Back in October, the Maritime Museum, in Apalachicola, was offering a class on how to build a boat. You would learn how to build it, and then take your boat home when you
finished. It sounded interesting. So, after finding out a little more about it, like what kind of boat they were going to teach you how to build, I signed up.
|The Maritime Museum|
|George Floyd and his first mate|
The man with the vision is George Floyd. George's family has been a part of the area for over 100 years. So after traveling around the world, he's come home to give back to the community and make the museum something special.
|"Let's build a boat"|
The boat we have built is called a pirogue.(pronounced peero) Otherwise known as the "six hour canoe". Now, if you're a boat builder and have experience building this particular boat, you might be able to put one together in six hours. But as it turned out, not even the two days they had planned for some landlubbers to build it, was enough! It wasn't just our inexperience that slowed us down, but a couple days of bad weather set us back as well.
|Ron and Ann|
Ron Dierolf is the instructor. Building boats has always been his passion, and he feels fortunate to be doing what he loves. Ron's assistant, Jep, works at the museum too, and lent a hand with constructing both boats.
|John and Jep measuring the sides of the frame|
There were no kits for these boats. We started with two pieces of plywood. We measured, marked, cut, and assembled every piece.
Day two was the longest day. That was the day to assemble all the pieces and watch it become a three dimensional boat. The hulls were joined at the bow and the stern, the bottom was installed, the stems and the frame were trimmed. We had a boat that looked ready for the water but was not nearly finished.
The final steps involved filling any voids in the wood with epoxy and a lot of sanding. We then covered the entire boat with epoxy and after more sanding was ready to be painted.
In order to keep your attention, I tried to shorten the process of building this boat. It wasn't nearly as easy as it may have sounded. But if I were to talk about installing the chine logs, or bonding the stems to the hull sides, all the sanding, nailing, epoxying, and every other step in between, I'd be writing this for another week.
We covered the whole boat with a thick layer of epoxy, and we brought it home yesterday. Now all it needs is an artistic paint job. ( I'd love some ideas. No earth tones and no pastels. Something wild and crazy!)
This has been a great experience. And since I'm living on the water, it's good to know more about a boat than the bow's in the front, the stern's in the back.
The next class the museum is offering is how to build a sailboat. We had a lot of people stop by to see how we were progressing on the pirogue. I'll be one of those people stopping by while they're building the sailboat.
I'll be sure to post an update when the pirogue is painted and floating on the bay with my two friends and me on board. With Woody at the bow, showing us the way and Ray at the stern making sure we didn't miss anything, in the words of Jimmy Buffet, "It'll be a lovely cruise".
All that's needed now is a coat of paint