Boatbuilding from Scratch: Meet the Acorn to Arabella Team

We got to meet with the insanely motivated 2-man crew of “Acorn to Arabella” last week and we think, like us, that you’ll appreciate what they have to share with the boatbuilding world. The young duo started filming their YouTube series “Acorn to Arabella” about a year and a half ago and they have been busy ever since. Meeting them in person confirmed our suspicions that these 2 not-yet-sailors have an ambitious plan that they will see to fruition regardless of any setbacks or challenges that could arise. Their plan is pretty simple, actually, cut down trees, source hardware and parts for boat from decommissioned (trashed) hulls and stay busy cutting, building and filming until their 38-foot Atkins sailboat is ready to hit the water – in approximately 2-10 years from now.

There is a lot of value in the videos being made by Steve and Alix, the dynamic duo who make up the A2A team. Steve is the boatbuilding brain behind the project, while Alix is the more-artsy-than-handy filmmaker. As the pair search for supplies and resources, they have unexpectedly met up with people and parts which will make their build go that much smoother. If you watch through their collection of about 30 build videos filmed so far, you’ll notice they are beyond resourceful.

As they explain their plan, their steps and their progress, they go out of their way to source and reuse materials that are still of use but are bound for the landfill. Be it an old, lifeless fiberglass hull or an ancient, rusty band saw, fans of Louis Sauzedde who have become endeared to his tool tuning and unusual tips will appreciate the organic nature of Steve and Alix’s build. They don’t mind if it takes them 10 years; they are mellow, crafty and they are calculated. Nothing is being done half-assed or in a hurry. They are methodical and determined, just like Lou. They are masters of the tools they have at their disposal and they are not obsessed with the latest and greatest from Festool or Makita – they are going to build themselves the sturdiest, best built boat they can, and then, once they move it from the woods of Western Mass to the water – they will go sailing. That is, after they learn how to sail.

Follow along with Alix and Steve and witness their journey to build an Atkins 38′ Ketch; a well known and revered bluewater sailboat that they intend to sail to any and every place they desire in their search for great places to go climbing. It might be a bit far off from their current state of affairs, but their intention is to document the building of Arabella, and then also the adventures aboard her. Join us as we welcome them to the ranks of boatbuilders we admire – as they learn their way around building a classic bluewater cruiser.

Here is their last 18 months on video to catch you up to their current work – pouring the lead keel. Enjoy!

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