The Sixth Grade class at Truro Central School has embarked on the journey of their young lives. During the next 7-8 weeks, we will travel to the Cape Cod Maritime Museum in Hyannis, MA to build a Bevin's Skiff. We will post photos of each week's progress here. The Bevin's Skiff was conceived as a hands-on math experience by Building to Teach--a program of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. Special thanks to the Cape Cod Maritime Museum and the Cook Boat Shop volunteers for their support and expertise! Weekly slide shows with captions are below.
Week 1: September 14, 2016~Museum Tour & Lofting
Our first visit to the Cape Cod Maritime Museum began with a tour of the museum exhibits (nautical fine art collection, scrimshaw, and the actual boat building shop of Hyannis boat builder "Pete" Culler.) We met our boat building teachers--Pete Cross, Don Stucke, Whitney Wright, and Bruce Colvin. We learned how to use tape measures and framing squares as we lofted our boat bottom and sides for the "shop fairies" to have cut and ready for us when we return next week. Lofting is a drafting technique used to create precise curved lines using boat plans.
Week 2: September 21, 2016~Stem, Transom, Center Frame
Week 2 began with a group meeting and learning the names of a few parts of the boat: stem (the piece at the bow), transom (stern piece), and center frame (center of boat-gives it its shape). It was our first day in the Cook Boat Shop. There are new workbenches that are just the right height for kids. That's important for using a drill and driver properly. We returned to Truro Central School feeling like apprentice boatbuilders today!
Week 3: September 28, 2016~Chine Logs and Boat Bottom
Checking to see if the chine bevel cuts are accurate
This week we worked with Bruce and Don and we also met another boat teacher, Jon Aborn. Before we arrived, Bruce had secured the boat to the boat shop floor to make our main job for the week much easier. The chine logs, along with the the center frame, give the boat much of its shape. They are screwed into the inside of the sides along the bottom edge. Later, the boat's bottom will be fastened to the chine logs. We also learned how to use some new tools including bevel squares, handsaws, and planes.
Making a bevel cut with a hand saw
Week 4: October 5, 2016~Bottom, Ribs, and Seat Risers
Week 4 involved learning new skills and practicing others from past weeks. Pete brought in a couple of "old school" tools--a Yankee screwdriver and a bit brace. We did a lot of gluing and fastening screws with various tools. Markings for the placement of the ribs were calculated, followed by drilling and using a new skill--hammering nails. To round out the day,the seat risers were installed. Once the glue dries, this boat should technically be sea worthy; however, there is still much to do!
Week 5: October 12, 2016~Plane, Keel, Skeg, Cut Ribs, Sand
It's Week 5 in the Cook Boat Shop. This week we began some of the detail work as we planed off the excess edges of the bottom. The keel and skeg were attached to help the boat track in the water. The ribs were cut flush with the top edge and sanded. Whitney crafted the breast hook and Bruce the quarter knees. These will go in next week. We enjoyed cranberry apple pie from Ms. Klimkosky and Pete let us try his "teeny, tiny tools"--small planes and spoke shaves he uses for model boat building.
Week 6: October 19, 2016~Quarter Knees, Breast Hook, Rub Rails
Week 6 ended with our Bevin's Skiff looking very sea worthy! Today we secured the breast hook inside the bow and the quarter knees inside the stern. These features help to stabilize and sturdy the boat. The rub rails, or gunnel rails, were also attached. These protect the outside of the boat and provide a hand hold. Work was also started on the seats which will go in next week. It won't be long before we begin painting!
Week 7: October 26, 2016~Seats, Oarlocks, Sand, Prime
The boat build is coming to an end. This week we installed the seats and oarlocks. We also did some final sanding before applying the first coat of primer. It was a week of many small, detail-oriented jobs including helping Don by sanding pine wooden cleats that he will use to create wall hooks to raffle at the Museum fundraiser on December 8. Pete also challenged us to take measurements to cut the front seat using just two piece of cut wood--just like the Egyptians!
Week 8: November 2, 2016~Putty, Sand, Prime, Paint
After seven weeks of hammering, screwing, measuring, sanding, planing, sawing, and drilling we began the detail work. This week we filled screw holes with putty, sanded, primed the inside of the boat and the stern seat, and put the first coat of Marine Blue paint on the bottom.
Week 9: November 9, 2016~Painting and Special Guests
This was our official last week in the Cook Boat Shop. Highlights included painting the second coat of interior grey, the first coat of "Northern Air" blue on the seats, and the first coat of "Maritime White" on the sides. We also got to meet Chris Page and Bill Cook (Cook Boat Shop Bill Cook). They shared a video and their experiences designing and building Chris' yacht, Caroler. Bill is a marine architect and Chris worked with him to build the yacht in his garage some years ago. The final coats of paint will be finished by Pete, Don, Ms. Klimkosky, and Mr. Burns over the next few weeks. The "unofficial" unveiling will be a the December 8 Ocean to Table Celebration Fundraiser at the Museum. The "official" unveiling and launch will be a Pamet Harbor soon after. Stay tuned!
Week 9.5~Finishing Up
After our last day in the Boat Shop, Ms. Klimkosky, Pete, Don, Bruce, and Whitney did some work on the weekends to finish up. Second coats of paint, installation and painting the stern seat, and installation of the oar locks needed to be done. She is ready for lauching in mid-December at the Pamet Harbor! Thanks to all of our boat building teachers and the staff at the museum and to Mr. Beaudet and Mr. Gradone for the opportunity to be Apprentices!
Boat Launch at Pamet Harbor~December 14, 2016
Under a chilly, windy December sky dappled with clouds, we launch our Bevin's Skiff! Pete, Whitney, and Don were able to join us along with several parents, our harbor master Tony Jackett, and one of our Truro selectmen, Maureen Burgess. Pete and Whit drove up with the skiff in the bed of Pete's truck. We headed to Truro's Pamet Harbor and had a chance to row around in the Full Cold Moon high tide. First, though, we christened our boat with some sparkling cider. We are happy to report that she rows like a dream!