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NYC students launch hand-built boats on the Hudson (slide show)

City kids who just a year ago knew little to nothing about design, building or boats set sail inside six-foot vessels they built themselves from scratch.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Brooklyn Boatworks student boat launch on the Hudson River

On the morning of Tuesday, June 11, the sun was out, the surf was up and a small group of students (in grades 4 through 9) from five Brooklyn schools launched and set sail on the Hudson in the Optomist Pram sailboats they had built by hand in a yearlong program with Brooklyn Boatworks. The program, designed to foster "perseverance, cooperation, craftsmanship and learning by doing," taught the schoolkids how to transform sheets of plywood into bona fide sailboats, from building a scale model to cutting the 42 pieces needed to form the boat and putting them together with the stitch-and-glue method. They also, of course, learned how to sail. Most kids had little knowledge of design, building, sailing or the waterways of New York City when they started the program. How did it feel? Says eighth grader Gaby Astacio from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, “Building an Opti has been an amazing experience. It’s really cool to be able to tell people that I made a boat, not many people get to say that. To see our final product today after working so hard on it, you get this huge sense of pride and accomplishment and it feels awesome!”


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