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William F. Cruz - Canoe

Posted on March 22 2012

I have been reading and re-reading KayakCraft for the past two years and CanoeCraft for the past three as I have worked on wooden boats for our family. I've gotten to know Building the Bear Mountain Canoe, complete with Daisy's cameo as well. My first wilderness experience prompted me to invest in the gear involved in bringing our family of four closer to nature, on nature's terms. After reviewing Canoe and Kayak Magazine's, 1999 product edition, I realized that I might be able to build a boat as good as any of those maufactured, except maybe those made by Blue Water Canoes of Ontario. I'm now involved in our third wooden boat. Many of our friends and family who see thtwo projects I've completed and the enthusiasm with which I apprach the current project invariably make th comment concerning monetary gain from wooden boat building. My response is usually a laugh as I have so little experience with the craft. It also reminds me of your experiences, ". . . getting into Mother Earth News." I am deeply satisfied simply to get through each stage of construction. These project have been a family endeavour, just as you point out in you acknowledgements in KayakCraft. These projects have an effect on our girls, (6 and 4 years old), as they run around at Grandma's, in and out and around the "shop" (my mom's garage). As I was building our Freedom 17-9 my oldest, then 3, said " Daddy, you're really smart." I asked why she thought that, and she said it was because I could make a boat. I told her it is lucky I know how to read because then I could learn how to do anything. She now reads and the 2nd grade level. These projects give me an opprotunity to check in on my mom, since I'm building these boats in her garage, I stop in often, cut her grass, shovel her walk. She lives across town from us am I'm not sure I would find time to check on her as often. Taking the girls with me to wokr on boats also relives my partner from some of the child care duties and gives her a break. We are some of the many, for whom building a boat was a pivotal point in thier lives. Paddling adds a whole universe of opprotunity for bringing us closer as a family. You have been and continue to be an inspiration. You approach to wooden boat building and instruction, indeed the glimpse of you approach to life as reflected in your writing is a harmonious and admirable way. One which I can relate to. I felt compelled to write, because I doubt that you could have affected so many lives as effectively if you life ourney had been diffrerent. Thank you. SIncerely, William F. Cruz

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