For love of a son

This is not your typical post about epoxy or paint or inwales or rudders,  but I thought I would share anyway.  To say that I have been obsessive about  my dory project is a complete understatement. I have taken much pride, diligence, and sweat in doing this bucket list item. Starting last August now nearing the  final stages I am very pleased with my work and how the boat looks.  Last week I put on the 4th and final coat of varnish. Stayed away from it for 24 hours and was really happy with the coverage and gloss. It was done.  I convinced my 9 year old son to help with cutting and sanding the ends of the cross bows for under the cover. He could practice on these unseen pieces and develope skills using a hand saw and sandpaper.  We went to the shelf and grabbed a piece of 100 grit which was at the stern of the boat. I told him we go outside of the boat shed and begin this small project. He took the sandpaper in hand and walked down the rail to exit the shed. As we got 2 or 3 steps from the door, he raised his hand with the sandpaper in it and slid it down the freshly varnished port rail.  I normally like the scratching noise of a well sanded area, but this the most deafening, sickest noise I ever heard. I couldn't grab his hand fast enough and thought I hurt him as his shouder went flying away from the rail. When I regained my speech and sanity I calmy told him how to be careful around fresh varnish. I won't ever know what pocessed him to slid his hand down the rail except that's what 9 yo's do.  The scratches are fixed, life goes on, I still love my son, but I will keep a closer eye on him around the boat for the next couples of weeks until everything is cured.

4 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: For love of a son

 It's hard not to touch a pretty boat.

I spent a lot of time with my son through scouting.  When he lost interest in that, my solution for father/son time was to build a boat.  It is about 90% completed.  My constant struggle is whether to let him handle a given part of the building, knowing that he will learn from it, but also that it will end up looking a little amateurish, or do it myself yielding better results, but depriving him of the experience.

Hooper Williams

Brevard, NC 


RE: For love of a son

  Once a neighbor chided my dad about our yard looking shabby because of the bare spots under the basketball goal. His reply was "I'll have plenty of time to grow grass, right now I'm growing sons." That was pretty close to 50 years ago, he likely doesn't remember it but I do.

RE: For love of a son

Your dad sounds like a very wise man.   

RE: For love of a son


take a chill pill. The dory is a boat, not a fine piece of furniture. You and your son are going to bang it, scratch it, dent it...  You both are going to climb in it with sand on your sneakers (sanding the cockpit floor), oars and mast are going to go bang, making more scratches and dents. Fishing poles, buckets, coolers are all going to mar the finish.

Please, scratch it up before your son has a chance, so that you will not worry about the "damage" to the finish. The goal is to beat the hell out of her while having loads of fun. And then, as eric says, regrow the grass, and put a nice new coat of varnish on her when your son is in college. There is no damage that can be done to a wooden boat that is not repairable, except not having fun!

even consider a "workboat" finish (paint) untill it is just you in the boat.

Have fun messing around in boats!!!

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.