Near the end of January we published a post detailing work our friend Oscar was doing on a new boat. Oscar is a skilled maestro boat builder who lives by us and works with the Norte fishing group in San Clemente, Ecuador. I rode my bicycle over to the area he was working in and took pictures almost every day for the two or three weeks that Oscar was actively working on the boat. The first group of pictures can be found at: https://johnandmarylivingitupinecuador.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/boat-building-part-two/.
In the days that followed that post I got the following pictures of Oscar working on his new barca.
As I have commented before, Oscar has some power tools, but does most of his work with hand tools working from plans recorded in his memory.
In a matter of only a few days the boat took shape as Oscar made careful measurements and lovingly assembled his masterpiece.
Once again notice the tools of the trade:
Some final planning and sanding needed to be done before the barca was ready to be moved to the workshop of another maestro for the application of the fiberglass.
At this point, I waited to publish this post expecting the boat would be returned to the Norte fishing enclave and put into service like the boat we featured with the Old Navy paint job. A couple of weeks ago I was talking with Oscar and asked him when the boat would be back in San Clemente for me to get pictures. He told me the boat was to be sold to some fishermen in San Jacinto and I thought that perhaps I would not get pictures of the final product.
But, this afternoon Oscar asked me if I wanted to drive over to San Aleo (a small town between San Clemente and San Jacinto) to see the work the fiberglass maestro had completed. I parked my bicycle next to a row of boats and hopped into Oscar’s truck for the ride over to San Aleo.
One quick side-note — Oscar has a truck that is about fifteen years old, but looks like it is less than a year old. He keeps cardboard on the floor mats and has a rag that he uses to wipe off the truck even as he is driving along. He also works to keep his truck in good condition by driving about five miles an hour and nearly stopping at each speed bump and pot hole along the way. We made the perhaps two-mile trip to San Aleo in a near record thirty minutes! We were able to greet and even talk with each pedestrian we were passed by!
Anyway it was worth the trip and I really enjoyed visiting and talking with Oscar. The fiberglass expert told me that he mixes paint with the fiberglass and makes many separate applications. There are still one or two applications of fiberglass and paint needed, especially on the interior, but this is Oscar’s latest creation:
We visited with five or six workmen at the site who all told me that Oscar is the undisputed best boat builder in San Clemente and San Jacinto. Oscar was a bit abashed by the recognition, but did not hear much of it as he kept walking around the boat running his hands along the sides and sighting down the lines of his work of art.
I learned that a boat like this would sell for about $2,500 dollars and a good engine might cost as much as $4,000 dollars. Whoever bought this one got a beauty made by an expert craftsman who we are glad to call, “Amigo!”
Life is good in Ecuador.