Sea Fleas, catch one if you can
They became a thing in the 50s brought to the masses by Popular Mechanics. These little plywood boats only need small horse power and are made of plywood. In recent years,Muskoka seaflea has brought them back into the spot light. Chris and his brother Andrew run the site Muskoka Seaflea .ca. They have made many of these boats and are happy to help out others and get them in the water. Chris is now on the ACBS Toronto Board in-change of the youth program. Last boat show he and Andrew precut 3 seaflea’s and held a workshop right at the show. Kids signed up for the lesson prior to the day through the boat show registration. They all learned how to put them together and at the end of the workshop the 3 boats were raffled off to the kids in the group. They took the boats home to complete the projects. We are hoping they will come back this year. See them all in action in the shop behind the steamship ticket office, and on the water at this years show. Thanks to Muskoka Seaflea for being a big part of our show.
Yes, you can build a boat from cardboard. This has been a tradition at our boat show for many years. Kids get a piece of cardboard and a roll of duct tape, and they’re let loose to design and build a boat. Once it’s complete, they get a chance to float it at the boat show. You’ve never seen so many people gathered on the shore! It’s the most popular event of the day. The kids all parade down to the docks and take turns launching and sailing their crafts.
Kids Dory Building
Come to the Boat Show and BUILD a boat! Yes you can build a boat in a few hours to take home. This project was started by Eric Seepa back in 2009.
The idea of a simple, quick build boat came to mind after the success of the cardboard boat building the year prior, Eric was determined to have a “ real boat ” be built at the show this year. After looking at many designs none seemed to fill the need. He mentioned this to Steve Killing. Steve along with his son David took great interest in the idea and came up with a design.
The design was a dory made out of eleven pieces. Volunteers cut the pieces using routers with templates to ensure a perfect size and shape. The strong backs were also assembled prior to the show. With 10 of everything we were ready for the boat show.
A dismal forecast along with drizzle and dark skies early on show day had put the entire youth program activities planned in jeopardy. Countless hours of planning and preparation by so many of the youth program volunteers went into our new experimental pilot project, D-Day (Dory Day). Fortunately by 9am, mother nature had decided to co-operate and skies began to clear.
By 9:30am, while show spectators were enjoying and admiring over 100 beautiful antique and classic boats at the docks, a symphony of hammering could be heard pounding in the distance. That was the sound of nine new wooden boats being assembled simultaneously at the Bell youth program tent in the flea market area.
Thank-you to Bell for once again sponsoring this special event.
Some very enthusiastic young builders were enjoying their first hands-on experience in building their very own dory, along with help from A.C.B.S. volunteers, parents, and grandparents. As building jigs were set up on tables, safety glasses and instructions were given out and participants got busy spreading sealant to the first of fourteen parts required. With the bottoms assembled, builders eagerly anticipated the next step in adding the stem, transom, and seat frame to the building jig. At this stage, it was easy to see their boats taking shape. Hull sides came next, and by noon, the newly assembled boats were removed from the jigs and a lot of smiling faces stood proud beside their new vessels. After taking them home to paint and install oar locks and oars, they will experience the satisfaction and enjoyment of a boat they built for many years to come.
Special thanks to David Killing, along with help from his Dad, “Steve Killing Yacht Design”, in creating this very special dory boat project for the show. An outstanding effort on their part.
During the entire day, the younger children were happily assembling and painting their souvenir model boats. Early in the afternoon, builders for the second annual cardboard boat race began designing and creating craft in their quest to make it to the finish line without sinking. This year the boats faired better than the floating docks, sinking under the weight of all the spectators. Five out of nine boats made it to the finish line. Well done to all the builders! Hopefully most spectators made it off the docks with dry shoes. All in all a very successful day.
Also, a big thank-you to:
Noah’s Boat Building Supplies contined support donating dory boat materials.
Youth program director
Receiving the award for 2004
Carson recives the Award from Derek Crawford
What is the Jr. Craftsman Program?
The Jr. Craftsman Program is an initiative started by ACBS international as a means of increasing the number of youth involved in our society. Aimed at promoting a love of wooden boats, with a focus on safe boating, this program provides a venue for our younger members to display their works. Participants between the ages of 9 and 19 are encouraged to enter projects for display at our summer boat show, and on our web site. Entries at the show may be judged according to their classification. Projects can range from restoration of a boat, to a newly constructed boat, be it a full sized boat or a model, power or sail. The projects may be displayed on land or in water.
For more information on the program, contact: Derek Crawford derekaCrawford@rogers.com (905) 464-4421 For those interested in building a boat as a parent/child winter project, boat plans and kits are readily available for sale, or can be found for free on the internet. Talk to Derek for more information.
Book reviews for Junior Classics readers interested in all things Classic Boats