Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wooden Boats


Several years ago, DH wanted to build a boat after buying a wooden boat book at the L.L. Bean store in Maine. Therefore, he went to the garage with very few tools, no space, skimpy budget, and spent the winter steaming, bending, nailing and fiber glassing a 16-foot cedar lathe canoe on an oak frame. He made a beautiful boat that cut through the water like a sharp blade. We did not use it very many times though since in Ozark streams our aluminum one worked better for fishing. With a square stern and being a foot longer, it was more stable.
DH grew up on a Kansas farm where he dreamed of boats. On summer days when he had free time, he built small balsawood or paper crafts and took them to Flat Rock Creek that hugged the edge of the family farm. There he sailed them, dreaming of someday building and sailing his own boats. Meanwhile, I grew up only a few miles away and had an innate fear of water. Yet in our marriage, I swallowed most of the fear and tried to support him in his dreams by canoeing and fishing.
So he decided to sell the wooden canoe and build another bigger wooden boat. We put an ad in the paper and on Craig’s list, but no calls came. Yesterday morning we set the canoe in the front yard with a For Sale sign, although we thought it would be hard to sell an expensive item of special interest that way. Before we had finished our first cup of tea on the deck, we heard truck doors slamming and saw men checking it out. One after another, they stopped on their way to work, pricing and dreaming of their own exploits in the watercraft. The canoe sold in thirty minutes!
The man who bought the cedar canoe is building a large cabin on Table Rock Lake. He wanted to hang the watercraft as cabin d├ęcor rather than float it. He wants to use it over a pool table where he hopes workers can insert electrical work so the canoe actually lights up the game space. It is a little hard to think of this beautiful piece dry-docked. Meanwhile, DH dreams again of boat building.

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