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Students of the Living and Learning School launch their
self-designed and hand-built boat at Skidegate, Haida Gwaii


Local boat design is fast

Students from the Living and Learning School launched a rowing boat of their own design and making June 11,1997 at Skidegate beach. The boat with its 3 sets of oars was rowed out into Skidegate Channel at a great clip; up and down in front of the village, and then back into shore for another load of eager passengers. Parents and other students watched and took photos from the beach.

With the enthusiastic cooperation of Hannah Huston, Kostan Lagace, Jake Pattison, Lolo Pattison, Luke Hyatt, Reuben Weir, and instructor Ralph Nelson the crew built the rowing boat in 3 - 4 weeks. It is approximately 16' long and 4' wide with a flat bottom of 1/2" plywood and three rowing stations using a thole pin rather than oar locks. The design is similar to a dory. You can't miss this boat, the bright orange hull is 3/8" plywood with a 1/2" transom. The inside of the boat is blue and it has a dark blue trim on the gunnels.

The students biggest consideration when designing the boat was speed, says Ralph Nelson. The students built a series of cardboard models from drawings they had made, and debating the pros and cons of each model they kept picking the best one. Kostan Lagace's prototye made the cut -- a combination of pleasing aesthetics and sea worthiness, with a look of speed.

And this boat goes. With some fine tuning in ballast and the three sets of oars rowing in unison, the boat skims across the water -- in no time they had rowed out to Skiias Island exploring the shores and kelp beds.

The boat cost about $350 to build, the money was raised by the school through fundraising at coffee houses, food booths, and Community Days.
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