UNH Marine Education


UNH Offers Weekend Family Boat-Building Workshop in April

By Kathleen Schmitt
NH Sea Grant

February 5, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. -- After a successful first year, this spring the University of New Hampshire Marine Docents will again host a family boat-building workshop, offering six families an opportunity to strengthen their bonds while building a wooden rowboat.

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Last year three generations of the Clithero family worked together to build their own rowboat. James Clithero (left) knew his son William and grandson Brandon would enjoy the project.

Each family must include one or two adults and one or two children age 12 or older. No prior woodworking experience is required, although 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 essay by March 14, describing why the family would benefit from the program. Selections will be made by April 1.

The cost of the program is $500 and includes all of the boat-building materials, oars and three lifejackets. Each family will build a Bevin's Skiff, a 12-foot, 140-pound, flat bottom rowboat. The four-foot beam allows it to safely carry two adults.

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After learning about boating safety, the families in last year's workshop enjoyed a beautiful morning rowing on Oyster River.

Participants will meet Thursday night, April 24, for an overview of the project and to learn about the habitat and wildlife of the Great Bay Estuary. Construction will take place Friday through Sunday, April 25-27, at UNH's Kingman Farm in Madbury. The following weekend the Marine Docents will help families launch their boats on the Oyster River in Durham. This portion of the program will include water safety training as well as learning about the local environment.

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 UNH Cooperative Extension.

For more information and an application, contact Sharon Meeker at NH Sea Grant Extension: 603-749-1565 or sharon.meeker@unh.edu. Applications are also available at http://www.unh.edu/marine-education.

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