Over 2,500 years ago, the Chinese philosopher said:
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves"
Yesterday, John Kerschbaum, the Minnestona gondola owner told me:
"Before you seek to replace the bottom of your gondola,
dig two holes"
The plywood bottom has been failing for the past few years.
I don't want it to be a problem during the gondola Nationals.
So it's time to put new plywood on the bottom.
I'm totally intimidated by this project.
1. is that I have never done this before.
2. is you never know what you're going to find when you start taking it apart.
I have a feeling that I have my work cut out for me.
The second hole.
Holes in the ground are nothing new when it comes to gondolas.
No squero in Venice is complete without a hole or two in the shop floor - used for the same reason.
Outsiders might question why.
Why not just lift the boat up a bit higher?
But by keeping the boat lower, you have easier access to the bottom planking, where the work needs to be done.
My friends in Minnesota are an inventive group of guys.
Here we see that they've employed a clever type of lifting frame.
Of course you can't rely entirely on gear.
You've gotta have guys too.
Having your gondoliers involved gives them ownership of the work too.
One guy has two fingers behind his buddy's head,
the other is about to pour water on his fellow gondolier.
Looks like they have a healthy sense of humor.
Best of luck to John, Michael and Noah on their new challenge.
Gondoliers all over the country look forward to rowing that boat during Nationals in October.