Family Boat Build at the Toledo Community Boathouse
Day 4, Thursday, Dec 29, 2011

Whoo hoo hoo! Things are really moving now. Let's just jump into it.

I brought Darrell to the Boathouse so he could see what was going on. He has restored a canvas canoe and was interested in the Skin on Frame building technique.

The Corcorans came up, minus Jared who had to return to 'real' work, but they replaced him with Sonja's father, Cal.

The Shoemakes were running late, so we decided the Corcorans, Saccos, and Silwones made a quorum. I gave a quick class on the properties of 8oz polestar for skinning and we got to work.

Step 1 was to center the cloth and then pull it as tight and smooth as possible, then secure it with stainless steel staples. We've found electric staplers are worth their weight in gold.

As the boat narrows and curves at the ends, it can become uneven and requires a bit of attention.

Fellow boat enthusiast Bart showed up to watch the fun, accompanied by his human, Dave.

Bart was an instant hit with Sequoia.

Now THAT is a fine line of staples. Mark was tapping them with a hammer to fully seat them.

With Skin on Frame builds, everyone can get into the act. Jasper watched over Sequoia as she mastered the nuances of hammering.

Once the staples were in, it was time to stitch the stems. I love these Skin on Frame boats, you have to learn everything from driving screws to lashing to driving staples to measuring out a fathom and a half of thread.

Keyonna learns the Running Stitch as she brings the fabric together at the stem.

Once stapled and stitched into place, we bring out the Hot Knives to trim away the fabric. Here's my safety lesson on hot kinves: "This tool is called a Hot Knife. Why do you think they named it a Hot Knife? Either of those words should be scary."

The rest of the Silwone family showed up! Trevor (16 - on left,) mother Nayla, and Elicia, nearly unrecognizable without her blue hat from yesterday.

Sasha was taking great care with her Whip Stitches.

The Boathouse was rockin' today. It was also eerily quiet as the participants concentrated on their tasks.

Stretched, stapled, and stitched - it was time to heat the skins. The heat gun safety lesson went like this: "This is called a Heat Gun. Why do you think they call it that? either of those words should be scary."

I had two heat guns per boat, but we kept tripping the breakers. It worked out fine as the teams had done a wonderful job stretching, stapling, and stitching the boats in the first place.

We flipped the Shoemake boat just to see what it looked like - MAN that's a purty canoe.

Next was painting. Here's my safety lesson on painting: "What is the purpose of paint?" To color things. "Do you think it can color your hands, hair, and clothes?" Yes.

Painting is the most fun - I wish we could spend a week just decorating the canoes.

That is one cute painter!

The paint is just exterior house paint - if it's good enough to keep your house dry, it's good enough to fill the weave and keep the water on the outside of the boat.

And that, my friends, is how a Community Boathouse should look.

Excellent work, guys! Outstanding!

Day 4 participants:

  • The Shoemake team: Sasha, Tyler, Keyonna (13,) Shaa (10,) and Bud
  • The Corcorans: Sonja, Jasper (14,) Jordan(11), and Cal
  • The Sacco team: Andrew (15,) Christian (16,) Richard (15,) Mark and Debbie.
  • The Silwone team: Dave, Ryan(18,) Elicia (12,) Trevor (16) and Nayla
  • Visitors: Darrell, Dave and Bart.
  • Staff: Aaron, Curt and Andrew