Building boats in a Vineyard
Building a boat from scratch is not an easy task, especially if you have never done anything like it before.
That’s what Leith White, pastor of Friends Langley Vineyard Church, and several of his students quickly discovered when they were put to the task.
He, along with six members of his congregation ages 9 to 17, spent four days building two 12-foot wooden dinghies (Bevin’s Skiffs) during the 25th annual Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival, held on Granville Island at the end of August.
With the supervision of a professional boat builder, the teams set out to construct floatable ships using a number of tools and building supplies provided by organizers.
“When someone says you’re going to build a boat, I’m like ‘OK.’
“You just try to wrap your mind around that and try to prepare others for what that may look like,” White said.
“None of us had done anything like it before.”
Working long laborious hours, the job could be quite taxing at times.
“It wasn’t a kit boat. Pieces didn’t necessarily always come pre-constructed,” White said.
“You need to saw things and measure things out. When it came to assembly, there were clamps and glue and nails and screws.”
Although there was no time for painting or finishing the cosmetics of the ships, they were water worthy by the end of the weekend and the students were able to break the waters of Granville Island with their hand-made creations.
“At the end of the day it’s always great to see something like that float in the water, when it’s your first kick at the can,” White said.
But it was more than just a ship that was built.
“There was just a great sense of team and camaraderie to accomplish this,” White said.
“That’s one of the rewarding things in just working together as a team. It’s diversity in action. Not everyone is the same age, not everyone is from the same background, but we are all working on the same thing, and it was just great to watch this boat float around Granville Island.”
The boats will now be painted and auctioned off in a fundraiser for the church’s monthly community meals and other youth programs.
For more information, visit www.langleyvineyard.com.