Preview: How to Build the Off Center Skiff, Part 20 – Launch Day!

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In the final part of our series, Eric Blake and Havilah Hawkins’ work comes to a completion as the kids gather to launch the finished Off Center Skiff with the town of Brooklin looking on. Plans to build the skiff are now available, and you CLICK HERE to purchase them.

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58 Responses So Far to “How to Build the Off Center Skiff, Part 20 – Launch Day!

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    Robert says:

    It’s all already been said, but what a joyful and educational video series. Thank you again for the great content OCH team.
    Cheers from the other Brooklyn ;)

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    Ken Elowe says:

    All I can say is wow! Eric, thank you for your amazing teaching and the experiences that you gave these kids. I work with the Carpenter’s Boat Shop in Pemaquid and our apprentices learn, build and launch skiffs with the amazing staff there. But it’s so special to capture this on these videos! I got choked up at the launching ceremony. I’ve learned a lot and am inspired.
    Thank you

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    Mike Jamison says:

    I loved the series. I do have a question; can one utilize cypress versus cedar for the planking? White cedar is unobtainium where I live because it is not locally or regionally grown, and due to cost of shipping it in, whereas there are many mills in my area that process bald cypress and white oak.

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    Jon Baldock says:

    Not only Did I learn a lot but I found this boat building program an exceptional learning experience for these young kids working together. I hope there is more to come . Thanks , Jon Baldock

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    Alvin Thurman says:

    What a phenomenal series. I spent a cold rainy Saturday watching from start to finish, and I’m now inspired to build the boat with the help of my children and grandchildren. Congratulations on videoing a great project.

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    David Robbie says:

    Congratulations on a great boat projects. Eric did an awesome job with the project and working with the kids. Loved how it turned out. Very well done and documented on video!

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      Jerry Johnson says:

      Eric, It is such a Great thing that do for all of us that get to view these incredible videos. To be able to witness the time and love you give to the children and what a wonderful gift you give to all the children you touch. Thank you!

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    Carleton Mabee says:

    The series was absolutely terrific with most of the details of the construction covered very well. Finding Northern White Cedar of the quality used in Neptune was difficult, especially for the longitudinal planks.This fact required drilling out bad knots and epoxying the holes with one inch plugs. In the end, with the entire boat painted (the exception was the inwale and outwale), it did not matter. Thanks for the inspiration in the construction of my boat…finished yesterday!

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    michael mcallister says:

    Wonderful series. Most futures are launched in childhood.
    I bet there are a couple of budding sailors in that group.
    Time for a reunion episode?

    Thanks to the parents too, saw a lot of support!

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    Steven Gamman says:

    I realize this is now a year later but I just found this series.
    I would like to thank the parent of the children for continuing to encourage them to keep going to build the boat. I can imagine that over the many weeks children would lose interest. The fact that one wanted to name the boat nine because nine built it shows the dedication of the team.

    Eric and Haddy your commitment and dedication to this project obviously motivated others to follow your lead; great job!

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    neil massey says:

    Hi, Great website i love it! i have a question if you don’t mind, Could this Skiff accommodate a Outboard motor? If so what HP would be correct for it?
    Thanks again for all your work

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    James Dudley says:

    I would like to buy the plans and build this boat. Can it be finished with some sort of clear coat to show the wood color? If so, what would need to be done differently? Or does it need to be painted?

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    Clay Young says:

    We completed our boat 5/24/17 & the kids launched it at the St Augustine Yacht Club. They had a ball with 2 crews of 5 at a time. May build another one with the Prairie School soon. St Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation.

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      Fantastic Clay. Please send us photos at support(at)offcenterharbor(dot)com and we’ll post them.

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    Mitch Miller says:

    You guys (children included) are amazing! What a fantastic team building experience! I just joined the OCH family yesterday and the first two videos alone were well worth the price of admission! Excellent video quality and top notch instruction. I can’t wait to dive into the rest of what OCH has to offer!

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    David Mowen says:

    To miss the heart warming response of these kids and their teacher, would be a great deprivation to those potential sailors, young and old, who haven’t signed on with a subscription.

    If only this final issue of the series could be opened up in its entirety to those who happen to encounter it on the web, it would be a service to all who are moved by the human connection with wood and the water.

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    Julia Graves says:

    Congratulations to the kids of Neptune! Beauty of a boat!

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    Terry Smith says:

    Darn it, I have something in my eye — and I haven’t even watched the videos that brought this wonderful project to the point of launching. Fabulous . . . just plain fabulous.

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    Luis Omar Lopez says:

    Hola, un video realmente edificante,nada mejor que ver a un grupo de niños compartiendo, aprendiendo ,colaborando,divirtiendose y creando,viendo que pueden realizar sus sueños, muchas gracias por compartir esta experiencia, saludos

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    Erick Singleman says:

    That’s what we should be doing with kids, all over this country. Not necessarily boat building but anything that teaches and gives them new experiences, fosters team building, sense of accomplishment, pride, new skills, confidence. Just fantastic. Way to go. Awesome video.

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    Sterling Williamson says:

    Eric and Haddy, you guys are fantastic!!

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    Joel Schwalb says:

    Congrats to all involved in the inspiring project. While we were watching I don’t think any of us doubted that “Neptune” would float. This is an experience that these kids will never forget and, hopefully, some of them will be inspired to continue on and build a boat of their own one day.

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    Don Braboy says:

    A delight to watch this skiff birthed. Exceptional video both in content and production! Eric, you are truly gifted and gave such a great gift to these children.

