Building a Boat by Capn’ Bob

This Guide’s Blog entry has nothing to do with guiding eco-tours or guiding newbies through the basics of sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding at Coastal Kayak. It does, though, have to do with guiding boats.

I missed several days of my regular duties at CK in early August and, despite the fact that it is a really busy time of year, Jen and Mitch didn’t mind. As a volunteer with the Lewes Historical Society’s Wooden Boat Program, I was part of the crew who spent a week with nearly two dozen 7th– and 8th-graders from Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgetown, Dagsboro and Seaford guiding them through the process of building Bevin’s Skiffs (12-foot rowboats) from scratch.

Lewes Historical Society Wooden Boat Program volunteer Vince Tamboro (right) guides Ja’onno, Tirsten and Caitlyn and their adult chaperone through part of the build process.

In collaboration with a Wilmington-based educational non-profit the Wooden Boat Program introduced them to proper measuring, pre-drilling, nailing, planing and sanding, and forced them (sometimes reluctantly) to use their math skills.

Sometimes things just get in the way! (She didn’t hit her finger; just the tip of the glove.)

Though dividing fractions and figuring out angles wasn’t their favorite summertime activity, the boys and girls really seemed to enjoy themselves, especially on the last day when they got to launch their new craft and row them in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. None sank. None even leaked. Now the fledgling ship carpenters will take the six boats back to their hometowns to paint, stain, decorate however they want and, hopefully, use for recreation.

The kids show off their newly finished boats shortly before launch

— Cap’n Bob

Me, getting ready to follow one of the boats into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal as it leaves on its sea trial.