities that we serve.
  • A fleet of traditional boats accessible to the public for on-the-water instruction and use.
  • A library and collection that is the leading resource for researching maritime history and the design and construction of regional watercraft.
  • A machine shop and foundry for producing maritime hardware and teaching the metal arts.
  • Educational programs that teach craftsmanship, the application of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), art and design principles, and self-reliance through boatbuilding.
  • The launch of the Erie Canal Boat, Seneca Chief, which will be a floating exhibit commemorating the Erie Canal and its history.

We seek to engage a broader audience in order to share the many benefits of the maritime experience of our region.



We research and document maritime history, practice traditional maritime skills, and preserve maritime material culture that may otherwise be lost.


We promote experiential learning across generations, providing access to all who seek empowerment through the acquisition of traditional hand skills and the work ethic of a craftsman.


We seek collaboration through partnerships, engaging with diverse communities to promote access to our services and programs.


We study established traditions of boatbuilding to understand, appreciate, and replicate the design elements of regional watercraft.

Historical Authenticity

We study maritime material culture to accurately interpret our maritime regional history.


We believe boats change lives and communities.


We invite people of all social, cultural and economic identities to engage in preserving the knowledge and skills of maritime heritage and craftsmanship.

We provide access to experiential learning of traditional maritime woodworking skills in a community of mentors and learners of diverse cultural identities.

We support community engagement and outreach to provide access to the preservation and appreciation of maritime heritage and craftsmanship.

We invite, promote, and celebrate the contributions of a diverse learning community.