Friday, August 21, 2015

Family Boatbuilding

For the third year running, The Toledo, Oregon, Wooden Boat Show hosted a kayak build for it's family boatbuilding event. I was there to mentor the builders and what a great group we had. None of the participants had ever built a boat before, though they must have had transferable skills because all of the kayaks turned out very nice.

This design by Leo Newberg is simple yet elegant. We do not provide kits for this build so the entrants learn basic skills such as spiling off a mold and fairing a plank. The lofting and building jig are done before-hand so the builders can start early Friday before the show. We constructed four kayaks this year, down from the overwhelming six we turned out last year. This allowed Gus Loomis, Rick Johnson and me to provide more in depth instruction to a very receptive group.

In a video interview with the local high school, I was asked why I'm involved with this volunteer effort. Over the past forty years as a boat builder, I have had the good fortune to learn from some truly amazing artists, a process that continues to this day. I think of an opportunity such as this as a chance to give back to the community of builders and designers that have given me so much.

Perhaps some of the participants will take away a new passion along with fresh skills.

Rick and Gus are exemplary boat builders who share my love of building. It's a joy to work with two such talented artisans. Thanks to them and the Port of Toledo for inviting me to participate in this event.

Next to us was a group of kids along with their parents building Phil Bolger's Elegant Punt, from Dynamite Payson's book, Instant Boats. I've often admired the simple utility of these tenders.

Waiting for the first launch.

A neighboring paper mill produces waterproof packing cardboard and sponsors a design/build contest and race. My favorite was an entry from local ribs and burgers restaurant, Pig Feathers.

Pig Boat swims!
Photo by Ralph Grutzmacher.

My good friend Darrell touts himself as a ship's carver. This year I bought a carving of a seahorse to add to my collection from this eclectic artist.

Next, I'd like to own this beautiful rendition of a sea turtle. Darrell has studied with Northwest First Nation carvers for inspiration in his work. Saving up my pennies for this one!

More photos of this event can be found at Andy Linn's Toledo Community Boathouse.


robert.ditterich said...

What ripples will flow from your wonderful 'enabling'. It is a lovely event, congratulations on still being involved.\

doryman said...

When it comes to building boats, I can't help myself.

Anonymous said...

Dory Man, Dory Man, how to get the plan?

For the simple kayak, that is.


doryman said...

Rick, I've let the ball drop on that one. When I last asked Leo, the designer, he said sure, share the plans, but didn't give me anything. Last summer while we were building, I discovered the only plans were half-breadths drawn on a piece of plywood.
I'll get to work on this and get back to you.