Category Archives: Wood Boat Building

Li’l Rascal, Masterfully Done!

When you hear the word masterpiece, what do you think of? Maybe you remember a sculpture, portrait, or a painter’s landscape you saw in a museum. Or possibly you think of a poem, a stunning photograph, an amazing quilt, or rare architecture within a skyline. These things can all be called masterpieces.

My first thought goes straight to my brother-in-law and all his spectacular wooden watercraft. It’s been an honor and a pleasure being a part of his creative creations through the years.

Dave Vasher began this boatbuilding journey over a decade ago with the dream of handcrafting his own wooden strip canoe and once that came to life, there was no stopping him. His talent and skills are amazing, but what is even more so, is that he finished all of these watercraft as winter garage projects in his own backyard. He worked evenings after his day job, weekends, and any other free time he had. Dave built these crafts bit by bit with mostly overtime money.

He has a man-cave like no other, surrounded by previous boats, tools, and always the scent of fresh-cut wood. There are mahogany pieces, cedars, ash and more. I won’t make you wait any longer.

Dave’s five brilliant masterpieces began with . . .

His first, an impressive Wabanaki strip canoe – Dave learned to weave, and even created the seats himself.


Second, and third, he built two wooden kayaks because it’s more fun to kayak with someone.


Fourth, a fishing boat called a Dory.


Fifth  . . .  are you ready for this … it’s a flippin’ speed boat. He named her the Li’l Rascal, a design by Ken Bassett. What began as a cardboard tube filled with the instructions and pattern has become Dave’s present masterpiece.


It’s everything and anything except Li’l. This true masterpiece is fifteen feet long and created of all the best woods available. Vertical grain fir makes up the frame and the overlay is mahogany. The Merlot vinyl seats were custom-made locally. A detailed wood steering wheel and control council was chosen to accent the interior while 24k Gold leaf filled numbers and letters highlight both sides of the exterior. The Mercury sixty horse motor attached to its rear-end or for real boaters (the transom) can, and certainly will create waves for many years to come.


This latest craft with all its intricacies has taken Dave the longest, almost three years. He says, “Through patience, love, blood, sweat, and tears, it was all worth it.” He had many special critiques from buddies. Some appreciated, some not. He admitted to using a few.

Li’l Rascal’s maiden voyage took place on July 27, 2017 with plenty of family, friends, and few stray admirers.

The first ride was dedicated to Dave’s wife, of course, and if it wasn’t he may have ended up in an emergency room somewhere. Haha!  I may have to write another blog of her version of the last two and half years. Although, patience, love, blood, sweat and tears may actually sum it up for Mandy as well. She can let us know at the end of the boating season if it was all worth it or not? I think we may already know the answer.

The Li’l Rascal has yet another exceptional sentimental feature. The H-27 on both sides carries the memory of his wife’s father who also had a passioniate love of boats and the water.



I couldn’t have been more delighted or surprised when Dave said, “Your turn Mel, hop in.” Shhhhh! I may have peed a little with all the excitement.

dave and me

Dave’s nerves at the very beginning were doing a bit of an anxious dance. But in the end, there were no worries and everyone was bustin’ a move. The launch was pure perfection. The first voyages can only be described as heaven on the water! What a ride!

Dave is several years from retiring from his day job as a machinist. Gee, I wonder what he’ll do with all his spare time.

More links to articles about Dave’s watercraft.

School, Canoe and a Dream Come True

A Christmas Gift Comes to Life

My Boat Building Brother-in-Law

Some Assembly Required

I’m continullay grateful you have given me this opportunity once again to do what I love and write. Thank you for reading my words and sharing my articles. I’m honored!

Love and Light

Meline Scheidel



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A Christmas Gift Comes to Life from 2013

Boat Building Excellence with a Quick Photo Review and Update 

Several people have inquired about the impending birth of the Little Rascal, (the name Dave has given his latest watercraft project). If you are new to my blog, Little Rascal is a gorgeous full size boat that my brother-in-law is in the process of hand crafting piece by piece in his garage.

Dave has kept busy for the past two winters on building the Little Rascal. I’m excited to share with you his progress.

How it Began:  I’ve included these links to other articles I’ve written about Dave, the School, Canoe and a Dream Come True  is about how this unusual hobby started back in Dave’s childhood. Another post is My Boat building brother-in-law .


Boat plans in a tube

wooden boat plans

Our Families Wood Genius






Time Advances:

The Plans

The Runabout Rascal Plans

It Has Begun

It Has Begun

From This To...

From This To…












By the end of Winter last year 2014:


To This So Far







Present-winter 2015

Some fresh air

One of my siblings

Before the flip

Before the flip













After the flip

Celebrating the Flip








IMG_20151128_181510 (480x640)

The Inside


Excellence! No splinters here


The inside has been sanded to perfection even though no one will ever see these boards below the flooring . . . except Dave and now you. Truly masterful work.





The end product will be similar to this photo, only better because . . . Dave, you are amazing!

Rascal Boat

Runabout Rascal Boat Sample






I’m proud to show you Dave’s other watercraft masterpiece creations.


San jaun dory

Daves two Kayaks


Wabanaki Cedar Strip Canoe

Wabanaki Cedar Strip Canoe







Thanks for sharing your photos with us Dave.

Wishing Everyone a Fulfilling Christmas and a Healthy Joyous 2016

See ya next year!


P. S. I recently heard Dave is working on his own website. I’ll post the link when it goes live so can check in on his progress.




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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


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Wooden Boat Building Brother-In-Law

This past Christmas Eve my brother-in-law Dave received a one pound, twenty seven inch cardboard cylinder, wrapped like a giant tootsie roll.

IMG_1427 (640x480)

The tube contained building plans for a wooden boat called the Runabout Rascal, designed by Ken Bassett. When finished, this boat will weigh almost eight hundred pounds (equipped) and be fourteen feet, ten inches in length. Dave will use plywood and mahogany woods over sawn frames to complete this masterpiece.



This is not Dave’s first rodeo with building wooden boats. He began constructing his dream canoe  in 2004 and has done refurbishing work on vintage Chris Craft boats since he was a young boy alongside his father, a now retired carpenter by trade.

In the past decade, Dave’s completed watercraft’s have been called everything from, absolutely amazing, breathtaking, a prayer in wood, and just plain freaking gorgeous as you will see in the pictures below.

Dave finished his Wabinaki Canoe in 2006. I wrote an article for a magazine called PH2 (at that time) titled, School, Canoe and a Dream Come True, telling the how’s and why’s Dave began this journey. By going to my website you can read the article and see more in-progress photos under published articles.

cedar strip canoe




Dave’s second and third wood creations were kayaks; one cedar-strip and the other made from mahogany.

After learning the skill of kayaking himself, Dave thought it such a soul soothing connection with nature, he built another for his wife.

Photo by Jill Mayville

Photo by Jill Mayville

I know you are saying awe!





Dave’s fourth wooden boat-building experience resulted in a full-size Dory, ready for the river in 2010. This craft is used with a motor and has proven to be an impressive fishing boat. This would be indicated by the many fabulous fish fry’s my brother-in-law has shared with me and my family.

Photo by M. M. S.

Dave only builds wooden boats as his passionate hobby in the winter(s). If all goes well, his hope is that the Rascal will be water-ready in the summer of 2015.

With several hours of diagram studying, wood and product purchases, hard work, and a couple of long winters, what was in that tube will transform into a extraordinary wooden boat similar to the one in the photo below.


wooden boat plans

Photo M.M.S.                           






Click on picture to see how to order your own plans.400100_RascalRun_fromAft (282x179)


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