July 7th, 2012 by Jan

The first time I met Ken, I was told to “Be nice to him, he might buy your dinner.”

I don’t remember all that much about the dinner, but I will say for certain that Ken probably mentioned he wanted to build a boat.

Ken has always wanted to build a boat. And over the years he has. He has built little row boats, even canoes. He was quite well known for the Bidarka Kayaks he made. A skin on frame style that was measure for the individual who would paddle it. Ken measured the boat to fit the person it was for. Big person, big boat! These boats were (and still are) beautiful. He either gave these boats away or traded them for money. I know he preferred to gift them.

I remember once a “customer” drove off with a kayak Ken had built, strapped to his car top. Ken stood watching both boat and car drive away – he looked down at the handful of money the man had given him and said, “Not a fair trade.” All I got was money – that guy has a boat!

For the 30 years I’ve known Ken, he has talked and dreamed about boats the way I talked Tai Chi. He’s always reading books, magazines, or scanning plans and drawings about boats. He goes to wooden boat festivals and walks the docks often, “Just looking.”

But Ken has never built HIS boat. He usually ends up helping someone else build THEIR boat.

2012 – the summer of Ken’s boat — Pearl.

4 thoughts on “Pearl

  1. Laura B

    Oh, it looks beautiful, the lines so elegant. I can see the love and skill and art he is pouring into it. I would love to be able to watch it grow.

    Ken, what wood are you using?

  2. Jenny

    For Ken: build on!

    “I’m always sorry more people don’t understand the joy of knocking about in small boats. You have to have something that will float of course. But the main thing is leaving the land- shoving out on your own. And I often think it is the coves, shores, beaches, blue water, towns far away, the sunlight and the tinkle at the bow- they are what you’re after. Who can say what the wind does to one’s spirit or what a night’s sleep at anchor under the stars does to one’s view of the world.”
    ~ Elliott Merrick

  3. Jan Post author

    It’s African mahogany plywood. The technique is called “stitch and glue” and makes a strong, light weight boat.


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