Martin Students Build Boat, Memories



Weakley County Schools Communications Director

MARTIN (July 27) — Brady Crumby, 14, and Ethan Hatler, 13, had the choice to be bored this summer, instead, 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 at 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. “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. Many family members witnesses the boys first set sail in their homemade boat.

“We thought it might sink as well, so we tied a rope to it,” admitted Ben Hatler, father of Ethan.

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 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 Beth 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.”

Brady Crumby, 14, and Ethan Hatler, 13, successfully launched a jon boat they built with scrap materials during their summer break. Crumby is a freshman at Westview and Hatler is an 8th grader at Martin Middle.

Fishing: Martin student Brady Crumby snags a fish from a jon boat he and Ethan Hatler built this summer.