In April 2016 Steve Denette began fulfilling his lifelong dream to build a sailboat that he would one day sail around the world. Together with his friend Alix Kreder they started a YouTube channel titled “Acorn to Arabella” to chronicle the adventure of building a 38 foot wooden twin masted sailing ship that would sleep five people. Built on Steve’s family farm in western Massachusetts their boat the Arabella is constructed out of trees that they harvested off of the family property. Supported by YouTube and Patreon they were eventually able to quit their regular day jobs and devote all of their efforts to building this magnificent boat. The project is also supplemented by volunteers who come from all over the world to be a part of this fascinating project.
When they begin the project, neither of them had any boatbuilding experience. Steve studied boatbuilding books extensively and has consulted with local shipwrights. Alix had studied photography in college but knew little about video editing or managing a YouTube channel. What has emerged from these humble beginnings as a series of weekly videos chronicling the building of the ship and teaching what they have learned themselves along the way in hopes to help other amateur shipbuilders to learn from their experience. They say they want these videos to be the kind of thing that they wish they had had when I started.
Now more than three years later as the boat is beginning to take shape and this dream is about to become a reality they are saying thank you to all the volunteers and donations by paying it forward and helping out on another project. They recently posted a video about a group of New England shipbuilders who are planning to travel to Costa Rica in February to help out with a project there called “SAILCARGO”. That project centers around building a wooden cargo ship that will be used to transport supplies between local communities in Costa Rica and it will also train local people shipbuilding and blacksmithing skills.
Together with other New England shipbuilders they are collecting tools to be donated to the Costa Rica project. They plan to fill a shipping container with donated tools of all kinds which will then be transported to Costa Rica to support the efforts of SAILCARGO.
Here is the video talking about the SAILCARGO and project.
Here’s more information about “Acorn to Arabella”.
Of particular interest you might want to see this interview with Steve and Alix that talks about the origins of the Acorn to Arabella project. New videos are posted weekly as the boatbuilding progresses.