This past Thursday, apprentices Alex Krills and Nick Putnam launched their Susan Skiff. Alex and Nick started their apprenticeships last May and were both excited to finally launch after finishing their boat in February. Their skiff was actually sold before it was even completed, so the new owners got to be a part of the launch too.
Neither Alex nor Nick had woodworking or boatbuilding experience prior to starting their apprenticeships. They've made a lot of progress over the last year they've been here. Both of them have moved on to their next projects; Alex is building a Joel White Nutshell Pram and Nick is working with several others to finish the Mackinaw down on the 1st floor.
Susan Skiff launches are always an inspiring event because they usually represent the very first
boat built and launched by an apprentice, many of who have never built anything before.
The process of building your first boat is difficult. There are a lot of unknowns, and sometimes it feels like you are stumbling half blind through the process. It can be frustrating; you have to struggle with self doubt, with your own personal strengths and limitations. While you are building a boat, it is difficult to stand back and see the object you've created as something separate from the process you've gone through. But when you put the boat in the water, there is a shift in perspective. It becomes possible to see the boat as something separate from yourself and feel satisfaction in the completion.
Whether it’s a Susan Skiff or a large commission, launch days are special moments. We hope that you can join is for one soon!