Sunday, 17 September 2017

A project for Grade 7s and 8s - introduction to boatbuilding

 Our oldest started high school this year, after having some great teachers for 7 and 8.  We were approached to help get a new club going for the kids, run by the science/shop teacher. It seems the tech/shop class is under attack by the school board and the gov't, first cutting cords to the machinery and finally reducing the available projects to hand tools only. Still the teacher perseveres, and we've provided a 14' stripper form for solo paddling, which we'll tackle next semester. For this fall, we'll be assisting while the kids tackle a stitch and glue paddling and sailing canoe. Rewarding for me, and the required volunteer hours necessary before graduation from high school for our oldest.

A nice strip building form, donated by a retired teacher who was anxious to see kids build on it, after sitting for so many years.

On its way home

Quick stop for some New Orleans pizza, we're definitely in small town Ontario

Materials for this boat are more costly, requiring clear stock at least 15' long, and to be milled. Some hard core scrounging has turned some up, but it wont be ready till later in the fall. It will be a heck of a project for the second half of the school year.

Bead and cove strips for stripper construction

Underway on a form

 Stripper boat, painted exterior hull

Epoxy, fillers, glass tape and copper wire for stitching hull panels together

Plans set from Lost in the Woods Boatworks in Parry Sound, from back when they supplied plans, kits and completed boats.

Hull set up for sailing

Plan hull makes a great paddler

Set for sailing with a centerboard

Panel shapes cut out

Assembled hull

Copper wire stitches holding panels together

Bright finished, varnished hull rather than paint.

When mentioned to the kids and asked who would be interested, all 32 potential participants stepped up and wanted in. This will be the perfect opportunity to get them involved in creating something that in this day and age seems so far removed from public schools. Shop class, industrial arts, whatever you want to call it, used to be fantastic. Torches, lathes, power tools, metal and woodworking were all part of the experience. Increasingly kids aspire to buy things, hopefully this sets a few on the path of aspiring to build things.