The Batela a coa de gambaro
Almost two years ago, I set out to find a place to take a set of plans and turn it into the cornerstone of my business and livelihood. It was important to me that the batela be not just another boat, but that the story of her creation should rival her workmanship.
From the moment I stepped into the school, I knew I had found the people who would build my batela. I knew the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding would take the Venetian design I gave them, build the boat to Pacific Northwest sensibilities and that the marriage between the two would be perfect. I’ve watched the boat come to life from afar, and have poured over the photos of your progress.
It was a delight not only to finally see her in person, but to see the smiles on everyone’s faces reflecting my own at the sight of seeing her in the water. I could see how well she handled, and the knowledge that she will be exactly right for gliding through the canals made my smile somehow even wider. The batela exists to make people happy — taking them for rides to build memories for a lifetime. She could not have started out better on that mission, since I will never forget how happy I was at witnessing 20 proud people carry her out of the shop and seeing her touch the water for the very first time.
I can’t thank you all enough for your expertise, your passion, and the pride you put into this project. You have made a boat that is already having a beautiful, unique impact on the world, and on the man who will row her throughout a long life on the water.
– Mark Schooling, Owner, Gondola Paradiso, GondolaParadiso.com
Traditional Lapstrake Grandy
I took this picture yesterday while taking out the Grandy at Lake Shannon. I’m hooked on wooden boats! There was a line of admirers as soon as I got on the ferry. Literally, there were at least two men touching it as soon as I parked, and several clustered around it the entire ferry ride! It’s hard to stay away from a thing of beauty. I am glad to share this piece of artwork with everyone who sees it, and to tell them about the School.