Build Your Dream Boat #16

by Gayle Brantuk on August 2, 2010

Continuing the boat building dream #16…

Since my father began Glen-L Marine in the early 1950′s, boat building has been part of my life. I thought I’d share some of my experiences with Glen-L boats for a more personal post this time…

When I was between 1 and 4 years old, my father was building what was to someday be our weekend cabin in Lake Sherwood, California. This was a really awesome cabin with two A-Frame structures that bi-sected each other. I always thought it was beautiful and one of my favorite places–the interior was all knotty pine and it creaked at night… kinda scary, but I still loved it. Anyway, Mom and I went to the hardware store one time to get something that Dad needed and I was messing with a vice and lo and behold, it fell off the counter and onto my foot. Ouch! That was my first negative experience with woodworking tools–it cracked my foot but I did get new slippers and a matching teddy bear as I couldn’t wear shoes for a few weeks…

Glen-L Sissy Do
Sissy Do on Lake Sherwood (Sissy’s driving), A-Frame in background

I clearly remember my Dad working on boats in our garage pretty much all throughout my childhood. Back then, polyester resin was used because epoxy wasn’t around yet. The smell of resin is very clear in my memory. For years I had a solid round pink piece of resin that Dad gave me from the bottom of a coffee can he had used for mixing. It was a good conversation piece.

It was always fun to “help” dad in the garage. He bought me my own kid-size hammer and would give me pieces of wood to keep me busy or most likely, to get me out of the way. I built a little shelf for my perfumes and a trivet for my mom. I just loved to be there and watch my Dad work–it always fascinated me.

The aroma of fresh cut wood and the sound of the table saw still bring back very fond memories.

At some point Dad built the Sissy Do which we had at our cabin for about 17 years, I believe. That thing sat in the water day in and day out and held up all those years. It looked pretty awful after a while with chipping and peeling paint, but hey, plumbers probably have leaking pipes, right? When Dad brought the boat to the cabin he asked what I wanted to name it and I said “sissy do”–apparently that’s what I frequently said to get my older sister to do stuff. Thus, the boat has that silly name to this day.

The Sissy Do was a great boat and talk about great memories… got a bunch of them. There was the time that my friend Cary (his mom worked for Glen-L back in the early 60′s) and I went out on the boat in the early evening without asking permission. I couldn’t have been but 5 or so and he was only a year or two older. When we got back to the dock after dark, all of our parents were beside themselves with worry and boy, were we in trouble!

Then there was the time in High School that my girlfriend Joanne and I were out on the boat and the motor went out on us. The wind was blowing quite hard and we couldn’t get very far rowing. So, a couple of guys pulled up and we were really relieved for the anticipated assistance, until one of them whipped off his pants down to his skiveys and jumped in the water to help us. We were mortified. But, he pulled us back to the dock…

When I was in high school, my Girl Scout troop was a Mariner troop. That means that all of our campouts and events were held at the beach and were all water and boating related. During the summer, several of us took sailing lessons at the Boy Scout boating center. That was a ton of fun and a great experience.

Sailing has always been my favorite way to enjoy boating because of those early experiences. We all learned how to right a capsized sailboat, so that has come in real handy when I’ve taken Glen-L boats out for test runs… I like to push the limits. I even got to water ski behind the Bingo once on a test drive and that was pretty neat–not a bad way to spend an afternoon at work!

I share all of this with you as a reminder. Boating has been the basis for many wonderful memories in my life and continues to be, only on a different level. When you build your own boat, that experience is magnified. Not only are you making memories by using the boat, but the whole building experience and the pride that comes with that makes it even more wonderful.

Here at Glen-L, we have the privilege of facilitating your dreams and eventual memories. That’s an awesome thing and one that I am grateful to be able to continue. I look forward to hearing about your memories…

Glen-L Word of the Week: -BATTENS

Thin semi-rigid strips of wood or synthetic material inserted into pockets in the sail in order to maintain the shape of the sail; Interior longitudinal reinforcements in a boat hull, most often located on either side of the keel, running as far forward as possible. Battens are also used to reinforce the sides of some hulls.

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