Tag Archives: Maiden Voyages

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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