Winter session begins!

Yesterday was our first day of winter session. The shop was a-buzz as we got back into the rhythm of work. We are excited to have three new girls joining our group this winter.

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Tools! Tools!

“There’s something about these vessels that cause some kind of hypnotism, you do things you’d never dream of doing in your ordinary mind” -Irving Johnson

Today was the last day of our fall session, to celebrate we made popcorn and watched “Around Cape Horn.” Filmed in 1929, it depicts the voyage of the 4 masted steel Barque Peking as it journeyed around Cape Horn. This spurred a spirited discussion of the challenges and rewards of traditional sailing!

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Then it was time to get more shop time!

Tools we used:

Plow Plane- To groove the bottom of tool trays for floating bases to fit in.and

Marking Gauge and Combination Square- For layout of half-laps.

Handsaws- Each girl found a different preference for Japanese pull saws or western push saws to cut their tool tray half laps.

Chisels- To clean up the half laps and make them fit perfectly!

Hot Glue Gun- Don’t underestimate these, we use them to pattern our boat frames.

Bandsaw- To cut out boat frames.

Handplanes- To refine and fit boat frames.

Cordless Drill- To fasten our finished frames into place.

What a bunch of useful tools the girls have been mastering here at the Girls Boat Project!

Hover over the following pictures for descriptions.


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Nothing is like an adventure with your friends, to feel the breeze through your hair and the splash of water on your hands and face.

Amazing how the beauty of nature can clear your mind, make you forget your worries.

“Very little is needed to live a happy life; it is all within yourself; in the way of thinking.”
~Marcus Aurelius

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We Are All Friends Here!


Someone once quoted “As we grow up we realize it is less important to have lots of friends and more important to have real ones.” In the Girls Boat Project all of us are friends as well as a team. The Girls Boat Project is truly a honor to be apart of, it is an amazing program and tons of FUN!!! We meet once a week at the Maritime Center where we build boats in the wood shop and talk about safety, we also get to learn how to sail  and row boats all by the amazing view of the water, beach, and mountains. There is nothing I’d rather do on a Wednesday afternoon than be with these amazing people.

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Fitting Frames and Cutting Half-Laps

We start each week with a discussion question. This week it seemed apt to ask, “What you thankful for?” Our answers ranged far and wide from family and friends, to lots of kinds of food (cheese, pasta, turkey), to great adults and teachers and r.s.y.p (really smart young people), and to doctors and medical technology without which many of us and our loved ones might not be alive. And we are thankful for the Girls’ Boat Project!

After practicing our reef knots and reviewing our bowlines, we tried out our knots by trying to lift chairs (trusting our knots to hold). We also tried to work in pairs to tie reef knots with each of us using only one hand.

Down in the boat shop we continued to work on fitting frames to the boat. We are getting into the precision stages of this work. After roughing out their frames, girls are starting to find the gaps where the frames fit and use planes and chisels to take down the high spots.

Girls also continued work on their tool trays- planing end grain, grooving boards and starting to mark and cut the half lap joints.

We closed our day with a reflection– what is your favorite tool and why? We liked the flexibility of the hot glue gun, making curls with the grooving plane, the adaptability of the bandsaw, and the sharp and precise chisels.

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Bowlines, boat frames and grooving.

We started our day with a discussion of brave things we have done such as ways that we stood up for what we believe in or took a risk to achieve our goals.

Then the girls learned how to tie bowlines. It took some practice and teamwork to get good at it.


Lizzy shows Emilia how she ties a bowline.


The girls used their new knot to play a game: The rules- Find a partner, then tie a bowline in each end of a short piece of rope and loop one over each wrist. Your partner does the same but you link your lines before she puts the bowlines on her wrist. Then comes the challenge, unlink yourselves without removing your hands from your loop or untying the line. Its possible but takes creative thinking!


Then we played a game with bowlines.


There was some contortions.


And good teamwork.

Once everyone mastered the bowline game we headed down to the shop. The boatbuilding group patterned frames, carefully making models that represented each angle and dimension of the planks inside the boat. They then transferred their frame patterns onto sapele wood and cut them out on the bandsaw. The bandsaw cuts were a little larger than the pattern, so the girls used hand planes to bring their frames down to the marked lines.


Fiona planing her frame


Fiona shows the frame she made.

The bench project group continued to cut and plane the sides for their tool trays. They also got to use a grooving tool called a plow plane to carefully plane a groove in the bottom of their tool trays for the base of the tray to “float” in. The consensus was that it took some practice to use this new specialized plane but that it was very satisfying!


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Back in the Boatshop

It was another great day for the Girls’ Boat Project. After sailing last week, we headed into the boat shop today. The girls worked on their tool trays and the boat frames, switching groups from last time.


Everyone is hard at work here!

We ended the day with a birthday celebration for Lizzy and a reflection– “Which tool did I feel confident and strong using in the shop? What could I use more practice on?” After sharing, we noticed that some of us were confident in areas where others felt they needed help. We also realized that we can learn together and support each other in building skills. Go Girls!

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Happy Birthday Lizzy!

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