So Maggie and I took to the basement again last week. It is truly a joy to have a trade that I have worked on for years seen through the innocent eyes of a 7 year old. We spent the hour marking up the 16′ plywood sheet for the side and bilge panels. That “joy moment” came after we had marked all of the holes, put nails in, and clamped a batten to the nails to get the proper curve. Maggie traced the line along the batten and looked up at me and said, “Daddy……are you telling me that we just did all of that work to trace ONE line?”
Welcome to boat building kid! My response to her was a lesson in patience and the importance of proper measurement. It is essential that the panels are cut accurately or a lot of time will be wasted either fixing or re-cutting the panels. She soaked up the information like a sponge and forged on. For a hyper-active girl with possible A.D.D problems, I cannot think of a better form of therapy. I will have to work very hard to keep her interest over the next couple of months while all we will be doing is cutting out shapes. Once we cut the stem and start assembling the boat, I think it will be easy to keep her engaged, but for now it is a bit of persistence and trickery.
One piece of the project I am concerned about is my scarf joints. I did not put them in the recommended place on the panel. It looks like the scarf will be more forward which means it we be handling a lot of bend. Hopefully they will hold up OK or else Maggie will get a lesson in paying better attention to the plans (like Daddy apparently failed at). I discussed this with her and she asked, “If the boat has a mistake, won’t it sink?” I replied to her stating that I doubt there has ever been a wooden boat built in the history of wooden boats that did not have at least a couple of mistakes. The test is that the mistakes first do not effect the structural integrity of the boat and second that only the builder or the most critical eye can notice them. As the builder, you always know and see all of your own mistakes.