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Sumer is icumen in, Lhude sing Cuccu!
Life is too short to not build a boat!

Editor’s Note: Article submitted by boatbuilder Bob

Spring, rebirth, creation, boatbuilding; and Paul is looking forward to picnic by the water with his boat

I suppose there is something to be said for a brand new shiny fiberglass boat hooked to the back of your SUV; a pride of ownership, but not the sense of accomplishment that comes from building it yourself. Too many people today are losing touch with “doing” and are substituting “buying”.

We are urged by people in government to “buy” for the sake of the economy. In order to meet this national obligation, we work more jobs, have two breadwinners in the family and spend everything we make. A lifestyle dedicated to accumulating more stuff… for which we have to find a place. So, enter one of the fastest sectors of the economy, storage units for our excess. There’s something very wrong with an economy that requires us to buy things we don’t need in order for said economy to work.

With all this working and shopping, it is hard to find time for personal enrichment activities; things like bonding with our family, working in the shop, creating, smelling the wood. I am one of the last people to extol the joys of sanding, but it doesn’t get much better than a finely sanded piece of rich-grained wood when you wet it with a little paint thinner to reveal its grain.

Boatbuilding may not be of earth-shattering importance, but it is one way to connect to history and to get our hands dirty in a process of creation. My grandson Paul was over this past weekend and he has moved from pounding nails into wood to tacking and gluing blocks onto a pointy-end 1″ x 6″. Next weekend it will be painted and, hopefully, launched soon after (admittedly, this is pretty unsophisticated, but Paul is only three years old). Still, I suspect Paul will remember these projects when he is older, in the way I remember the projects in my father’s shop.
So many stories that I have read in the Glen-L newsletters, website, and blog have been of memories of past projects that connected a father with his son or daughter. These boat projects are kind of like watching your Christmas presents being made. There’s little wonder that we remember them so well because we have invested so much time and imagination in them.

I often urge people to take on a project that requires more time than assembling a piece of IKEA furniture and to make the time to do it. Although Paul considers my boatbuilding project ours, in a few years he will be able to be a real partner. I’m thinking of us building something like the Pee Wee with an electric motor as our first real boat.
Creating a bond with our children or grandchildren is something we have to work at. If we don’t make these connections, the time will come when we will regret it. If having a little “helper” means that it will take a little longer to complete our project, so be it. It doesn’t have to be a boat; build something and involve the family.

Life is too short, not to build… something like a boat.


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