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    Peter Hendrickson says:

    Cheers to the teacher and his students. And cheers again to the students who bring out the best in us as teachers.

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    james york says:

    That was awesome…. How great to see them working together in harmony…. Great project.. Lovely result….. BRAVO……..

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    John Loos III says:

    Peachidorical series. The expertise and craftsmanship shone through. What project is next? Can’t wait.

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    Eric Blake says:

    I just watched this and kind of lost it…
    Many thanks for everyone’s kind comments
    I cannot wait for this summer, on the water, with this bunch.
    I can only encourage everyone to have this experience with a group of kids in their town…
    Many Thanks,

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    Richard Gewax says:

    Kudos to the kids – well done and loads of fun for all concerned!
    The skiff is well-named indeed —
    “Neptune (Latin: Neptūnus [nɛpˈtuːnʊs]) was the god of freshwater and the sea”

    Eric, Steve, Havilah and all other mentors deserve the honored and much sought after ‘HERDING CATS’ trophy for being able to harness and direct that abundance of ‘youthful enthusiasm’. LOL

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    Alan Bright says:

    Wonderful series congratulations to all involved. Now how about a rug to truly finish the project!

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    Mal Botterill says:

    What can one add to the above except what happens to Neptune now?

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    Tom Weir says:

    I feel the same as all the rest what a fantastic experience for the Kids and what a great teacher they had Thanks for sharing.

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    gerald spiegel says:

    Just extraordinary, one of the best things I’ve seen on the internet. A joy ! These kids are fortunate indeed to have participated in this unique experience. Eric is to be congratulated, lets see more of this kind of thing.

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    James Cornwell says:

    What a great experience for these kids, who have actually built something of consequence with their own hands and hearts, rare in today’s world, and who can now appreciate the craft in hand-made objects – especially all that beveling! Thanks and congratulations, OCH!

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    Eigil Rothe says:

    I love the figure eight mnemonic. Out of the mouth babes

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    Russell Grothus says:

    What a wonderful project involving kids, our next generation of wooden boat enthusiasts.

    Thank you for sharing.

    All the kids should be proud. An awesome experience.

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    David L Schroeder says:

    Eric, I would have hired you in a New York minute as a teacher to work with students in the schools in which I worked. As a retired teacher, principal, and central office consultant; your teaching skills and ability to work with students of various ages is truly OUTSTANDING! Watching the launch brought chills to my arms, and THANK YOU for sharing this experience. Well done!

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      Martin Lunde says:

      David I agree 100%…Eric has a unique ability to communicate with kids with patience, and to really listen to what they have to say. A wonderful series….think how much better the world would be if all kids could enjoy the same experience…..

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        Michael Quigley says:

        Great project and video series! I’ve built a Michalak Piccup Pram and. A Jordan Baby Tender II.I keep coming back to your skiff and rewatching the videos. I think this is the one to build with my great nephew. He’ll get a great experience from building it and we’ll create some great memories in the process. I’ve ordered the plans. Are there any suggestions on setting it up for sailing.
        Keep up the great website and videos.

    • Avatar

      Ken Elowe says:

      All I can say is wow! Eric – thank you for your amazing teaching and the experiences that you gave these kids. I work with the Carpenter’s Boat Shop in Pemaquid and our apprentices learn, build and launch skiffs with amazing staff there. But it is so special to capture this on these videos! I got choked up at the launching ceremony. I’ve learned a lot and am inspired. Thank you.

  • Avatar

    Kurt Lorenz says:

    Eric did a great job making it “safe” for very different age kids to work together. That takes skill and careful modeling of cooperative behavior. It created a family atmosphere that was very supportive and a pleasure to watch.

  • Doug Hermann

    Doug Hermann says:

    Absolutely awesome. An inspiration to all of us and a positive story for the next generation! Something the kids will remember and talk about for the rest of their lives! What an accomplishment! Something to be said for small town America.

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    Mark Sailer says:

    Simply Amazing. What an incredible experience and journey. Thanks for sharing with us. I’m sure this will be a summer that the kids will NEVER forget.

    So sorry this series is over. It was the highlight of my Friday mornings.

    Is there any way you can post, so we can download, the wonderful music you use in the videos by Walt Wilkins?

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    Hector MacNeil says:

    Congratulations to all the Kids, Eric, and the crew at OCH! What a wonderful project. Thank you for sharing it!

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    john daily says:

    So powerful! Amazing! That’s a great series.. Thank you for sharing.

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    Royal Declerck says:

    What a great story, I loved seeing all the “builders”sitting on the floor to choose a name. I know the feeling of first launch, what excitement.
    Well done to Eric who never raised his voice, only carefully explaining the required result.
    Well done to all involved, Royal.

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    Lorentz Ottzen says:

    The best video you have produced so far. The youngsters put it over the top. Eric was great with them. I couldn’t wait for the next episode to come out. Too bad it’s over.
    Lonnie Ottzen

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    Philip Myer says:

    I also wanted to say what a great design, that is some skiff that can carry 8 kids without complaint !

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    Philip Myer says:

    A great series, wonderful kids, you could see their excitement increase as the skiff advanced. Well done Eric, Havilah and Steve.

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    Nigel Lawrence says:

    it’s been such a pleasure to watch this series unfold.

    Congratulations kids! You’ve had some fabulous and extraordinarily generous mentoring from Eric and Haddy – such a great initiative, and truly something to inspire.

    Well done all!


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