CHARLESTON, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Floating in the air and covering every spot imaginable is a smell that hits the back of your throat.
“It’s a distinct smell; it’s a core memory for me is the sawdust and everything that goes along with it,” said Coulson Bayne.
Bayne is the younger of a father-son boat-building team with his dad, Mark. While it may be a mess to those looking in, inside, it’s a sanctuary dedicated to a biblical and modern craft — ordinary and epic.
“How do you make a million dollars in the boat business? Start with two and get out quick,” laughed Mark.
It’s a joke Mark has told before, but that didn’t stop him from building a career as a shipwright.,
“Even when things weren’t that great,” remembered Mark. “I always wanted to go to the shop.”
For 45 years, Mark built all kinds of wooden ships specializing in not specializing. His son, Coulson, spent most of his life tagging with dad.
“He’s always been around, you know,” said Coulson. “He’s always had a shop my entire life.”
For Coulson, the shop is like the sawdust clinging to his clothes- a part of him, no matter how many times he may have tried to shake it off.
“When I finally came around to the boats, I like got it,” laughed Coulson.
There are big moments in boat building. When it’s flipped and when it’s launched.
“One of the best feelings there is, you know,” said Mark.
But the feeling Mark is talking about doesn’t have anything to do with either one of those.
It’s knowing there’s a second-generation shipwright in the family.
“I feel like he’s forgotten more than I’ll ever know,” said Coulson.
“Now that I’m doing it with my son, I don’t want to do anything else,” Mark replied.
It’s a process perfectly made for epic stories, not because of the ship or the sea but because of the builders.