Project Ideas

The Minnesota Peoples Pontoon

An all wood pontoon boat!

This would have tortured plywood pontoons, a criss-crossed wooden swim platform as a deck, decorative wooden railings, comfortable benches, possibly inspired by folk or green woodworking traditions, and even a wood framed sun canopy.

I envision this as a public art piece, that would offer rides on inland lakes around Minnesota, bringing a bit of cabin life and Norwegian Folk Art to everyone. Maybe Northwoods picnic food would be served at times!

Mackinaw Boat

These were the work boats of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan before the industrialization made them inefficient. They were double ended boats, like big fat canoes, traditionally built in lapstrake fashion. They were sailed or rowed and in later eras even had inboard motors. Mariners used them to fish and get around the Great Lakes.

I would like to build one that can be used as a tourism/experiential history boat. Six passengers with a captain and crew might row together and sail this burdensome boat for a short tour. They would haul a fishing net into the boat by hand and see how heavy that is!

Modern Wooden Fishing Boat

Built of state of the art wood composites in the highly utilitarian format of a contemporary bass boat, this boat would have body lines similar to a classic work boat, with a plumb stem, dramatic sheer and ample tumblehome aft.

The goal is to convince people who buy expensive aluminum fishing boats that they’d prefer to fish in a classier, but equally functional, wooden work boat.

Classic Expeditionary Rower

It’s super fun to get a group of friends on a big sailing “yacht” and cruise around an island chain for a week! However, you spend a lot of the time just sitting around. Especially when there isn't much wind!

So, I’d like a boat that is big enough to camp on with a few people, but also small enough that several people could row it together fairly well. I have some design ideas I'd like to combine, including the modern ocean rowboats and classic lines of the Cornish Pilot Gig. Likely built as a wherry with a plank keel for easy beaching.