Boat building class offered in Mid-Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Boat building class offered in Mid-Michigan

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When you think of boat building, you probably think of an era long ago, but now you can get your hands dirty and build a boat yourself.

It’s part of a class offered in Mid-Michigan.

For 18 years, scraping and sanding away at new boats has been sponsored by the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association.

Bill Coberly has been with the group since it’s inception 22 years ago.

“We were teaching kids how to sail in optimus prams, which were eight feet long,” Coberly said. “Most of those boats were donated to us when we started the organization and about three or four years later we realized we needed some more, so we decided to build them.”

That has grown to the group building other boats. For example, one skiff will eventually sell to raise money for the non-profit organization.

Bill Shoop loves teaching folks how to build boats.

“I started probably six to eight years ago,” Shoop said. “I was going to build a boat at home. I wanted to refresh my construction techniques, came here and learned some more about the epoxy processes and decided not to leave. And then a few years ago they asked me to join the group as an instructor.”

The association’s mission is to develop and nurture the love of sailing in Mid-Michigan.

“We’d like to keep it relevant and in the minds of everyone,” said Scott Ellis, from Baysail. “We live in Bay City and we have a really rich sailing past so we like to keep that going.”

The boat building classes begin Monday, Jan. 8 and run through Mid-April.

For more information on the boat building classes and how to contact the Saginaw Sail Association, visit their website.

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