Boat Building Class Struggles

Boat Building Class for both kids has slowed down a bit, but I have ZERO intention of ever giving up on it.  I am having a hard time keeping their interest through certain phases of the project, but that was absolutely expected.  I think the novelty of being in Daddy’s wood shop has worn off a bit and now I need to up my game a bit and make things a little more interesting.

Last week I spent an hour on my own and got all of Harry’s kayak pieces measured and cut.  He was very excited to be past that phase and we successfully spent last night in the basement together drilling all of the holes for the copper wire stitching.  I tried to get him going on the bevels with the small Stanley Block plane, but he quickly got frustrated.  I will do that step on my own next time I get a chance.  After that, we will be stitching the two bottom panels together and it will actually start taking the shape of a boat.  I think that will rekindle his interest for awhile.

For Maggie’s boat it is not quite that easy.  Measuring and cutting all of her parts is going to take a lot more time.  Unfortunately, I have misplaced my copy of “Building the Instant Catboat” and am flying a little blind for the moment.  I am trying to get a solid hour or two down there on my own so I can just cut out all of the pieces required for the next step.  I want to get the forms setup so she too will be able to start seeing it come together a bit.   At this rate, there is no way I will have her catboat done this summer, but Harry’s should be good to go by June-ish.

It is a learning experience for me trying to keep my kids interested.  I find myself needing to let go more and more of my dreaded perfectionism.  Harry asked me yesterday if he could help paint his kayak.  My internal dialog was, “No way kid.  I’ve seen the stuff you bring home from school.”  Thankfully, my actual response was “Of course buddy.  It’s your boat.”  Needless to say, I was very proud of myself.  A good friend of mine in Mashpee, MA handed a bunch of his grandkids some paint buckets and brushes and had them paint pictures, designs, and names all over a small skiff of his.  When you look at the boat from a distance, I am sure it looks a little like it got hit by some graffiti punk, but when you get up close to the boat, it is a beautiful portrait of family, adolescence, and home.  It is fantastic.  I don’t think I am ready to graduate to that level of freedom-granting to my kids, but I think I’ll be OK with him running the roller while I follow close behind tipping.



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