Brooks Wooden Boat Course

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Visit to Lowell's Boat Shop

Day 2

To start off this winter term course, we were given our first hands-on challenge. Mr. Grant split the group up into three different teams, each given two or three planks of wood and a few tools. He displayed an old, beat up saw horse; a stand consisting of a thirty-two inch piece of wood with four legs to support it. Our only restriction was that it must be twenty-three inches tall. My team decided to make a replica of the saw horse that was displayed, making small adjustments when it came to a nail or a screw. After building our first saw horse, we stepped back and evaluated how we could make it better. The legs were slightly unstable, and with some measurement changes, we were able to make the next one almost perfect. This course will take lots of evaluating and some trial and error. Everyone, including the teachers, are learning to build this boat for the first time, but with the help of Graham (last name?), our mentor from Lowell’s Boat shop in Amesbury, MA, we will be just fine! -Bella

On Saturday, our second day of the course, the group loaded into a Brooks van and drove to the Lowell Boat shop, now owned by our newest instructor Graham McKay.  Upon arriving to the shop, Graham gave us a little bit of history about the shop.  He told us about Simeon Lowell, the founder of the Lowell boat shop, and how his business slowly expanded over the years and was passed down through different generations of the Lowell family.  I thought it was really cool when he told us about how the fishing process evolved over the years in order to expand production.  It changed from men fishing with individual rods all in one boat, to the men splitting up and fishing from different smaller dories, expanding the amount of water covered and increasing the number of fish being caught.  Graham also gave us a tour of the different rooms of the shop, which include the top floor where Graham keeps his different types of wood to dry before it can be used.  One new fun fact I learned was that some wood takes multiple years longer to dry depending on its thickness!  We also got a look inside one of the newest additions of the shop, which was the paint room.  The paint room was added onto the shop in the 1940s.  We will be traveling to the Lowell boat shop a few more times throughout the course. - Emily Klein

1 comment:

  1. I imagine Graham told you about the Boatshop's intent to build another whaleboat for the Charles W. Morgan of Mystic Seaport: