Reviving the Piscataqua River Wherry
"Boat building, as a vehicle for teaching and education, develops hand skills and enhances cognitive ability," he said, "but there's an aesthetic component."
Burke chose the Piscataqua River Wherry design boat in part because it is indigenous to New Hampshire's Seacoast and its design was adapted for the local river conditions.
Burke hosted a tour of the boat workshop Monday at The Community School, with some of the students, including Marianna Palladino, 13, brother Noah, 15, and Fenton Varney, III, 13, all of Tuftonboro. One unusual aspect of this particular class is that the wood — a strong Pine tree from the Eaton Town Forest — was custom chosen for this project.
Burke said New Hampshire, due to weather and other conditions, has some of the strongest pine in the country. The class looked at hundreds of trees before they chose a pine that was milled and prepared for the boat project. The boat measures 16 feet 6 inches in length. Using "classic" boat building techniques, the boat will take between 250 to 300 hours to build. The class began in January.
"I never thought I could do something like this," said Marianna.
"It's nice to learn a new skill… I had no experience with tools but after a while I started to enjoy it. It seems like second nature," she said.
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Last week's Rare Bird Alert
Closing the season in style