I forgot to mention a few things in my previous blog entry.
The first is that some years after finishing my canoe, I got the bug to build another one. This time without the mistakes, or at least with new and better mistakes. So I bought the Harrowsmith Press book Canoecraft.
One of the prime reasons I’d wanted to build a canoe in the first place was lusting after the canoes from Bear Mountain Canoebuilders, and this book was written by the owner of Bear Mountain, so I knew it would be good. And it is good. But the most important thing I discovered in that book was that Ted Moores, the guy who built those perfect canoes that I’d coveted for years and years, in describing every detail of his canoe shop, pointed out his “crying chair”. Yes, Mr. Perfection himself every now and then felt the need to sit down, cry about the mistake he’d just made, compose himself and figure out how to fix it. Suddenly I felt a lot better about my own tears.
I don’t know if it was in the version of the book when I used it, but the website for the book I used in the first place, David Hazen’s “Strippers Guide to Canoe Building” has a Builder’s Pep Talk online. The most important part, at least in my experience is:
Soon after that release I realized that not one of my customers ever saw those mistakes. They were usually too overwhelmed by the charisma of the boat and ignorant of what small details composed the multitude of “mistakes” that went into every boat.