Boat Building

Natale Fiocchi, Staff Reporter

The activities these friends do together are not like the rest. Seniors Dinyar Kadkhodaian, Pawel Michalski, Rygar Carvajal, Sean Santore, Stephen Adams and Sebastian Vargas started with an idea that they ended up making into a reality.

“About two months ago, I sat down and watched “Vikings” on the History Channel with my parents. During the first episode, Floki builds a boat for Ragnar, and I said, ‘Hey, I can do that’,” said Kadkhodaian. “So after that, I dropped the idea on Rygar, Pawel and Stephen in Calculus BC, and they were very skeptical about it. After about a week, I was finally able to convince them, and as we kept progressing, more people wanted to be a part of it.”

Once these guys were all on the same page and willing to make the boat happen, they needed to determine cost of supplies and timing.IMG_2814 IMG_2832 IMG_2820

“It took about two months to construct the boat, but we mostly worked weekends with a couple of weekdays mixed in when we had early releases or half days at school. We usually worked from Saturday afternoon to the early hours of Sunday morning,” said Michalski. “I don’t think any of us had any prior experience with power tools, so there was a bit of a learning curve at the beginning as well. We also didn’t follow any guides or instructions to make the boat, so there was a lot of on-the-spot thinking and ‘winging it’ involved in the process. I don’t know the exact amount of money it cost to build the boat, but it easily exceeded $200-300.”
These guys had no prior experience with boat building except for concepts learned in their physics and calculus classes. They knew getting into it that there would be challenges, but a main concern became the sealing of the boat.
“We were very concerned about the boat being sealed, and we used a large amount of sealant on it. The big issue came when we tested it on the water and realized it was not centered well. The boat needed ballast that none of us had thought about. Also, the entire boat followed no design whatsoever,” said Kadkhodaian. “It’s pretty incredible, considering we stretched plywood over a frame– that resulted in the wood overlapping and the side basically being glued on– and built the mast out of a simple wooden dowel.”
Despite these issues, the group deemed their boat launch a success, considering it was their first.  Not only were they able to build such a contraption, but they were also able to make it float.
“My favorite part was being able to build this boat with my friends and have an amazing memory to take with me from my years here at MHS,” said Carvajal.
These guys consider themselves to be the type of people who will not let an obstacle stop them from a challenge, so they do have a goal of a second attempt at the “MHS Unsinkable,” as they would like to call it.
“My favorite part about doing this was the fact that we were building a friendSHIP (pun intended). Would we do it again, yes, we already plan to start again soon,” said Santore.

According to Michalski, plans for a second boat would be even better, as they already know what issues to anticipate and where they need to make improvements.