The weekend of June 24-25-26 found CLC in Mystic, Connecticut for the WoodenBoat Show. Our ever-expanding line of boat kits has created an interesting annual challenge as we try to bring as much as we can. This year it took four trucks, and we brought 32 boats.
After a miserably rainy Thursday while we assembled the booth, the rest of the weekend was sunny and mild, with throngs of wooden boat nuts...
...of all ages.
Eric Schade drove down from Maine to assemble one of his Wood Duckling designs in the booth during the show.
Eric's brother Nick Schade dazzled everyone in the show with this strip-planked Petrel design. So dazzling, in fact, that he won "Best in Show" for his category (human powered craft).
Geoff Kerr, who built the PocketShip in the photo here, wandered the show by water in a Kaholo 14 paddleboard, which he also built.
Meanwhile, beneath a circus tent, John Harris was leading 18 teams in building their own Sassafras 16 kits. Called "Family Boatbuilding," this event brings together groups for a crash boatbuilding course. You assemble your own boat at the WoodenBoat Show, in just three days. The cost of the event was underwritten by Chesapeake Light Craft, WEST System, and People's United Bank, lowering the bill to just $700 for each family. They got to take their assembled boat home at the end of the show.
CLC glued the planks to length back in Annapolis, so that the groups could start assembling the hulls right away on Friday morning.
By Friday afternoon, the hulls were recognizeably canoe-like. The Sassafras canoes assembled here are a special Family Boatbuilding edition, a little larger and with some assembly tweaks (like the external bulkheads visible here).
Bruce Niederer of WEST System demonstrates how to fasten the hulls together with Six10 epoxy.
On Saturday morning, with the Six10 epoxy cured, we could pull out the copper wire stitches and fiberglass the interiors. WEST System had already cut the fiberglass to shape back in Michigan, saving lots of time.
We must have gone through several thousand pairs of disposable gloves.
Spreading epoxy on fiberglass.
On Sunday morning we got the decks fitted, and just had time to grab a group photo before the boatbuilders started to load up and disperse early Sunday afternoon. It was hard to get eighteen 16-foot canoes into one photo! Sanding, additional epoxy coating, and finish work will be done at home.
Thanks again for an amazing WoodenBoat Show. We'll see you again at Mystic Seaport next year! Thoughts about what you'd like to see at the WoodenBoat Show? Please drop us a line.
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