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Why A Man Builds a Boat

On January 25, 2013, in News From Gayle, by Gayle Brantuk

by Julie George, 2012

(for Don Fischer and Tom George)

Don Fischer beginning his Cracker Box

What urge rises up from the depths of his soul,

to spur a sane man into building a boat?

A design made of wood to float on the big lake,

no toy for the mantle over which he might gloat.


It could be his friend who has built one already

who stirs the desire to start buying wood.

Who says, “You can do it, just give it a try,

I know you will make a boat sturdy and good.”


Mixed up with cursing, and prayers quite a few,

wood, nails and glue and a good set of plans,

man cuts and he carves, bends stubborn wood,

joins pieces together with strong, plucky hands.


And then, if he’s lucky, his friend will stand by,

give him advice and a hand with the boat;

share fussing and worry on launching day…

sigh with relief, when the darn thing’s afloat.


It’s best not to wonder why a man builds a boat

or why a friend offers to lend him a hand.

It’s part of the stuff from which good men are made

the boat and the friendship–become something grand.

Don and friend Tom George (the poets husband) working on the Cracker Box.


This is one of 3 boats that Tom George has designed and built. Tom inspired and helped Don build his Cracker Box. Note the deck scoop on the deck which funnels air through a vent system which exits on the boat’s bottom.

Your Thoughts?

4 Responses to Why A Man Builds a Boat

  1. Wonderful comments everyone! Great poem Julie–looks like this one really struck a chord…

  2. Jim McQuaide says:

    Loved the George boat-building poem.
    I recall my recent efforts , helping my friend build Sabatina, in that cold Maine garage of his. An exciting and bonding experience for both of us.

  3. Julie George says:

    Thanks so much for the lovely presentation of the boats, the guys and my little poem. A thrill for me. Lots of fun all around.


    Julie George
    Muskegon, MI

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