Build it and they will — float?National Boat Building Challenge part of Belfast Rotary Club's Harbor Fest
Belfast — The National Boatbuilding Challenge returned to Belfast on Saturday, Aug. 17 during the Belfast Harbor Fest, sponsored by the Belfast Rotary Club.
The competition was simple: build a boat in four hours, launch it and then win a rowing race.
The competition was a success in Belfast in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and has been held in South Carolina for 22 years.
This year's teams included No Problem, We Knees, Masterbeaders, The D Team, Stud-Well Built, Bile Builders and The First Mates.
The D Team finished first, Bile Builders second and First Mates third. The Bile Builders set a Belfast record by finishing building their boat in 1:59.
The D Team included Daniel Mercuro of Jefferson and George Davis of Belfast, both woodworkers. The First Mates included Joseph Berube and Steve Wickenden, carpenters from Northport.
Masterbeaders included Timothy Wry of Belfast and Forrest Hagerman of Camden, both boat builders. The Bile Builders included Nick Nissen of Pacific Palisades, Calif. and David Magliato of Highland, N.Y. Nissen is a liver transplant surgeon and Magliato a construction worker. They also finished second last year.
Stud-Well Built included Clare Studwell of Chicago, Ill. and Thomas Studwell of Pittsboro, N.C. Clare is a director of consumer insights, while Thomas is retired.
No Problem included Paul Dunbar, a dentist from Winslow, and Donald Duperry, a contractor from Fairfield. We Knees included a pair of doctors, Owen Nelson, a surgeon from Lincolnville, and David Arnold, an anesthesiologist from Montville.
The challenge involved two-person teams building a 12-foot wooden skiff in less than four hours, followed by a rowing race. Teams were judged on how quickly they completed construction, the quality of the craftsmanship and their speed on the water in the two-man relay rowing race.
The rules were simple:
• Teams of two competed to build a wooden boat in under four hours;
• Power and hand tools could be used, but not pnuematic tools;
• All materials were provided except for oars (which must have been handmade, and the transom, which could be glued but not cut);
• All teams were provided with the plans ahead of time;
• At the end of four hours the boats were judged on completeness and quality of craftsmanship;
* Then the builders had to have enough faith in their work to get into the boat and compete in a relay race in the harbor.
For the $150 entry fee, each team received plans and building materials, a workspace and competed for a first-, second and third-place trophies and prizes.
Teams provided their own tools, worktables and oars, which could be made before hand.
Teams have been comprised of professional boatbuilders, amateur boatbuilders, and never-before boatbuilders. The competition has seen brothers, brothers-in-law and spouses compete. Some have finished, many have not.
For more information, call David Crabiel at 322-5805 or email email@example.com
594-4401, extension 114
Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon.
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