Family Boat Build at the Toledo Community Boathouse
Day 5, Friday, Dec 30, 2011

This is the final day - we just need to attach the rub rails and give the boat another coat of paint.

Most of the teams were actually early - which was cool. We turned the boats over and just sort of marveled at them for a while. Back in our planning session, we didn't even dare to think the canoes would turn out this beautiful.

The rubrails are just long, thin strips of very bendy cedar. The primary purpose of the rubrail is to hide the staples and the edge of the cloth. The task was to hold them in place while they were screwed to the gunnel. We could have done this with clamps, but it's more fun to do it with people.

The screws we are using are #6 Stainless Steel, oval-headed, machine screws. Since the cedar is so soft, we figured it best to counter sink them so they wouldn't split the wood.

Boat builders never have enough clamps, nor enough hands, it seems.

Once tacked in place, the excess needed to be trimmed off. Those Pull Saws I got from Duckworks are very sharp, so the teams were very careful around their skin boats. Look at the concern in Sequoia's eyes as Tyler trims the end.

Debbie was taking no chances with the stems on the Sacco team boat.

Jasper learns learns the technique of the pull saw while her grandmother watches - and Sequoia mills about in the background.

We flipped the boats again and ran a strip of masking tape down the length of the rubrail. Next, it was time to get ready to paint. I turned Keyonna and Shaa loose on shaking the cans - making sure they knew to hold tightly on to the lids.

Team Shoemake got their own topcoat. That's concentration right there.

Every once in a while, the Boathouse would go completely quiet except for the soft swish of brushes on cloth.

And that's it, folks. The boats dry over the weekend and they'll be picked up next week.

This has been an outstanding experience, and incredible week. What started as a half-thought-out idea ended up a complete success. The families that participated were fantastic. Having Aaron and Curt come in every day - on their own time and without any regard to compensation - is just . . . staggering. There were a hundred points of failure, and none manifested.

There is a trick here, one that Curt whispered to me as the families were leaving: "Preparation, preparation, preparation."

Day 5 Participants:

  • The Shoemake team: Tyler, Keyonna (13,) Shaa (10,) Sequoia. (5,) and Bud
  • The Corcorans: Sonja, Jasper (14,) Jordan(11,) and Susan
  • The Sacco team: Andrew (15,) Richard (15,) Mark and Debbie.
  • The Silwones: Dave, Ryan (18,) and Elicia.
  • Staff: Aaron, Curt, and Andrew