Preview: Beauty In the Hand of the Beholder

It’s all relative. A boat built with PVC pipe that may be beautiful to one person might be an eyesore to another.

And that eyesore might just become a thing of great beauty on a much grander scale as the story behind it is revealed.

When it comes to boats, Off Center Harbor has a strong sense of aesthetics, and ordinarily we wouldn’t hold Mark Forrest’s new boat up as “beautiful”.

That is . . . until we heard this piece on NPR about Mark and his boat. Once we understand the need and inspiration for the boat, the design begins to look pretty damn ingenious and remarkably useful. I bet Mar could teach us all a lot, and not just about boats.

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15 Responses So Far to “Beauty In the Hand of the Beholder

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    James Thomas says:

    Great story and as to the boat, when I launched my PT-11 nesting dinghy to go sailing the first time, the only other guy at the dock was a gentleman with a PVC pipe boat similar to Marks. I daresay at the conclusion of our outings he was just as happy and proud as was I with his maiden voyage.

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    Trisha McElroy says:

    A boat is supposed to give the owner pleasure and serve his needs this boat fits that. It is a fishing boat not a classic sailboat. Good job and thank OCC for sharing this inspiring story.

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    Glenn Holland says:

    A good fishin boat is one that works and is COMFORTABLE. The fish really don’t care what it looks like! Thanks for the article.

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    Andy Lininger says:

    Good to hear about this, I have seen regain of hand function in my acupuncture clinic.

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    Dale Niemann says:

    I graduated from Washington University in 1963, so it was heartwarming to hear that they are continuing to do such wonderful work.

    The boat is a purpose driven boat I suppose.

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    Steve Steelman says:

    So, as suspected, I drank my coffee and all became clear. What a great tale.

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    Steve Steelman says:

    Good morning all,

    First off, I should prolly say that I was so happy to see that I had an email from Off-Center Harbor that I opened it before taking even a sip of my morning coffee. So, maybe I just need to wait a bit and drink my coffee and all will become clear.

    BUT, that having been said, I can’t find the inspiring heartwarming story that goes with the photos of that guy who is probably named Mark and his boat that has a deck made of PVC pipes. PVC pipes!

    You have piqued my interest; I am willing to believe that the facts can make even this boat beautiful. (I keep wanting to put the word boat in quotation marks but my respect for Mark, his efforts, and your judgment prevent me.) Anyway, Mark has apparently built himself a boat and I, also apparently, am too feeble to locate and open a video link. So who am I to judge?

    Also, Mark has, apparently, had a stroke. I have had at least one stroke, my neurologist called it, “a whole series of strokes.” And Mark has, I think, built a boat, and I have built a boat. So, I’d really love to read or watch, whichever, his story.

    I’m sure there’s something I’m missing. Can somebody help me out?



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    Peter Frost says:

    Great story. I had a mild stroke several years ago and lost feel and use of my left hand. Fortunately for me the paralysis did not last long, but the effect on me was traumatic.
    This is a great story. Here’s to science and personal perseverance in the face of adversity.

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    Arthur Winer says:

    Thanks for including something that might be considered outside your normal scope. A great example of the large strides forward being made across many medical disciplines, and encouraging to all of us who are dealing with significant medical issues.

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    Rich Morrow says:

    Remarkable story: the insight and creativity of the science and business people; the determination of all the individuals involved. The message, that so often needs to be reinforced – Don’t Give Up!

  • Denis Hazlewood

    Denis Hazlewood says:

    It’s a purpose-built boat, that serves it’s purpose very well. Just what the Doctor ordered.

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    Ed Altonji says:

    As a fellow fisherman, I kinda like that boat! Shallow draft, stealthy looking, open deck space, comfy chairs. Well done!

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    Rod McLaren says:

    Nice lesson (don’t judge the boat by its shape) and an even better story, affirming our ability to heal ourselves (with the right approach and aid) and the importance of tenacity in the face of adversity.