Welding Students Build and Test Boat

Students in Clark’s welding program are building a life-sized boat for the first time.

This will be the second project as a class.  Welding instructor John Kuhn said the idea for the boat was inspired by the success of the Winter quarter’s class, which built a steel pressure vessel.

The aluminum boat will be built to hold four people, or up to 1,040 pounds total.

“These projects are created to gear our students for the industry,” Kuhn said.

Plans for the 14-foot boat were purchased from a Canadian company called Cope Aluminum Boat Designs for about $300, according to David Jeffers, a student in the welding class. The boat is designed for a 20-horsepower motor.

Jeffers said the class will be testing the boat in the Columbia River in the coming weeks. Although hesitant, Jeffers said he trusts his classmates’ work and would ride in the boat on the river.

Jeffers said the most difficult part of the project was bending the front of the boat together, because it was hard to hold down while someone welded it. Another student, Jorge Galeas, said the aluminum front of the boat snapped back, giving him a deep scar on his left hand near his thumb.

After the test run, the class will be auctioning the boat for money to be put back into the welding program. Kuhn, who has been welding since 1977, said he would like to hold on to a piece of the history.

“My name will be at the top of the bidding list,” Kuhn said.

Jeffers said he enjoys teaching welding because of the “endless possibilities.”

Proudly looking at the boat, Jeffers said, “It is a work of art.”

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