Saturday, September 25, 2010

To Mentor, or not to Mentor?

That is the question.

A stranger walked into my shop one hot Florida afternoon. A friendly transplant from the New Jersey shores. He had searched for a boat builder, on the internet.  Someone who would teach and guide him how to learn the art of wood working. When he found our webpage he just walked in and asked me if he could be my shadow for awhile.  He told us his name was Mike and he did some sort of environmental work along the eastern coast. My wife and I dubbed him, "Mystery Mike."

Mystery Mike has become a good friend of ours. We shared a  passion for working with wood. When he moved from New Jersey, he and his wife Katie sold their small sailboat.  He wanted another boat.  My custom wood boats were a little over his price level, so together, we decided that I will provide Mike with boat plans, wood, tools, supplies, and of course my expertise; and he will build a my Shipwright Shop!

There is a lot to consider before launching such an enterprise. Liability is a BIG ONE. Time conflicts is another. How much money to charge, the length of time it will take, and how much material will cost in the end are very good questions I asked myself. The challenge, the interchange between the teacher, and student sharing a passion for wood working was too appealing for me to toss the endeavor aside!

So, Mysterious Mike has come to the Shipwright Shop, in between his (what does he do exactly?) work, and slowly has been building his sailing dingy. We are still wondering what he is going to name her? Mystery?  As we say at the Shipwright Shop, generally the name will eventually present itself.