Trevor Shannon builds a plywooden boat to take out on San Francisco Bay

by Linda Hubbard on August 11, 2013

Editor’s note: During the Maker Faire earlier this year, Scott R. Kline photographed a number of participants who call Menlo Park their home base. Pictured is Trevor Shannon with his plywooden boat, a DIY wooden vessel for exploring the San Francisco Bay, made of a single sheet of 4mm plywood and sealed with epoxy resin and fiberglass.  The boat has GPS and a homemade depth-finder for mapping the Bay floor. Trevor and his inventor partner Matt Ball have taken the boat out on the Bay.

InMenlo: What brought you to Menlo Park?

Trevor: I came to Menlo Park from the East Coast to work for the Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab as mechatronics engineer. I’m currently doing research for VW.

InMenlo: What did you decided to build the plywooden boat?

Trevor: My friend (Matt Ball) and I decided to build the boat as a reason to build something. We both enjoy creating things and figured it would be fun to build a vehicle of some kind.

InMenlo: Why was it important to you that it could withstand water of San Francisco Bay?

Trevor: Living so close to the Palo Alto Baylands, the Bay is really the only place to test the boat and take it out.  However, we found early on that she is much more stable in the calm waters of inlets and sloughs than in the Bay proper.

InMenlo: Did you participate in any other Maker Faires around the country? If so, how do they compare with each other?

Trevor: I did participate in the Mini Maker Faire that happened in Cambridge (MA) a few years ago. It’s not really a fair comparison. It was smaller and had a local feel with fewer vendors than the Bay Area Maker Faire.

InMenlo: What is the next project that you’re thinking about taking on?

Trevor: Matt and I have some ideas for an Android app, so maybe that will be what we work on next.

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