Hand-built wooden rowboat getting ready to hit the water in Marquette

She’s been three years in the making, but the Marquette Longboat Project is near fruition. Completely built by hand we couldn’t wait to showcase this boat and decided to give you a sneak peek at the community-based project.

It’s the boat that Mike, Tim, Mark and Jeff built — a 32-footer with six oars. More than a thousand days and countless hours were put into ‘Lark’, as she’ll be called.

“It’s one of those projects that when you get started it might be eight hours a day because it’s a labor of love,” boat crew spokesperson Jerry Irby said. “This was a learning process they made their own patterns, developed their own concepts, it’s going to be exciting to see this baby on Lake Superior.”

When completed, ‘Lark’ will be a true community boat. Requests will be taken to assist for work, recreation and even rowing competitions. The Longboat Project only exists because of community support and donations.

“Many people have donated. This is a thousand and thousands of dollars project, and if you add in the labor, you are talking $25,000 to build a boat like this,” Irby said. “People have put in $25. We just got a contribution for $200. We can use anything we can get.”

This will be the first wooden boat of its kind in the area. You can follow the progress of the Marquette Longboat Project on its Facebook page.