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Attention to detail, persistence, and striving for perfection...but never quite achieving it. These are attributes I put into my career as a researcher and are remarkably similar to the skills I apply to boat building. What you see pictured are thousands of imperfections that, I humbly assert, coalesce into something extraordinarily beautiful. I started working at HCA four years ago; six years ago I started this boat project.
Constructing a boat or a research project does not require extraordinary skill. They do require dogged persistence and acceptance of small failures. I'm in my workshop nearly every evening and most every weekend. Consistent attention—the only way to get a project of this magnitude across the finish line. Another parallel? Research and boat-building are about problem solving. You don't always have exactly what you need, but you craft a direction that will work.
Having a hobby to distract me after the stresses of the workday are critical to my well-being and mental health. Of course, a project of this magnitude teeters toward obsession, but I manage to find a proper balance between work, family, and hobby/obsession.
My masterpiece is almost ready for launch…some final problems to solve, some fit-and-finish items, and a state inspection await. I know that will be an emotional day…the name of the boat a tribute to my father with the font a stylized version of his handwriting. If you visit Charleston, I’ll give you a ride.