Time Lapse

Still Frame


(to start of project)

The Time Bending theme continues.

Finished up the Time Lapse video last night, and have it posted now. You’ll recall at the start of the project I put an old video camera on a tripod in the corner of the basement.


It was set to record a half second of video every ten minutes, and was always on while I was working. It captured the whole two and a half year project – from cutting the molds all the way through the Birthing Party – and compresses it into one hour of time.

The raw footage is great fun to see. Seasons change, days fade into night, we grow older. People come and go. Some are gone for good now – our dog Beatrice, and a woodworking friend who appears briefly, have both passed on. Little details, those that normally change so slowly you don’t notice them – like the stack of wood strips diminishing as the boats grow, coatings of sawdust building then cleaned away, stains slowly spreading on the freshly painted walls – all become clearly visible when time accelerates. You can see I spent a lot of time just looking and thinking, trying to figure things out, and tasks that I remember taking a tremendous amount of preparation take only moments to execute.








In total, it gives a very realistic overview of how a boat building project like this proceeds. It becomes “a boat” almost immediately, and you say to yourself “Wow, I’m almost done!” But each step closer to the destination is smaller and takes longer than the one before – ultimately the last 10% of the work takes 90% of the time. Which is why I’ve been so abysmally bad at estimating when they would be finished. But if anything, the activity actually increases as the end approaches.

No one but us will be nearly as interested in watching a whole hour of this stuff. So, I’ve sped it up further, and condensed the the whole hour – the whole two and a half years – down to five minutes:


Youtube link: Boat Building Time Lapse

melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed   


9 Replies to “Time Lapse”

  1. It is my belief that time is a human construct. The universe takes no notice of our hours, days and years. Must be why we invented time lapse photography. The view from a distance must look much like this.
    I’d like to see the rough editor’s cut.

  2. A water heater, yes. Of course. Isn’t a water heater included in all your boat plans? As was a dishwasher and microwave, which were just off camera.

    I’m very keen on changing perspective, just to see what hasn’t been noticed before. So Doryman, for the sake of discussion, how long an “extended cut” would you be interested enough to watch? Youtube keeps telling me I can upload videos longer than 15 minutes, but I don’t know where the limit actually is.

    1. The longest video up on YouTube is actually almost 600 hours long so that gives you quite a bit of room to work. I would love to see an extended cut as well. Beautiful boats by the way.

  3. Thanks for sharing your building and sailing experiences on youtube. I have viewed and reviewed the videos a number of times. Great job on the melonseeds! I have the plans from theWoodenboat Store and hope make use of them over the winter. Was there a less condensed version of your time lapse building video posted? It was all well done.

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