Time for Reflection

One of the loveliest aspects of living a nautical life, be it as a sailor, boatwright or simply someone entranced by the idea of the open ocean, is the endless opportunity for reflection. The solitude of the waves, the mirror image of a brilliant sunset on the water, or the simple acts of craftsmanship leave one with time to contemplate what is truly important. In this spirit, we’ve chosen to highlight two clips from Charlotte: A Wooden Boat Story, where the boatwrights of Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway take a moment to reflect.

"What Were We Thinking?"

In this first clip, Nat and Ross look back at the Marine Railway’s humble origins as an idea that nobody wanted to invest in. Jokingly, they ask themselves “What were we thinking?” One of the crucial factors in Gannon and Benjamin’s success is their persistence and perseverance. They look back on the challenge of making handmade boats in an era where everything is slick and streamlined, following through on a dream that appeared in danger of being contradicted by everything around them.

"Making a Futtock"

In this second clip, Nat and boatwright Chris Rockwell take us through the steps of creating a futtock, or curved timber, for Charlotte’s frame. After completing the process, Chris pauses to reflect on the life of a wooden boat. More than just a piece of plastic, he feels a wooden boat is a living thing with a heart and soul. Chris observes how a wooden boat can have as varied and interesting a life as any person.