My son, Jules, has become fixated on the idea of owning a boat. This would be all well and good if it weren’t for the fact that Jules is four. Add to that the fact that he’s exceptionally stubborn (even by four year-old standards), and you have a recipe for many an argument. I have to give him credit, though – this kid knows what he wants, and he’s making it clear that he wants a boat.

More specifically, he wants to build a boat. I’ve tried suggesting that he build a model boat out of something readily available (say, cardboard), but Jules is having none of it – his marine ride is going to have a plate alloy hull or bust. He’s trying out a new tactic now, which is badgering me to take him to see a professional boat builder at work. He’s managed to grind me down a bit on this – it does seem pretty educational, when you think about it, and who am I to crush this burgeoning thirst for knowledge?

So now I’m calling around for a marine fabrication workshop in Melbourne that will agree to let my kid have a peep. Specifically, Jules is keen to see just how a bow rail is welded together, and through what process a stainless steel snapper rack comes to be. Where is he even getting these terms from? His grandma gave him one little book about fishing for Christmas, and now he’s some kind of boffin on the subject.

Something that just occurred to me is that he should (obviously) start off with a fishing rod if he’s so keen to create a fishing vessel. I might just be able to sway him with this. A rod is a realistic and manageable first step in the direction he wants to go in, despite the fact that I don’t know the first thing about how to use one. What I do know is that there’s no use for a custom fishing rod holder if you don’t have a fishing rod.