The Maker Behind The Maker.

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Kevin Fitzke and Miss Moonshine, and a planer, and some wood scraps. 

A huge thanks to longtime fellow Woody Boater “Rabbit” for writing todays story. It’s so refreshing to read a well written story, and yet depressing as to how low my bar is for myself in that area. Of course I rely on images to raise the standard. But eeven that today has been blown away. UGH, and WOW, all at the same time. Anyway, here is the story. I am going to go back into my hole.

The Maker Behind The Maker.

In the marketing world there’s a new buzzword: Maker. It generally refers to social media “influencers” who shoot their own Tik Tok videos. Big whoop. But in the woody boating world, maker has a very different meaning. You know, people who actually make things with mahogany, oak, brass, and iron.

Any regular reader of Woody Boater knows that Kevin Fitzke is one of the new generation of true makers. We’ve told the story of his latest bespoke creation: Miss Moonshine, a stunning gentleman’s racer Kevin will be premiering at Woods & Water II,
the much-anticipated ACBS International show at Gull Lake, Minnesota this September.

Kevin has a friend who’s also a maker, but his raw material is film. Or technically, pixels. Alex Horner is a Minneapolis-based professional cinematographer and photographer.

Kevin and Alex met about ten years ago, while each was working on Red Bull media events. Their connection quickly extended to wood boats. These images of Fitzke fairing Miss Moonshine, are his latest creation. Alex has more connections to the woody boating world. He’s a frequent shooter of commercials for vintage boating legend Mark Setterholm’s Drive-Thru Productions. In fact, he’s currently shooting commercials for this writer for Best Buy. But sometimes Alex takes a break from the commercial world to create true art.In these photos, Kevin is assembling Miss Moonshine upside down on a strong back, the framework now in the final stage of the fairing process. The framework is constructed from a combination of solid and laminated mahogany, cold-molded with silicon brass fasteners. Various sizes of hand planes, rasps, and sanding blocks are used in the process. Once the framework is smooth and cohesive, it will be ready for the installation of the bottom planking.Personally, I can’t wait to see Miss Moonshine at the Bar Harbor docks at Woods & Water II, parked next to over one hundred equally stunning boats. It’s the ACBS International that’s not to be missed. Hopefully, we can convince Alex Horner to attend
as well and create more art like this of all the art on the water.

Will the Maker Make it to the show? STAY TUNED!

15 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Beautiful photos of magnificent old school workmanship. I wish we were able to go to Woods and Water to see the finished Miss Moonshine.
    Coffee on the river this morning before heading to the Harbour Club for our lunch run up to St. Clair!

  2. Dan Overbeek
    Dan Overbeek says:

    Cool story, incredible photography! The use of light is great. I really like it! That boat looks like it will be something to behold! Leaving for Algonac soon…can’t wait!

  3. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Our woody world needs more Kevins.
    A wonderful friend with sheer desire, an artist’s eye and extreme talent all wrapped up in one very cool package.
    Give us more.

  4. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Great story ! Cool pictures. It is good see younger craftsmen. Both the boat builder, and the photographer. Enjoy Algonac all who are going.

  5. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    The craftsmanship in Moonshine’s framework is amazing as is the photography. Yes, we need more of these talented people. I can’t imagine planking the topsides though. It really looks challenging with all those curves. Would love to see how that is accomplished. As for me, I’m just beatin’ bearing races out of trailer hubs and packing bearings all weekend. Sometimes boating is not all that fun. I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t complained about the hammering until 10PM but everyone has A/C on max here so apparently, I’m the only one to venture outdoors in this heat to perform manual labor. Stay cool y’all.

  6. Wolfgang
    Wolfgang says:

    The Photography is great! The boat is a great shape and creation. Having built seven boats, I can see fantastic craftsmanship and perfect fits and joints. At 78 it sure is great to see a young man doing such a great work of art!

  7. JD
    JD says:

    I can’t think of any superlatives that commenters haven’t already employed about this post. But, it is impressive & gratifying to read and see the work of gifted creatives. Kevin’s wood craftsmanship – and these photos – will be treasures for generations of Fitzkes to come.

  8. Mark Setterholm
    Mark Setterholm says:

    Great build Kevin. Great photos Alex. Great story Rabbit.
    I feel so lucky to have a front row seat to all of this artful influence.

  9. tom
    tom says:

    Great photos, the stuff that you should see in a great builders brochure. But he couldn”t possibly be doing that kind of precise work in that dim light, right?

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