Almost every man feels the burning urge once in his life to build his own wooden boat. In his newest book, (1998), Tom Kelly strays—though not too far—from wild turkeys to narrate the story behind his handmade boat, whose primary purpose was “that of moving a hunter across bodies of water of one size or another, to reduce the distance between the gun and the game.” Since the construction of this boat coincides with Kelly’s career in the timber industry, his humorous narrative embraces both.
Along the way we meet classic Kelly characters—people with whom he worked, with whom he served in the military, and those he simply ran into. Each person inadvertently affected Kelly’s boat by donation parts, offering unwanted construction advice, sharing trips in the finished product, or, in the end, actually acquiring it, when Kelly finally caved in and bought a “beaver-proof” fiberglass boat.
Both hilarious and knowledgeable, The Boat will teach the reader about work, war, friendship, and the importance of building one’s own boat.