In 2017, we decided to rock the boat when it came to team building activities and, well, we built our boat, Cindy. It was an amazing time. It was wonderful to see the team come together to work collectively on such a big project, but also to see everyone let their hair down and have some fun. The completion of Cindy has paved the way for some great experiences along the River Spree.
In fact, the happiness which stemmed from Cindy has been so high, we decided to do it all again! Join us each week over the next 6 weeks as we detail the sweat and tears (of laughter) that will incur the birth of Kate. And, if you find yourself hooked on Dalia by the end, why not come join us for the next team building event? Batten down the hatches, we are ready to set sail!
Preparing for the Big Build
We don’t walk the plank blindfolded when it comes to building boats. First, we determine our voyage. We kicked off things with a brainstorming session at the Dalia office. The main reason we wanted to build another boat, besides reliving the fun experience of Cindy, was that we needed something bigger! At the time of building Cindy, we were roughly 30 people. Now we are 55 and growing. Something bigger certainly needed to be on the cards! Kate should be able to hold around 100 people weight-wise and 40 people comfortably.
We also thought about how we wanted to improve Cindy. Many great ideas were pitched, from a water slide to bike racks. Which cool features were chosen? Well, you have to stay tuned to find out. We told Team Building Things what we wanted and they helped with the plan.
Then we came to the logistics. We chose people to lead different areas such as storage, music and electronics.
Finally, the start date. We kicked things off on Saturday, May 4th 2019, the first of the 12 weekend days it would take to build Kate.
Building Kate: Week 1
Over the weekend, 8 of us headed to Kreuzberg to begin work on Kate. The first job was to build the deck. We split into two teams. Half of us prepared the wood by cutting and painting it, while the other half measured and mounted the boards. Forget the gym. This is the ultimate workout! Quite a few of us had tight arm muscles on Monday morning.
Because this is such a big and important task, it took us the entire weekend, and a bit of the next weekend, to do. We rewarded our hard work by having a BBQ for lunch on Sunday. Nothing refuels you like a tasty German bratwurst.
Building Kate: Week 2
Work, work, work, work, work. We got so much done this weekend! The floor and front structure are now finished and we made a start on the back structure.
We had many people coming and going this weekend and as a result, laying the floor went by so fast. We really saw the value of teamwork as there was a lot of interaction, organisation and teaching each other new skills. Shout out to Festool who swung by to show us how to use some of their high-end tools. It’s so great to see people’s skills develop and the look of excitement on a person’s face when they use a drill for the first time.
Saturday brought rainy Berlin weather but that didn’t stop the fun. We enjoyed a healthy lunch of sandwiches and salad together. Saying that we weren’t sorry to see the return of the sun on Sunday. Naturally, we had a BBQ – and some of us even got a bit sunburnt. Better bring the suncream to protect us next week! Come back then to see what we got up to.
Building Kate: Week 3
Another great boat-building weekend made better by 25-degree weather (even if some of us got a bit sunburnt). We kicked off the weekend by finishing the back structure. The roof still needs to be put on as it must be waterproofed first and this takes a bit longer.
While we were waiting, we got a feel for the space and started to put together a structure for what will go inside. We are planning for a bar, a cooler box, a long bench where we all can sit, a folding table, and storage space which includes a storage unit and bike clips. We also made some prototypes for a driver’s chair, which will be submerged into the roof a bit. Oh, and we can’t forget our plans for those all important electronics, including a fibre optic wire that will go through the centre of Kate.
We balanced our hard work with a LOT of fun. Our boat Cindy came to collect us from Kate and bring us to an amazing party that went on until the early hours of the morning. This resulted in less Dalia builders on Sunday so we had a more chilled out day while still making plenty of progress. We also had our weekly BBQ and a Mexican feast on Sunday. Yum!
Building Kate: Week 4
We got so much done this weekend. There were 10 Dalians hard at work each day and, as a result, we managed to finish the roof and the captain’s seat. Ahoy matey! We also finished the bench inside. Kate’s bench is going to be much bigger than Cindy’s so more people will be able to hide inside should the elements turn against us. Considering there will be more weather protected space for more people, we are already considering an overnight trip. Get those sleeping bags at the ready!
Naturally, we also had our weekly BBQ. It wouldn’t be boat building without the BBQ. We finished off the weekend preparing everything to put the motor into Kate next week. Exciting times ahead!
Building Kate: Week 5
It was our second to last weekend building Kate and the weather was hot, hot, hot! Anybody who didn’t have a tan before certainly has one now.
We preserved through the hot temperatures and got a lot of work done. The main aim for the weekend was to make Kate seaworthy. That included fitting the motor, making the steering work, and adding electricity. We also worked on the toilet, adding a ladder so people can climb on board, and also railings to keep people on the right side of the boat. If that wasn’t enough, we also started on the interior.
We are nearly finished now. Next weekend is the last weekend and we will add the final touches. We hope to have the first spin on Kate then too!
Building Kate: Week 6
This was the last weekend of building Kate. While we are sad it has come to an end, we are excited about her maiden voyage!
This weekend was all about finishing touches. We made a step to make it easier to get onto the front structure. We built a bar and placed a fridge underneath. We also made Kate pretty by adding handles and making the railings nice. Most importantly, we finished the electrics and added the fuel line for engine power. Without those things, she wouldn’t get very far.
After we cleaned up the building site, we made sure to celebrate. We had our weekly BBQ and a few beers.
There are some other small touches to add like extra storage and lights but this Wednesday Kate will go on the water. We can’t wait!
And with that, Kate is in the water! It was a very fast process to lift here and place her in the water, followed by a leisurely drive to her parking spot. We cannot wait to have our first official day out on Kate.