Boat Building Class with my daughter Maggie was going great until we got discovered by my 6-year-old son, Harry. He was crushed that Daddy was spending time down in his coveted workshop with somebody other than him. The tears flowed almost immediately when I told him what was going on for the hour after he went to bed on Thursday nights. He immediately ran up to my wife to rat me out as if I was running a speakeasy down there and Harry was the Chief of Police. After the dust settled and we got both kids off to bed that night, my wife and I discussed what we could do about this situation. I could see only one rational solution. I was going to have to start up a second boat building class for my son. But it couldn’t be with the same boat, oh no. We would have to get him his own set of plans and boat. Yes, something easy and fun that he could use this summer. Welcome to Kayak Building Class 101 and the Chesapeake Light Craft “Wood Duck 12” (as usual, just the plans and not the kit). I am tortured by the fact that I just doubled my weekly boat building time. Absolutely tortured, but anything for the kids, right? Seriously…my wife is a saint.
Harry and I had our first class last night. Harry just turned 6 last month. He is a high-energy jock that loves anything that has to do with lots of running around and competition. Keeping Maggie’s interest is a challenge. Keeping Harry’s interest will be close to impossible. Luckily, he has a deeply instilled love and admiration of his Dad and will force himself to love anything I love. I will leverage that as best I can without abusing it too much.
Kayak Building Class #1 was pretty mundane. I basically needed to rifle through all of the supplies and plans to figure out what our first steps will be. The whole boat only requires 3 sheets of plywood, so it is not complicated. The first night of work simply involved us cleaning up a bit around the shop to make room and scarfing to sheets of 4mm okoume together. Harry took a turn at the belt sander (*see note below), vacuumed sawdust in between steps (don’t ask me why, but kids are fascinated by the Shopvac), and helped apply the epoxy to the scarf. Was he bored? Sure. Cutting out the parts the boat is always the most slow moving part of the project. Once the boats begin to take shape and we start putting these pieces together, I am hoping it will peak both their interests.
Thank you for reading!
*Note on the belt sander link. As you can see from the photo, I use a Craftsman belt sander that is an identical design to the Black and Decker one that I linked to. Clearly they were manufactured by the same people. The difference is that the Black and Decker is 7 Amp and the Craftsman is 6 Amp. I have used it ALOT and it has performed very well, but my one complaint would be that it could use a little more power. With 7 Amps, the Black and Decker version looks like a great mid or entry-level sander and the odd design has allowed me to use it in some pretty tight spots.