First You Have to Row a Little Boat

Inspired by an article in Cruising World, a reader builds pint-sized dinghies for his grandchildren.

Kid dinghies

Dan Herold

I enjoyed the article by Don Street "Setting the Record Straight: Marks Ark" in April 2012 issue of Cruising World, but it caused some confusion in my mind. Was this was the inspiration for the dinghies I built? Whom I should thank?

The first time I saw anything like this boat was in Cruising World, June 2001, in the Hands-On Sailor article by Danny Greene titled "My First Boat" and was very impressed with the tiny dinghy he had made for his son Jacob. I thought it was so adorable, that I clipped the article and ordered the plans from him and filed them away.

A fun, time-lapse video of the boats' construction

At the time, I didn't have any grandchildren, but was pretty sure that I would someday. I was right and in June 2008 my granddaughter, Kadence, was born. In January 2009 my granddaughter, Taylor, was born, and in April 2009 my grandson, Scout, was born. Soon they would all need their own boats.

In 2010 I built three of these boats for my grandkids. I had a great time building the boats and everyone just loves them. Whenever we are at the lake with these boats, they always draw attention.

In July 2011 the twins Dax & Finn were born and in September 2011 Carter was born. Senna, born in July 2009, will also need one. I now have four more boats to build!

Although Mark's Ark is not the same as the boats I built, it is very similar.

I'm not sure whom to thank, so I would like to thank Cruising World, Don Street, Bruce Bingham, and Danny Greene for helping me create a wonderful boat for my grandkids.

Dan Herold
Anchorage, Alaska