December 12, 2018

CT River Museum Offers Boat Building Workshop in July, Register By June 12

2.Ernstoff Shipyard – The Ernstoff Shipyard, a father and daughter team in 2014 work on their boat.

The Ernstoff Shipyard, a father and daughter team in 2014 work on their boat.

ESSEX — What floats your boat?

In celebration of the Connecticut River’s rich heritage, the Connecticut River Museum is once again offering the CRM 12, a slightly adapted Bevin’s Skiff kit that is produced in limited quantity.  The 12’ skiff is reflective of the traditional boats that were built locally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  With great versatility, these skiffs were used for fishing, rowing and sailing on the River and in the tidal marshes and tributaries.  Simple and beautiful, the museum selected the CRM 12 as a good beginner project to build with the help of knowledgeable instructors.

The museum will offer a three-day Boat Building Workshop July 10 – 12.  Participants can either do the workshop as individuals or as a group (up to four people).  There is no previous boat building experience required to build one of these kits.  However, organizers do expect that participants will have basic woodworking knowledge.  By the end of the weekend, each individual or group should have a nearly completed boat that is ready for the water.  As Ray Gaulke, museum board member and co-organizer stated, “It’s a marvelous way to learn basic boat building and have a product that you can take home.”

Last year’s successful program had four diverse teams — father/daughter, husband/wife, father/son and a Sea Scout troop — successfully build CRM 12’s.  “It was a wonderful sight to see participants with little or no boatbuilding experience on Friday rowing their completed boats on the River Sunday afternoon”, said Chris Dobbs, museum executive director.

The CRM 12 kit comes complete with everything needed to build the boat — high-quality marine plywood, fastenings, adhesives, plans and an easy-to-follow manual.   Boat builders only need to bring a few basic woodworking tools.  The museum commissioned Paul Kessinger, a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, CT to build the first CRM 12 in 2014.  Kessinger said that “This is a perfect activity for adults or families.  Best yet, you will get years of enjoyment out of rowing or sailing your skiff.”

Space is extremely limited for the boat building workshop.  Participants must be at least 10 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult.  The deadline to register is Friday, June 12.  The $1,500 program fee ($1,400 for CRM members) includes all the supplies needed to build the CRM 12, oars, and instruction.  By the end of the weekend, participants will have a completed boat, ready to be painted and rowed.  For more information, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

Share