As far as giving Christmas presents that need assembly, we have given our share, Lego sets, bikes, car models, etc.  But, I’m almost certain last years gift to my brother-in-law probably won the award for needing “the most assembly.”

I wrote a blog post soon after the 2013 holidays about my  Wooden Boat Building Brother-in-Law Dave. He has been called many names, but the most recent is, “The Wood Genius,” and for good reason as you will see below.

Last years Christmas gift from us to Dave didn’t look like much. He unwrapped the long cardboard  tube that resembled a giant Tootsie roll. It contained a bunch of papers with the design plans for a wooden watercraft called a Runabout Rascal.

This project would require more than some assembly. It would also take time to save funds for the supplies, and would take many hours to complete.

The Plans

The Plans












Dave studies the intricate instructions and illustrations. Calculates the amount of materials needed and makes an initial purchase.

First Cuts

First Cuts







The detailed prints are put together and hung where Dave can have a quick reference visual. The vertical fir wood pieces are precisely measured, cut, epoxied, then screwed in place on a work bench. Once this is done, these frames are set up on what is called a strongback to hold the super structure in place for ongoing construction.


Game On!

Game On!

Easy As 1,2,3

Easy As 1,2,3 . . .






Boat building is a hobby Dave loves and it exudes from his every pore. On our last visit, he leads the way to the garage, proud of the progress he has made on the Rascal.  As he opens the door the pungent scent of fresh-cut wood rushes to greet me. I comment on how fabulous the aroma is, and he says, “Thank you, it’s all me.”  I can only laugh. We agree that someone should bottle that fresh-cut wood fragrance, (not his other fragrances-ha) even though we both know that certain scents can’t be matched, not like the real thing.

Next, I scan the area and take in all his past works. Since the early 2000’s, Dave has masterfully crafted a wooden strip canoe, two kayaks, and a dory motor boat, all different and all breath-taking, inside and out.

Wabanaki Canoe

Wabanaki Canoe

The Kayak

First of Two- Kayaks

Inside Dory

San Jaun Dory










Eventually my eyes land upon the workbench with, tools, bottles of resin, and a few pieces of wood that are clamped together. I notice the hum of the furnace, and approach the skeleton of the boat to be. I touch the smooth sanded fir frames, and imagine how happy this Little Rascal (her name) will be once it’s effortlessly gliding across water, exquisitely fashioned in her mahogany, ash and fir.

If you are interested in reading about more of Dave’s other canoe click here, my website .

CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THIS LITTLE RASCALS BIRTH (Stay tuned for the announcement.)

It Has Begun

It Has Begun

Labor of Love

Labor of Love


Filed under Wood Boat Building


  1. Cyndi

    Dave is a wood artist! I would gladly display any of his boats in my living room, they are beautiful.


  2. Pingback: Li’l Rascal, Masterfully Done! | Writing Naturally

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