Monday, August 10, 2009

Skipping Fish Boat School

Kimberly Hillerich's Butchertown school and business is presenting a new angle on connecting people with Kentucky's waterways. The founder of the Skipping Fish Boat School is providing a hands on experience, for youth and adults alike, to learn how to build their own kayaks, and how to safely enjoy our local waterways. Located across the street from Creation Gardens on Washington Street, the shop had at least 15 boats in various stages of the building process when I visited it last week. Kimberly was most welcoming, and let me tool around the shop, snap a few pictures, and inquire about the beautiful boats they were making.

Each boat has custom size that depends on the paddler- typically the width is measured at the builder's hips, plus to fists for wiggle room. The length is roughly 3ft long for every foot tall the paddler is (ie- a 6ft tall paddler's boat would be 18ft long). The construction method they use is called the "Frame and Skin" which involves making the lightweight frame and stretching a skin over it to make it watertight. Traditionally this was done with seal skins, but that method has been replaced with nylon which is lighter and more durable.

If you are a current paddler, or just looking for more information on how to get involved, follow the link above!

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