Middle School Launches Fourth Boat Building Season

The 2017 Boat Building season is nearly complete, marking the Middle School’s fourth annual journey into designing and creating a sustainable, functional canoe from scratch. Eleven students have been meeting once a week after school since March to complete their boat and will launch it in Deal Lake June 3rd.
Ranney’s Boat Builders, advised by Middle School Art Teacher Madeline McCarthy and Project U.S.E., a nonprofit educational organization that provides experiential learning opportunities to children and adults, include: Zach Baron, Ryan Biswal, Winston Kelenc-Blank, Lucca Labanco, Samantha Lazzaro, Chris Morale, Ross Mucciolo, Matthew Raccuia, Tucker Scott, Vik Shah, and Rishi Sondhi.

You can follow highlights of the students' progress, in their words, and photos throughout the project on this page.
Week 1 - Blueprinting
We learned the basic skills needed for creating a boat, including the terminology. We created several paper boats as blueprints. - Rishi Sondhi
In our first week, we held intense boat building competitions. We had to create as many origami boats as possible in 3 minutes. The most interesting part was putting down the measurements on the marine plywood, which is made out pine trees. We will use these measurements and lines to cut out the boat’s pieces next week. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us next! - Ross Mucciolo  
Week 2 – Cutting the wood
I’d never cut through anything before, so this was an experience for me. Our group got to cut out the boat from wood, and it was quite a sight to see us holding down the wood or on our knees and watching the blade from below…. Next time, I would like it better without the smell of sawdust! - Zach Baron
We had added Gussets (material sewn into a garment to strengthen or enlarge a part of it) to the design of the boat. Then we took both pieces of wood and used a saw to cut out the pieces. We performed multiple jobs, including serving as table monitor to make sure we didn’t cut the table. - Ross Mucciolo
Week 3 - Drilling & Construction

In our third week, we made epoxy, a combo of resin and hardener. After applying the epoxy, we glued the board on and used nails to solidify it, and then removed the nails. Quite odd, but definitely fun! - Zach Baron
Today, the four main pieces of the boat are coming together. We are combining them by adding side blocks. To secure the wood and epoxy, we drilled in pilot holes and attached screws. - Rishi Sondhi
Today we are using a bear claw saw to cut the wood. It is really cool to use the saw and learn how to cut wood. I think I can say that me and my peers we are learning new things such as making epoxy, using drills, and saws – and it is very fascinating. - Samantha Lazzaro
This class is apparently the most dangerous one, though it’s still really fun! - Vik Shah

Weeks 4 & 5 - Beginning to Build/Team Building
"This week, we started removing the nails since the pieces of wood were connected by epoxy. After that, we went outside to do trust and team-building exercises. We did trust falls and afterwards, said what we were feeling during the exercise like if we trusted the person catching us. We went back inside and separated into two groups. One group drew their own models of boats and the others put more pieces on the boat." -Ross Mucciolo

"We drew dreamboats and continued building." -Lucca Labanco

"This week, we started with the fourth step in the building procedure. We unscrewed the screws and put the oars on the bow of the boat." -Samantha Lazzaro (view a video with Samantha on Week 4's progress)
We started to actually create the sides of the boat. Now it looks like a boat, without an under neath." -Rishi Sondhi

Weeks 6 & 7 - Framing & Stabilizing
“We cut the wood to hold the frame of the boat. We also made epoxy and unscrewed the screws from the previous class.” –Vik Shah
“We started unscrewing the screws from the boat because after 24 hours the epoxy is permanent. One group was creating more epoxy to add parts to the boat and the other was cutting out the pieces to attach to the boat.” -Ross Mucciolo.
“Today we cut big pieces of wood to form the bottom of the boat. We used a saw and created lines to follow when cutting. Then we created more epoxy so that we could hold the floor of the boat together.” –Chris Morale
“On Week 7, we cut out the bottom of the boat. We also did an experiment with clay, as we made boats to see which could hold more weight. Vik’s boat held 95 grams!” -Zachary Baron
“We made clay boats to see how much weight they could hold. We also put the oars on.” -Samantha Lazzaro

View a video with Lucca on the epoxy process.
Week 8: Attaching the Bottom

“This time we placed epoxy all on the bottom of the boat. We then put the bottom of the boat on and drilled it into the boat. After that, we will come up with a design to paint and color the boat with. I can’t wait till we put the boat on the water and get on it!” -Ross Mucciolo
“Today we calculated the amount of weight the boat can hold. We also finished the bottom of the boat.” -Vik Shah
2017 Photo Galleries

Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777
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