With my last June river trip ending with upstream breezes in the 120-130 degree range, it was well past time for return to my other home, the coast of Maine.

Image result for sci-fi burning face

Flying into Boston at first light. It looks a bit cooler than Grand Canyon.

One cannot pass Liberty Tool in the thriving heart of Liberty, Maine. There’s always something in there that I cannot live without.

And on to WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine to begin teaching Building the McKenzie River Dory again. Most classes just meet the students for a quick intro on Sunday night. I put them to work. We start lofting the boat right off the bat.

Monday morning we finish the lofting and begin constructing the frames.

I had the good sense this year to invite my number one shop man Janek to be my assistant. And we were fortunate enough to run into Jane, my sailing instructor from last year, who took us out for a quick refresher in the fine art of harnessing the wind.

Back to work. With the frames built, one team sands and oils them.

Others work on scarfing sheets of plywood, making big sheets out of little ones.

Back in the shop we work on expanding the transom and cutting it out.

In the bay next door Gary Lowell is teaching a course in boat painting and varnishing. I am happy to see my favorite rowboat, Wild Rose, has gotten her rotten plank replaced and is one of the class’s painting projects. It’s been a couple years since I’ve gotten to row her.

Sunset on Great Cove, Eggemoggin Reach. Our front yard for the week.

On Wednesday we build a boat.

And prepare a floor.

Enough of this manic boatbuilding nonsense. I gotta get out of here for a bit.

Okay. All better. On goes the bottom.

And the gunwales

One night each week we get to explore the amazing WoodenBoat library. I have fallen in love with the cover art on the old Motor Boating magazines. Buoy meets girl:

Boat babe meets seaplane.

Gypsy girl meets banjo boy.

We prime the boat on Thursday night.

Well, we built a boat. Time to outfit it. Dean is making seats.


We paint her on Friday evening just before the lobster bake.

Rich and Janek loading lobsters. Another wonderful evening.

Last light on the fleet.

On Saturday we do the final details, answer burning questions, and launch that bad girl. The brothers Dean and Glen won the privilege of buying her for the cost of materials. She’ll be headed out to Colorado to ply the waters of the upper Colorado. So appropriate.

Somehow it just looks so much better to launch her with the old tractor than some monster truck.