Deadline of a Christmas boat: hurry up!
We have a deadline: we must launch our third workboat before Christmas. Because… we have holiday plans with it. Will we succeed?
It is rarely quiet in our workshop. We chisel, saw, drill and weld. Lunchtime at 1pm is a sparse quiet moment. ‘The pastor’s coming for a visit’, as Edwin calls it. Tired faces around the hot stove, who quietly eat their sandwiches. Tired but satisfied. Especially in winter time. And especially this year.
What makes our builders this satisfied? The construction of the third workboat, the ‘Karperkuil’, is sky rocketing. Let’s tell you why.
Cause #1: The bending oven works!
As we wrote in our previous blog, we now have a ‘bending oven’ to bend the plastic frames of the boat. Schermer Installatietechniek donated this tool, and after a month the boat building team can only say: “This thing is amazing!” (And no, we have not prepared this statement with Schermer…)
We are building this third boat at lightning speed. Volunteer Marco: “Previously, we often spent three days fitting one of the frames. Mind numbing work. Thanks to the bending oven, we already have a kind of semi-finished product, which we only have to finish. Just like shipbuilding in the 17th century.”
Back in those days, people worked with ‘semi- finished products’ from nature. “We’re actually doing a kind of modern experimental archeology here,” Marco (huge history fan) explains. “At the time, frames were made of ‘krommerts’; crooked branches or trunks found in nature. These had a natural crooked shape and therefore easily fit into the boat. And that saved them many hours of work.”
Just like now: we save about a month of manual labor per boat.
Cause #2: we have a deadline
We have (again) started an experiment: we have a deadline. The Karperkuil must be finished before Christmas. Why is this special? Well, we don’t have those very often, because deadlines are stressful. Most people who work with us thrive on structure and a peaceful environment. This makes that they can pick themselves up again and work on personal growth and a future perspective.
But this is a different kind of deadline, says Marco. “Many of us came here because we set the bar (too) high for ourselves: in that case a deadline can be frustrating. Especially if it is an unachievable one. But launching the boat before the holidays is a very feasible goal, especially now that we have this bending oven. Now such a deadline suddenly makes that we get into the flow.”
Cause #3: there is FLOW
How did that happen? This combination of speed and deadline creates a high rush, we discuss next to a sweltering stove. The pastor is not here today. Suddenly we have a common goal, explains builder Daan, sandwich in hand. And this really motivates.
“When I haven’t been at the workshop for two days and I come back, the sheer plank* is attached. It goes that fast. Everyone is in this state of flow and is completely absorbed in their work. It’s good to have such a common goal, I didn’t have that in my previous work.”
Marco, who has already helped building two workboats, acknowledges this. “The boat is growing under your hands. And if something doesn’t work, we discuss how we are going to solve it, together. That creates energy and team spirit.”
Many team building events can learn from this.
The more results the builders see, the more motivated and proud they become, the more people grow. The result? Shining faces. Young people who didn’t dare to look you in the eye two months ago, are now starting a conversation themselves. Parents and spouses who are proudly being invited by their loved ones to show off the boat. Future plans are being made again.
(*Part of the boat. Ps. We are still working on a ‘workboat ABC’.)
Plans with the Christmas boat!
The boat is almost ready and the team is now working on the carpentry and fittings. So we will definitely meet that deadline. Easily, it seems. And that’s a good thing, because we have plans with our Christmas boat! Which… you’ll hear more about soon. Follow us on social media!