By Nick Patch, Champlain Longboats Director
In addition to our ongoing student boat building work in the boat shop, our students, staff, and volunteers have been busy repairing other boats in the Champlain Longboats fleet this winter.
This week, volunteers John Woodbury and Wendy Lynch are replacing the two top planks and gunwales on the 32’ pilot gig Opsrey. Built in 2001 in the boat shop by students from Middlebury’s Diversified Occupations Program who helped construct fifteen rowing gigs, Osprey was the second boat in our fleet. The Champlain Longboats fleet now has twenty one boats, and we make sure to maintain each one.
We have a saying in the boat shop: “the boat should last three times the life of the tree it was built with.” We believe that is a worthy goal, but a little interim maintenance is needed on occasion to help the boats achieve this destiny. Osprey should be back in the water for the spring youth rowing season coming up in April.