Boat building in his blood

Port Rexton man launches latest vessel

Kevin Curley
Published on July 18, 2013
Sandy Hiscock admires his boat from the wharf in Champney's West.
Kevin Curly photo

A Port Rexton man has a unique and ambitious hobby.
Sandy Hiscock has just launched his newest boat, an 18-footer he plans to use for recreational fishing.

This is Hiscock's eighth boat in 32 years, having built six speedboats and two pond boats.

He does all the work from scratch, going as far as to use mostly wood he finds in the woods behind his house .

"I go into the woods and I get me boards, me plank and I get me crooked pieces to make the timbre. I bring that out and when I get ready, I take the crooked ones and I split 'em with a chainsaw and then I make my mold out of a piece of aluminum wire," says Hiscock.

Hiscock works on the project day-by-day putting in anywhere between one and four hours depending on how much free time he can afford. He worked on this most recent boat from April to October of last year.

"It's a great pass time. I always liked the boats and what work I did was on my own. My grandfather built a schooner back in the 1920s that was about 80 or 90 feet, I suppose boat building is in the blood," says Hiscock.

Hiscock says you need a keen eye to select the right pieces to build a boat. A crooked piece is needed to go around the front. Most of the boat is made from spruce timbre and the plank is fir. He says everything is screw bolted together.

"I could make the job a lot easier by buying the lumber but its nice to be able to go get it yourself. I have to take the logs to the sawmill and there is a guy there who'll plane them for me," he says.

He also makes paddles himself using a chainsaw to flatten the ends and then rounding out the handles with a plane.

He says the whole process is time consuming but it all fits in place after a while.

Hiscock's most recent speedboat was named "Last Try" because he planned for it to be his final effort but has since completed another pond boat.

"I'm going to put the new pond boat out by the side of the road and someone may want to buy it. I can get back my money for the materials for building her," he says.

Many in the community have admired Hiscock's work including some of the youngsters in town.

"I tell them down the road they'll probably learn to build one for themselves. I got a couple nephews that come up from Champney's and they get a kick out of it," said Hiscock.

With the boat being launched last week, Hiscock says he's just waiting for a nice calm day so he can get out and catch a few fish.