Thursday, June 19, 2014

Whatever Floats Your Boat: The Outcome

At the beginning of April, Gossips reported on an after-school program just starting up which brought together sixth graders from Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School and Nick Zachos, Ed Csukas, and Sam Merrit from the Hudson Sloop Club. With the mentoring and guidance of the Sloop Club guys, the kids were going to build a boat. Yesterday, that boat was launched in Oakdale Lake, and Gossips was there to capture the moment.

As the boat slipped into the water, Zachos declared it a "dry boat," but just in case, the kids wore life preservers and were equipped with sponges to clear out any water that might seep in. Czukas accompanied the boat out on the lake in a kayak, staying close at hand in case of emergency. They were joined on the water by Merrit and Zachos in a canoe.

The kids had built a fine boat, but their rowing skills still needed some work.

Zachos explained that the students had chosen the kind of boat they wanted to build. The boat they chose--flat at both ends--is variously called a punt or a pram or a flat-bottomed skip. It is the type of boat, Zachos explained, that might be built from the leftover wood of another, bigger boat and be used to row out to the bigger boat. 

The Sloop Club plans to continue the boat-building project in the fall, but it will be up to the kids to decide if they want to build another boat or trick out this one--painting it and giving it a name. On the subject of a name, Zachos said there was a long list of possibilities, one of which seems especially appropriate: Water Bender.


  1. I am a volunteer for Hudson Reads and the middle schoolers I dealt with are totally jealous of the older kids working with the Sloop Club -- so to those who make the Sloop Club go: good show and keep it up!

  2. Wonderful
    Congratulations floaters ( boaters)

  3. Wonderful accomplishment! Congratulations Kids and Skilled Sloop Clubbers.

  4. Captain (saint) Nick, is a good man and master craftsmen. Why would city leaders restrain 25 equally good, citizen volunteers from doing exactly the same thing?

    1. If only city rule allowed for the continuous (pre)historic use, Captain Nick and crew would have built a Sloop Shack by now...

    2. The historical use city shore is local parents and grandparents, teaching their children "the ropes," one on one, not in Loco Parentis.

      Our "kids" are now Nick's age with little Navigators of their own. They have been removed from city shore, to be replaced by "docent" surrogates.

      Giffy, get your game on...

  5. Go Nick! Turning us all into shipwrights.

    Suggested bumper stickers:

    "Make Boats!"

    "Punt it!"

    "Got Boat?"

  6. Congratulations Nick and kids. You've come a long way and it's good to see thenfruition of all your hard work.