Building Boats and Community with “All Hands On Deck”

We are thrilled to introduce you to another TotalBoat Brand Ambassador doing amazing work with boats and boatbuilding and with our favorite audience – kids! Hands On Deck is based in Green Bay, WI and their President, Mark Hawkins, has built something pretty amazing and admirable – worthy of copying if you have a similar opportunity or interest in community based boat building and woodworking. Last night, HOD hosted their weekly boatbuilding night besides working on their SUP kit being built, they added value with a 30 minute session on how to use varnish and epoxy with plywood construction. Who couldn’t learn something from this well conceived class? Varnish and Epoxy 101 is a great idea for any shop group or boatbuilding class. It’s one of the basics of boatbuilding with plywood and these 2 products are often misunderstood and misused.  Kudos to Mark and Hands on Deck for this great idea. We can’t wait to hear how it went.  

From Director, Mark: Hands On Deck Inc. is a nonprofit organization empowering youth and families to succeed
together through experiential learning focused on the science and art of building wooden boats
and the preservation of traditional skills.

Every Monday night for the past year, young and old alike have formed into a family of makers
who are learning not only basic hand tool use and woodworking skills; but also how to apply
these skills to building wooden boats. You would think that the mentors are constantly keeping
the younger crowd in line, but often the seven year old can saw a straighter line, or make a
more consistent cut. Never underestimate the very young…they continue to amaze us.

Over the next two years we would like to duplicate our original Western Lakes Mackinaw Boat
SERANG and have her in the harbor for community engagement. In a a year we’ll be in full
swing in our new 6000 square foot boat shop located inside South Bay Marina here in Green
Bay. We will not only serve our community youth, but also our large woodworking community
with a full outfitted makers space. Workshops and Classes will be the key to our sustainability
as we move forward, and standing on the back of the success of the North House Folk School
on the West shore of Lake Superior, we will offer a myriad of learning opportunities.

Its FULL STEAM AHEAD for Hands On Deck in Green Bay.

Reach out to President, Mark Hawkins, if you would like to help or to donate to their program.

3 responses to “Building Boats and Community with “All Hands On Deck”

  1. We will have to get to know him and his manor. Lew is a tuff act to follow. His charisma and skill that he represents is the best I have ever seen. Good luck to new comers to this network..

  2. Hi there, there is an existing non-profit organization run by an experienced boat builder here locally who recently moved to central California from the Pacific Northwest. This gentleman and members of the Morro Bay Maritime Museum have been discussing starting a program like “All Hands…” Does your organization have any opportunities for franchising out west?

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