Friday, April 24, 2009

Bellevue Boys Build Boats

Story and photos by Willy Cook

Who would guess that a boatyard exists on the banks of the Big Wood River in Bellevue?

Necessity inspired invention as four out-of-work carpenters began building canoes in a wood shop in December.

"With the decline in carpentry work in the area, we were starving carpenters with nothing to do except make boats," said Randy Edgar, chief boat builder.

Edgar's shop is the home for the project. The Bellevue contingent make their one-person canoes using clear cedar wood. Finished, they are 11 feet, 6 inches long and are extremely light—each weighs only 25 pounds.

The group's inventory includes six boats that are almost completed. The boat builders plan on marketing their vessels at art fairs, through trade magazine exposure and by paddling at Silver Creek Preserve.

Randy Edgar lifts one of his boats.
Edgar, left, and Chris Page inspect the boats.
Margaret Shaughnessy strings cane for traditional seats to be installed in the one-person canoes.

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