The Young Marines and the Driftboat

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Angler 77, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Angler 77

    Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

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    I have a great job. Most days I'm very happy to be at work and would work far more hours in a week than is healthy if not for an even greater love and enjoyment of my family. I manage the boat shop for the Wooden Boat Foundation, www.woodenboat.org/ a non-profit organization that some of you may be familiar with in Port Townsend, WA. In our shop throughout the year you can find anything from 80' spars from a local schooner, to a class building a micro cruising sailboat called SCAMP, 7th graders learning how to chop dovetails and everything in between.

    The highlight of 2013 was the two weeks spent building a Don Hill Mini Drifter, www.dhdriftboats.com/driftBoatPlans.html with a group of young men and women called the Young Marines, www.youngmarines.com/. These hardworking and respectful young men and women came from all over the country to jump into the maritime world here in Port Townsend, learning celestial navigation, sailing and rowing as well as building the boat.

    The first week started off slowly as they learned how to work with wood, sawing to a line, drilling and driving screws and ring shank nails, what I meant by a fair curve and how to keep sikaflex out of your hair. Once we got past the basics I found them to be capable, willing and eager to learn, especially through participation. The build went well with the usual head scratching moments, the occasional piece remade and "Ah ha" moments when a concept clicked.

    Nearing the end of the two weeks it became clear to me that we would have to push to get the boat complete enough to launch on Friday, so we pushed the group a little harder. They responded with enthusiasm and focused effort. The best moment, a moment I intend to intentionally build into each program like this from now on, came in the last hour before the intended launch time. The elves, myself, my coworker and a volunteer, were quickly trying to wrap up the last small details when some of the more invested Young Marines came in to check on the boat. They saw that we were pushing to finish and instead of standing idly by, grabbing their phone text someone or generally being unhelpful, they asked what they could do to help. And help they did! It was like adding 6 skilled young shipwrights. In a flash we were done, the first picture is moments afterwards. The young men and women you see carrying the boat to launch were the ones that jumped in to finish the job.

    In what is a gratifying job filled with good moments and successes this was absolutely the highlight. I am proud of the job they did and think they turned out a great little boat. Thank you to Chris and the moderators here at WFF.com for allowing me to share my story. I will be posting the boat in the classifieds if you have any interest.
    Drift parade.jpg Drift parage II.jpg Launched.jpg Under way.jpg 20140321_141952.jpg 20140321_142032.jpg 20140321_142107.jpg 20140321_142201.jpg
     
  2. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

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    Awesome story, and a great looking boat to boot. Amazing what a difference a little paint and varnish will do. I like how the seat can be moved for balance. What is the finished weight on a boat like that?
     
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  3. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    You're right, you have a great job!!
     
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  4. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong OldRodsHaveMoreFun

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    Very nice - well done!
     
  5. Angler 77

    Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

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    Ya I don't really like painting, but I love the results. It's actually an oiled finish on the rest of the boat, so none of the hassle of varnish, but needs to be freshened up more often. But that's easy, simply clean off any dirt and grime and splash more oil on, anything that doesn't soak in you wipe off.

    I too like the seat and so did the kids, and so does just about everyone that comes through the shop. I haven't weighed the boat, I should. I would guess it comes in around 150# or less.
     
  6. Angler 77

    Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

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    Triploid and Greg Armstrong, thanks for the comments!
     
  7. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Thanks for sharing that inspiring story, Scott! Those youngsters created a gorgeous boat and it sounds like they were very fortunate to have you help shape not only the boat, but shape them as well. Kudos for a job well done on both counts!
     
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  8. constructeur

    constructeur Active Member

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    Rob,
    The Don Hill site lists the boat @ #135. Piques my interest from a DIY, lake/frog water boat too.
     
  9. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    This little boat is sweet indeed. I am sure that it will be great on rivers and still waters as well. A sturdy little casting platform with some real class. This is a great program. One thing that is inspiring is to see young people come into the shop and begin to work on something. They are always a bit timid going into it. But by day three they are knee deep in shavings and dust and are really getting the hang of things. In the end they have accomplished something new and daring. And then they get to go out onto the water for the first time in the boat that they built, that is quite a sight. And life changing for some of them too.
     
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  10. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    The young men/women will never forget being part of that project. MAGNIFICENT WORK!
    Fred
     
  11. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

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    Really nice. And what a great job. How much do you pay them to let you work there? If I had some extra cash, I'd be all over this boat.
     
  12. Angler 77

    Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

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    Thanks again for all the nice comments, it's nice to be a part of something you can believe in. I'm not so secretly hoping I will "need" to take the boat down a river for her maiden voyage, you know to prove how well she handles ;)

    Scott
     
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  13. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

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    Scott,

    I think you owe it to the boat. And to yourself.
     
  14. Angler 77

    Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

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    She's now posted in the classifieds if you want to read up more on her.

    Scott
     
  15. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    Wow!! Another masterpiece of both construction and education from the Wooden Boat Foundation! it's a "good thing" that I don't live anywhere near PT, otherwise, I'd be down there recreating the Bluenose, or some sort of J-boat! I'm "averting mine eyes"!