GRANBY, MASS. (WHDH) - A self-taught shipbuilder from Granby is getting ready to set sail.
Steve Denette decided back in 2014 that he was going to build a wooden sailboat and sail it around the world, despite having no prior boat-building or sailing experiences.
What Denette did have was determination, some trees and a YouTube account to document the journey.
“When I started, a lot of people said you know, you’re crazy, and a lot of people never thought we would finish,” said Denette.
Now eight years later, Denette and his friend are almost finished building the 38-foot sailboat.
The journey, which is documented by weekly videos on YouTube, is called “Acorn to Arabella.”
“Arabella” is Denette’s name for the boat.
“Acorn” refers to the fact that the boat is being built from scratch, with 90% of its lumber sourced onsite from his family’s farm in Granby, which means a lot to Denette.
“The main mast is spruce that we harvested from the front yard that my great-grandfather planted when I was a little kid,” said Denette. “And I can look at different boards and parts of the boat and tell you exactly what tree in the forest they came out of. And that connection is really important to me. It’s kinda like taking a piece of the farm and bringing it around the world.”
The project has grown over the years, now with four full-time employees working on the boat. They’ve also gained hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube.
Denette said he hopes the videos inspire as many people as possible.
“It’s my favorite thing to hear from the channel,” he said. “When I hear people were inspired to do something, that’s my favorite.”
The boat is set to launch from a port in Connecticut next June.
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