By Surinder Moore
After retiring from years as a Corporate Executive, Richard Roberge decided he would change his woodworking hobby and try something new. He took a boa-making class. When we were first approached to cover the story, our initial thought was that we were talking about model boats, but Richard was actually talking about the kind of boats you climb into and sail off into the horizon in. Once we got over the fact that you don’t often hear of a retiree building boats, we got into the actual “how and what” of Richard’s new hobby—Canoe Building.
It began with a Cedar Strip Canoe Building class at Hill Institute, which offers many arts and crafts classes at its Florence, Massachusetts, facility. Richard was no stranger to crafting things made of wood, and he had already been making cabinets for a while before deciding to take the canoe-building class. But as Richard explained, “For anyone who delves into a hobby, you reach a point where you need to do something new to challenge your skills.