Man: even as a child, i could draw and paint and sketch, but when I went fishing with my father, and first started with the boats, I realized, because I could build, that that offered a very creative way to make a living, in a way that actually worked in a functional way.
And when fishing came along. and boats in particular, I just knew that was an answer for a way to live. My name is Jerome Canning. I’m born on the island of Merasheen, but my growing up was in the town of Placentia. Well, growing up there was like every kid, I suppose, fun.
We would borrow dories and flats. What we would do, of course, is go rowing and diving and fishing from that little boat. There’s a lot of boat builders I know who, actually, their fathers were boat builders. But, when I learned boats, I did learn from the older gentlemen.
Most of these people, they were boat builder fishermen. And the way they learned how to build boats, was looking. Their whole boatbuilding knowledge was really just what was passed on out on the beach or in the shed. They never had plans.
No one worked from plans. They carried on the tradition of shaping the boat by their own eye. One good thing about boat building is there’s two sides of it. There’s the side that you build alone, and there’s the side that you build with a lot of other people.
Here, the wooden boat museum in winterton, I was hired for the skill of teaching workshops. There’s something about generosity that happens naturally in a workshop. There’s a certain generosity that comes out of people. Sharing their lives, and sharing their stories,.
And that, to me, i think is the most enjoyable. What’s important to me is that I do realize that I have a part to play in passing on knowledge that I learned from my parents’ generation, and they had learned from their parents’ generation.
I want my son to build a boat with me, I think for all the same reasons that I came into becoming a boat builder. I think they’re still valid today. If I can work with my son on it, I know that he would say, I learned to build with my father.
Boat Building on the Cape
For me, building a boat is a lot like raising a child. you do the best job you can with the tools you have, and if you work diligently, everything works out. We jut out in the North Atlantic Ocean about 30 miles. So, boats played a big role in everything that people have done here on Cape Cod throughout history. So it’s been important to us economically and it’s also a source of pride. We, all of us, whether we’re directly involved, as I am in the boat business or not, are on.
This unusual, even unique place with some unusual skills and craftsman, which is something you can’t say in other parts of the country. One of the great things about boat building is that we’re able to draw upon proven designs and proven techniques from our own boating experiences and incorporate that into the boats that we’re building today. Our boats are special, they’re unique, they’re handcrafted. And they have a soul. They’re built by our team, our crew with extreme care and a lot of love.
The end result is, of course, to satisfy the client. fortunately, for i think anybody who is in the business of naval architecture there is a tremendous amount of satisfaction for one’s self if the boat looks good, goes fast and gets the owner the places he always dreamed of going. My wife always kids me. To me, the best perfume would be something that smelled like sanded.
Old varnish. there are smells, tarred marline, sanded varnish, the smell of fresh paint when you walk into the shop after something has been painted. The cedar dust in the air, the smell of mahogany, the black stain that comes on your hand from working with honduras mahogany. It’s all, you know, the Zen of it. Because Cape Cod has this long tradition of boat building, we really retain those skills and traditions. And if you come to the Cape and you visit places like the museum and local boat builders, who will welcome you into their.