Though the date of the photo is still unknown, Crescent City resident Richard Evanow says he saw the boat take shape.
Featured in a Sept. 25 edition of “Yesterdays: From the Triplicate Archives,” the boat was constructed on Parkway Drive in Crescent City, Evanow said in an email Friday. He said he thinks it was built at Dickson Concrete and was able to outline how such a vessel is created.
“The idea is to make a ‘plug’ out of wood using light wood over wooden frames to the shape of the vessel you want,” Evanow said. “Then it is covered with 20-ounce visqueen stapled to the wooden plug. Next, chicken wire is stapled to the plug. About four layers of chicken wire is used.”
Quarter inch steel rods are then stapled over the chicken wire, Evanow said. Two more layers of chicken wire are stapled over the rods and a one-inch layer of Ferrocement is troweled over the plug, he said. When that has hardened, blankets or gunny sack material is put over the upside-down boat with light water sprayed on the hardened cement. It’s then left to harden for about a month, Evanow said.
“Once it is ‘cured’ the whole boat is turned right side up and the wooden plug is taken out,” he said. “If done right, the vessel will keep hardening for the next 30 years. In the picture, one can see a roll of chicken wire that is ready to be stapled to the wooden plug that has been covered with Visqueen. The Visqueen is to help keep the Ferrocement sticking to the wooden plug.”
Visqueen is plastic sheeting that’s also used as a temporary tarpaulin, a drop cloth when painting, to cover concrete as it sets, to line decorative ponds and to cover the ground before applying stone or wood chips to prevent weeds.
Evanow, who’s almost 89 years old, said he was a fisherman and had seen a lot of new boats being built.
“This was something new hitting the coast here,” he said. “People could build one in the backyard without having lots of intelligence of what’s going on.”
A few of these boats could be found in “just about every harbor,” Evanow said.