Building the Bouchie Dory Pt. 22 – Installing grounding shoes

Funny little story to go with this one. When I got out of boatbuilding school I got a job working for an old time BC Forestry Service shipwright. His name was Ed McGeachy. Ed worked from a home based shop with his son Dean. The both wore grey overalls with name tags, which I found hilarious given that nobody ever showed up there that didn’t know them personally.

I worked for them in two different stints of six months and while I do call it an apprenticeship, I never actually saw Ed pick up a tool except for one brief five minute spin on a bench plane. He mostly just wandered around the place and told you stories.

Dean was in charge of warranty work on small aluminum boats while all the wooden boats fell on my shoulders.

Ed had done his apprenticeship as a repair shipwright at Chris Craft in Vancouver. It was a dealership which had a repair shop for warranty work and moorage for daily commuters who would use their boats to buzz into downtown from their homes on the North shore. Ed would touch up varnish while they were at work and other such things.

With this history under his belt, Ed billed himself as an expert in wooden runabouts and so we would mostly get classic powerboats in for repairs. We would get the odd fibreglass canoe in for a rehab which meant paint and trimming it out with wood. Never liked working on those then and turn most of them away today.

Ed would present me with a new project and ask me what my repair strategy would be and for the most part he trusted me to go my own way but when he did offer up some guidance it would always include the installation of a “listing strip”.

Now Ed tossed this term at just about any part of a boat regardless of what anybody else called it. He said that he had been boatbuilding so long that he had forgotten the proper names for most parts of the boat. So it was “better add a listing strip there”; “That listing strip looks pretty pooched out, better scarf in a new one”; “Just look at the rot in that listing strip, and it’s on the move!”; “Can you believe it, there isn’t a single listing strip in this whole boat?!” 

The one thing that Ed never called a listing strip was listing strips.

So whats the point of this story? Thos little bilge shoes I put on the dory…those ARE actually listing strips.