Martin Students Build Boat and Memories

Hands On Learning Netted Two Students Summer Fun
Posted on 07/28/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Hands On Learning Netted Two Students Summer FunBrady Crumby, 14, and Ethan Hatler, 13, had the choice to be bored this summer or craft an almost unbelievable fish tale. They opted to tackle the task that has now netted them bragging rights for years to come.

Using scrap lumber, caulk, paint and Crumby’s knowledge of power tools, the two Martin students built a jon boat for fishing and spent this entire summer about as “socially distanced” as two can get on area ponds.

Initially, the two fished from creek and pond banks, but soon were drawn to build on their experiences. Wanting to try their luck on the water, they set their sights on a jon boat.

Crumby, who will be a freshman at Westview when school resumes, had the materials and previous building experience.

“My dad thought it wasn’t possible to build a boat out of scrap wood, so I decided to prove him wrong!” said Hatler of his additional motivation for the project.

Once the two-seat construction was complete, the two families traveled to the pond at Hatler Farm to christen its launch.

“We were pleasantly surprised that it floated! It was an exciting evening!” said Beth Hatler, Ethan’s mother and a third grade teacher at Martin Elementary. Father Ben Hatler was definitely proven wrong as cousins from Texas, grandparents and parents witnessed the successful launch.

“We thought it might sink as well, so we tied a rope to it,” admitted the younger Hatler. Crumby even suggested wearing swim trunks in case their effort proved unsuccessful.

Once floating was confirmed, the group took turns paddling across the pond in the boat and then began fishing from it.
The day was determined a success when Hatler’s oldest cousins from Texas -- equaling about 300 pounds -- were able to paddle the boat without sinking and Crumby caught a fish, Hatler explained.

Brady Crumby is the son of Candace and Paul Crumby. Candace also teaches third grade at Martin Elementary.

“As teachers, we are always looking for ways to engage our students in learning,” said Hatler. “When you see your sons – without prompting -- get excited about putting their knowledge to work, open to learning more, and being rewarded with success, that adds up to some great summer memories.”


jon boat and builders
Brady Crumby (left), at 14 and a soon-to-be Westview freshman, and Ethan Hatler, a 13-year-old 8th grader at Martin Middle, successfully launched a jon boat they built with scrap materials.

Crumby and Hatler