One day it occurred to me to build a wooden boat. Having only built bird houses from scraps in the past I knew I was out of my pay grade but I started reading, bugging folks who knew and finally found one, who had done it.
He gave me a class in chine logs and I settled upon a hard one. Little did I know.
Then I bought a boat load of fine brass nails. I bought water proof plywood. That is a bunch of hooey by the way. It may shed some rain but you get it wet long enough it soaks up any form of moisture. I learned about gunnels. That’s just one man’s way of saying gunwales. I wasn’t after whales though. Knees were necessary as was a keel. Thwarts and ribs would succor to the skeleton I never wanted sent to Davey jones locker.
Then since I hadn’t went the soft chine route I ended up purchasing the fiberglass, the resins, and several epoxies’. And after many headaches, and seemingly endless hours of indoor use, if you ever wondered about the loss of brain cells, from sniffing glue, this stuff would be the express ticket.
Now a major component to my vessel of choice was weight. I wanted a wood boat I could portage or toss on top of, or in the back of my truck, all by myself.
So with wood and glass and many sanding episodes, I weighed, reweighed, sanded, sanded, weighed, and sanded for many nights after work and having two friends walk in on me and ask what in GODS name are you doing. I said, standing on a bathroom scale, with a boat over my head, I’m weighing my boat.
So spring finally came round and my sixty seven pound friend was to be tested. I found a still pond, christened my yacht with a glass of seven up and set it to water. My boat floated.
I could push pole it, I could paddle it, and with settled oars it rowed quite nicely. Not a leak to be seen anywhere. I went from what if, too, well I’ll be.
With me and two bags of muskrat traps I plied many a creek. Over the years I’ve hunted many small creeks jump shouting ducks. Wild rice’d it once all by my lonesome and this past fall, I retired it.
There’s nothing wrong with the boat, I just wanted the pram in all its memorized glory while it’s still in recognizable form to finish its days more as a conversation piece than one day looking up saying to myself, I wore it out.
The boat today albeit is small, is upside down covered almost entirely in snow. It looks today like it’s resting to me. And after all the work I put it through over twenty seven years, it is well deserved. The trout whisperer