"Our goal was to build the perfect family motor boat," says Wendy Welshans, Director of Forman School's Outdoor Leadership and Rainforest Project. "We wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing and fun to use." And on October 11, the 14-foot solar-powered motor boat was launched onto Bantam Lake and is now available for purchase by emailing Assistant Head of School for Institutional Advancement Justin Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds will benefit the Forman Annual Fund.
Constructed by students in the Forman Boat Works program, the work was done in 20 months spread over three years. Based on a model called the "Julie Forman," the new boat is the result of design changes by students with input from Welshans who calls the new boat the "Julie Forman II." It weighs 180 pounds and can be strapped to the top of a vehicle for easy transport. The Julie Forman II can carry 1,000 pounds and provides a sturdy, calm ride.
"We wanted it to handle coastal and lake waters," says Welshans. "And we wanted it to be perfect. And the kids really respected the mission. We rebuilt the transom seven times and redid the seats three times." The main builders were Andrew Dombrowksi '20, Daniel Buckley '20, Keen Ruffalo '19, Anna Tavon '19, Milo Corrigan '19, Tom Shimmield '18, Logan Faucett '17, and Ali Eakman '17.
"The students did the work," says Welshans. "I was there to advise and maintain the standard of perfection. And I never made a decision without input from the students."
Building this boat was a passion project for the students. Their dedication paid off with a beautiful boat and a wonderful way to support the School. "They learned a lot about craftsmanship and holding yourself to a high standard," says Welshans. "There were a lot of moments of one step up and two steps back. But they persevered and made a beautiful boat they can always remember with pride."
Click here to see photos of the boat launch.