Once upon a time in 1997 I was walking through Bunnings in Parafield South Australia and there amongst the drills, watering cans and extension leads was a woodworking magazine that caught my eye. On the front cover was a sub-heading ‘How to build your own 10ft dinghy.’ My interest was suitably aroused by the potential of these words so I grabbed the magazine and proceeded to ponder. “Would such a thing really be possible?”
The team at DRIVE Marine Services (DMS) joined together with The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) and Institute of Industrial Arts Technology Education (IIATE) for the first time in 2016 to host the inaugural Novice Canoe Building Challenge at the 2016 Sydney Classic & Wooden Boat Festival (C&WBF). The challenge involved teams of students from Carlingford, Pennant Hills and Turramurra High Schools and Lumen Christi Catholic College constructing a Bellinger Double Chine Canoe in three days at the Sydney C&WBF held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour from April 15-17, 2016. The supervising teachers also joined in and made their own canoe in between supervising the students which was fairly easy with such a motivated group.