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Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow (and Ben Kahn!)

ben kahn
Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding Instructor Ben Kahn.

Congratulations to all the students and staff at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding who helped build the 2013 Whitehalls for the replication of John Wesley Powell’s journey down the Colorado River! The BBC will debut the film in England on Sunday, January 5, 2014! It is titled, “Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow.”

Ben Kahn, instructor extraordinaire, participated in the journey as the lead boat builder/carpenter. As he writes in his journal, “My adventure started when myself and eight students set out to build the two large Whitehall “Powell Boats” for the BBC, eight months before the expedition. Two boats, with a combined length of 42 feet and combined beam of 10 feet. Double stem and sternpost with double frames and five feet of deck space fore and aft. My translation of that nonsense was they should be Whitehall’s built strong like fish boats. I designed and built them with that mantra in my head. My group executed this task in a way that has spoiled me as a boatbuilding teacher. Wow, it was a truly awesome experience for all of us and I cannot describe how proud I am of them. They killed it! The other mantra was “get shit done” and we really did.” Read more

Congratulations to instructors Ben Kahn, Jeff Hammond and their students – your boats performed well under exceptionally challenging conditions! You should all be proud of your teamwork on this project. Click here for more photos.

Operation Grand Canyon group shot with our own instructor Ben Kahn in the middle with the yellow vest.