On Saturday, June 24th, the Hudson River Maritime Museum hosted our first Hudson River National Boat Building Challenge on Hudson River Day! Eleven adult teams and one youth team competed to build a wooden row-boat in under four hours. Community support for the event was great, with over fifteen sponsors.
Boats were judged on speed of competition, quality of build, and a timed relay rowing race on the Rondout Creek. Our esteemed judges included Jim Kricker, Director of the Riverport Wooden Boat School here at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, Wayne Bartow, Director of the Hudson River Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society, and Andrew Willner, Senior Instructor of the Riverport Wooden Boat School.
Team Caduceus, comprising of Jeff Arliss and HRMM's Jack Weeks, took third place! Arliss practices medicine in Kingston and lives in New Paltz. Weeks, who lives in Eddyville, is a longtime board member of the Hudson River Maritime Museum, and a timber framer with some boatbuilding experience.
Coming in at second place was the Rifton Rascals - Eric Flavin amd Brandon Craig! Flavin is a longtime New Paltz resident and known for being able to build "anything at anytime". When he's not building something, he enjoys hiking in New Hampshire with his daughter. Brandon Craig is the future son-in-law of Eric and is hoping to stay in good favor with his future father-in-law by not injuring him in this challenge. No injuries were had and the team had fun!
Our first place team, Carolina Flare, hails from North Carolina. Comprised of Bobby Staab and Josh Fulp, the team was first to finish their boat. Sporting an ever-present mustache and the same "Challenge" shorts worn during every competition, Bobby Staab notes the one time he stayed awake more than three hours, he pressure washed and stained a deck; painted the house; cut the grass; and changed the spark plugs in all his neighbors' cars! Josh Fulp is a General Contractor who got his first skill saw when he was twenty-four months old. Boatbuilding lore has it that Fulp keeps extra fasteners and a few tools tucked in his beard!
Congratulations to all our teams! Building a wooden boat in under four hours is a gigantic accomplishment and a lot of hard work.
Below is a photo gallery of the day's event.
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Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.