During the recent Duck Flat Spring School (I was one of the instructors) a GIS was built by Paul and Chris – who are a pair of old school chums who have a long term plan of building something bigger to share the use of.
During the class they built the hull, glued up the hollow mast and made the blanks for the centreboard and rudder blades. Not a bad effort at all for 9 days.
It was particularly interesting as neither of them had built a boat before.
Paul – the prime mover of the project – who I would sum up as a person of prodigious intelligence – would be the first to admit that he had never picked up a tool in his life. He probably was at the bottom of his compulsory woodwork class at school (he’s in good company – I was too!).
Chris is a farmer of organic beef, so has a good level of practicality with basic tools, but had no experience of this type of work or in all the different epoxy methods. Like many he took a little convincing that it was OK to have no nails or screws in the final structure (actually there are 6 screws).
At the beginning I thought that they would work in a co-dependent sort of way – that Paul would use his people -skills to get Chris to do all the work! How wrong I was!
It did take him about 3 days to come to grips with the project – to understand how it all worked – and then something clicked and – then – totally commited.
Cutting, trimming, planing, mixing epoxy, complex gluing jobs. He’s cautious at the beginning but once he understands … There is nothing this man will not do!
I think his – as one of those books would say – Paul’s “personal growth” side made a big jump too! I mean the type of books show pictures of the author on the back cover looking far too tanned for the season and having about 10% more teeth than a normal human being.
When they left for home it was clear that they had a ball!!
Paul and I had some long discussions about what he wanted for the following project. I didn’t have something that fitted so suggested a particularly nice Selway Fisher design with a balance lug.
What a great experience! What great people we meet in this boatbuilding caper!
Here is a list of the other boats that were built at the School – photos for all also on Flickr
Iain Oughtred – Feather Pram, Acorn Skiff, MacGregor Canoe
Steve Redmond – Whisp
Bear Mountain – Rob Roy – built in lightweight Paulownia (kirri) strip
CLC – LT17
Joel White – Nutshell (being finished off)
Michael Storer – Goat Island Skiff and Eureka Canoe