A hearty congratulations goes out to Catherine. Cat has been a reader of this blog for a while and has just finished and launched her (second?) hand-built canoe - a Wee Lassie II:
The canoe is named Constance and is a slightly stretched version of Mac's design. As you can see from the pictures, Cat did a beautiful job of building and finishing Constance and should be justifiably proud of her new canoe.
However, launch day for many builders is both a bit nerve-wracking ("Oh no! I might scratch my new boat!") and leaves them feeling a little bit lost. ("Ok, I'm really done building my canoe? Now what?") I've noticed that there are paddlers and there are boat-builders and there are those who are both.
When working with two of my current students outside of class, I happened to meet a man who had tried to sign up for my class last year. Unfortunately, the class was full. He decided that he couldn't wait another year and ordered a kit from Newfound Woodworks for a Wee Lassie. He has since completed the kit and has spent some time paddling, but would like to build another boat. While he said that he liked to paddle, he admitted that he's one of those people who feels like more of a boat-builder than a paddler. I think we'll find that he builds more boats in the future.
One of my students who completed his boat last Spring enjoyed the class, but I think will probably not build another canoe. He was a paddler before he started the class and when his wife signed him up to take the class, I think for him it was a means to an end - paddling a home-made canoe. He's been having fun paddling his canoe and will probably continue to enjoy it for a long time to come.
Cat is one of those people who seems to fall into both categories. She appears to enjoy her paddling and her boat-building. Can't you tell?
Cat - time to make some home-made paddles now! (Just kidding!)