I’m a pretty lucky guy,” says Richard Honan, 74, of Winthrop, Massachusetts. He has been building one boat after another since 2002, and in 2020 he had begun work on his 13th boat, a peapod, the Beach Pea designed by Doug Hylan, when the dark cloud of the pandemic hit , it had a silver lining for Richard. “My grandkids couldn’t go to school, and they would spend all that time with me building that peapod. Otherwise it never would have happened to have all day, every day, for weeks on end, for them to come work with me.”In addition to granddaughters Anna and Emily, one of the boys in Richard’s neighborhood, joined the project. “Christian Buonopane was getting dropped off from school. I didn’t even know him. I introduced myself and said, ‘Do you want to learn how to build a boat?’ He spent a year and a half with me.” Richard’s grandson, Ben, also joined in with the boat building and was instrumental in helping make the mast. “Ben is very quiet, sometimes even withdrawn.  I got him to come to the shop to help me make the poor man's hollow mast. He really got into it and couldn’t believe that with just hand tools, planes, and a sanding belt turned inside out we could make something as perfectly round as we did.”

Photographs courtesy of the Honan family

Christian, one of Richard’s neighbors, took up his invitation to build a boat and stayed with the project for one-and-a-half years.

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