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Kids get their sea-legs in handmade boats • Brooklyn Paper

Kids get their sea-legs in handmade boats

Anchors aweigh: Kids get ready to launch their sailboats at Pier 4 Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Float on!

Youngsters took to the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Thursday morning, sailing on boats made by a hardworking group of kids from Red Hook.

“I’m really excited,” said Micah Fisher, 10, shortly before he put his landlubber days behind him. “It’s really cool that kids made them.”

The boats were the product of the after-school program BoatWorks, which teaches kids carpentry skills and then puts them to work at building their own small, completely functional sailboats. The program, founded in 2005, teaches life skills, confidence, and the satisfaction of seeing a project through, an organizer said.

The boats are in ship-shape, and that is pretty much all the kids’ doing, administrator Allyssa Ringler said.

“We make sure students are on task and that the boats are seaworthy, but the kids really do 95 percent of the work,” she said.

Only one student from the program made it out on Thursday to launch the boat he made, but a group of other kids, some with parents connected to the program, got to take the vessels for a spin around the inlet at Pier 4 Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“Looking at the city from the water like that gives kids a new perspective of the city,” Ringler said. “Even for the kids who didn’t build boats, knowing that people their age built boats that actually float is really empowering.”

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhuro‌witz@‌cnglo‌cal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz

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