Interesting encounters

All of us who have used our homebuilt boats in public are accustomed to attracting attention and questions. I find you meet so many interesting people that way.

I was at the boat launch yesterday and an older gentleman was out walking his dog.  He looked up at my WD12 hybrid, still on my roof rack, and asked if it was an Eric Schade design.  I was impressed that he could pick that out, especially from looking up at the underside of it.  He said he had been a shop teacher at Eric's high school.  The gentleman said he had built a lot of plywood and lapstrake boats in his day, one of which he donated to the Mystic Seaport, where they are still using it regularly.

Add your own interesting encounters if you like.

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RE: Interesting encounters

I sail my Eastport Pram on Green Lake in Seattle.  I actually have to allow a significant amount of time that I'm at the lake for talking to passersby.  The "boat launch" (read grassy shore) is only 15 feet away from the walking path.  As a result, the second I hoist the lug sail, it's apparently the same as setting out an "Open for Q&A" sign.  Of course, I'm a proud plan builder and am happy that people feel motivated enough to stop.  I also find it interesting that at least two thirds of the people that stop and talk are probably retired, so the wooden boat demographi definitely has an age skew.  As a result, I'm also very concious of taking extra time to engage any youngsters that stop.  There have been a few times where I've actually gotten home after dark and my wife has looked at me askance when I told her that I was late because I got stopped by so many people or had a prolonged conversation.

I've had guys that are wearing what apparently looks like a 20 year old CLC t-shirt come up and are pleasantly surprised to find out it's a CLC design.  

I've had a couple stop by where the wife basically informed her husband that this would be his next project, which I thought was interesting.  I can't imagine building a boat as a "honey-do".

I also had one of those "creative types" stop me to ask if I'd be willing to sail back and forth in frame while she was filming a period piece on Green Lake.  I guess the look of the lug rigged EP harkens back to an era gone by.

RE: Interesting encounters


II always get at least one comment every time I launch my Pocketship. A couple of weeks ago, I was stopped in the middle of the lake by a gentleman in a huge powerboat who yelled across, "Is that a Pocketship? Didn't know we had any of those in Tennessee." Indeed we do - and good job for recognizing it! He has built 5 CLC boats so far and I told him the Pocketship should be #6.

I haven't done this yet, but if I ever become horribly depressed I think I'll go sit in my boat just off the launch ramp and just soak in the praise haha. Wooden boats stick out in a crowd.


RE: Interesting encounters


I am a UK fan of CLC boats and awaiting delivery of my 7th kit (a Mystic River Canoe)  from the UK agents Fyne Boats Ltd

I build in my garage but try to carry out jobs like sanding outdoors on my driveway - the roadway at the end of my drive leds to a beach and I never can complete my task without one or more encounters with curious passers by.

As previous contributors found most of my callers are mid to old age - I am 73 and started building boats at 65 when I retired from fulltime work.

Very therapuitic and rewarding and lets face it we all like praise when we do good! 

Its also nice to see how the boatbuilding fraternity are always eager to help and advise  when one of them hits problems

Refreshing change from the dog eat dog world we allegedly live in.

Derek Blay

Anglesey, Wales UK


RE: Interesting encounters

Last summer I was out paddling my Chesapeake one evening and of the sudden this  cabin cruiser left the marked channel and started heading straight towards me. I figured I had better get out of this guy's way  so I changed course but so did he!  I couldn't figure out why the captain of this cruiser  appeared to be deliberatly trying to run me down. Then as the boat passed  by I noticed this woman standing in the cockpit with a camera snapping pictures of me paddling my wooden kayak.    

I figured I was probably going to be on the cover of Chesapeake Bay Magazine or Coastal Living, but so far it hasn't happened yet.

RE: Interesting encounters

I had something similar happen, but it was the water police. They'd been attracted by the sprit sail and wanted to know if it was a restoration of an antique.



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