Students learn history through boat restoration

Dec 7th, 2017 | By | Category: CFI, Student News

Boat Restoration CFI pulling out the boat for the first time to begin their work.
Photo by Michael Gebhardt

Video and Text Article by Michael Gebhardt

In the Boat Restoration CFI class, the upper form students spent the Fall Term working on restoring an old wooden crew boat.

The first step in restoring the boat is washing down the bottom of the boat. The boat had been sitting in the shed for many years so a lot of dirt and dust had piled on it. After that, the students sand down the bottom of the boat to try to smooth out the wood. The next thing the students do is flip the boat and repeat the first two steps. Once they complete that, they are on to the varnishing stage. The varnishing stage is the longest stage because they have to put multiple coats of varnish on the boat. They can’t put the second coat of varnish on until the first coat is dry.

Following that stage, they work on the little stuff: first restoring the seats of the boat and then restoring the shoes that go in the boat.

This class, according to Mr. Tim O’Keeffe, teaches the students how to work with wood doing things they have never done before. It has also taught the students, according to Mr. O’Keeffe, problem-solving skills and has shown the students how much time goes into restoring the old wooden boats. Also, Matt Stephan said that this class has “taught him about the school.” The old boat shows the history of the school and how far back some sports date.

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