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Build a Boat in a Weekend

By Ray Belles, Marine Docent Program
April 11, 2007

Spring has arrived, and with it the UNH Marine Docents’ sixth annual Family Boat-Building Workshop. During the weekend workshop, six families will have an opportunity to make a boat while making memories.

“This program gives each family the joy of completing a complex task together as well as a means of enjoying our marine resources,” said Mark Wiley, NH Sea Grant Extension Specialist for Marine Education. “We guarantee a 100% success rate.”

Eligible families must include one or two adults and at least one child age 12 or older. No prior woodworking experience is required, but participants should have basic skills using hand tools. An experienced docent boat builder will assist each family.

Because space in the program is limited, each family interested in participating must submit an application by May 4. The $550 program fee includes all of the boat-building materials, oars and three lifejackets. Each family will build a 12-foot Bevin’s skiff, which can safely carry a family of three for a day on quiet water. Through the generosity of the Durham Great Bay Rotary, limited scholarship funds are available to aid local families.

Participants will meet Thursday night, May 17, for an overview of the project and a discussion of the habitat and wildlife of the Great Bay Estuary. Construction will take place Friday through Sunday, May 18-20, at Kingman Farm in Madbury. After completing the boats on Sunday, the docents will help families launch their new skiffs and provide on-the-water safety instruction on the Oyster River in Durham.

The UNH Marine Docents are a group of trained volunteers dedicated to the preservation and wise use of marine resources. They are sponsored by NH Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension.

For more information, an application or scholarship guidelines, contact Mark Wiley or Dari Ward at NH Sea Grant (603.749.1565, mark.wiley@unh.edu, dari.ward@unh.edu). Applications are also available at: http://www.unh.edu/marine-education/

A photo of the boat is available for download at: http://www.seagrant.unh.edu/pix/boat1.jpg

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