Friday afternoons are reserved for our ongoing boat-building project. The goal of this project is to build a replacement workboat for Mayflower II. Our current skiff is old, been repaired many times, and has already sunk three times in the last two years. (Sounds a little like all of the marine staff come to think of it). Anyway, Plimoth Plantation’s volunteer coordinator, Peggy Page, is spear heading a committee of volunteers who are raising money, donations and support to build the new boat.
I designed the new boat to incorporate more closely features we need in a work skiff. The type of boat is called a Garvey. It has a flat bow, which will be useful for pushing against the ship when we have to move Mayflower II at the pier. It will have a wide foredeck and side deck, which will be a stable work platform when painting the ship. The towing bit will make it easier to move the small boats around and the fifty-horse outboard motor will be ideal for hot afternoons water-skiing at Hobbs hole, (ha-ha, just kidding).
Many great things are coming out of this project. The first is the depth of donations we have received to support our efforts. Many volunteers have donated varying amounts of money and or time to the project. Honda Motor Corporation has generously donated the new four-stroke, 50 hsp motor, along with the necessary steering and electrical equipment. These new motors are efficient, clean, quite and a vast improvement on our old cantankerous outboard. Mid-Cape Home Center, in Kingston donated marine grade plywood for the boat. R.D. Williams, a traditional sawmill in the midst of the cranberry bogs of Carver, donated pine boards. West Marine, on Home Depot drive in Plymouth, donated a very generous amount of equipment for the boat. Their donation included a electric bilge pump and switches, gas tanks, hoses and fittings, fenders to protect the new boat from Mayflower II, and 10 gallons of west system epoxy, all with miscellaneous supplies. Jamestown distributors, are marine supply catalog company based in Rhode Island donated $200 worth of fastenings.
The Friday afternoon boat building classes are becoming popular with around 6-10 volunteers showing up every week. There is a nice mix of abilities and everyone helps each other along to get the project of the day completed. This Friday we finished the first of twelve frames that will go into the boat and most of the bow transom. Oh yeah, we also have homemade snacks and coffee, which we do a pretty good job of eating up by the end of each class.