Eric Schade was trained as a mechanical engineer, and has practiced that profession for 20 years. In 1983 he built his first boat, a small strip-built canoe. Since then he has built more than 50 small boats, including kayaks, canoes, rowing boats, and small sailboats. In 1996 he founded Shearwater Boats to offer custom strip-built canoes and kayaks. Gradually Shearwater has developed to the point where it offers an extensive line of stitch-and-glue watercraft — kayaks, canoes, rowing boats, and sailboats. In 2005 Eric started designing boats for Chesapeake Light Craft. These new boats include Shearwater, Wood Duck, and Shearwater Tandem, which have all proven quite popular. Eric has taught boatbuilding at a number of shops and has mentored the construction of nearly 200 boats. This experience, and the feedback he gets from supervising the construction of his designs, not only has improved his skills as a builder, but has honed his skills as a designer. Eric’s greatest area of expertise is the computer-generated engineering of complicated and precise plywood boat kits that, when cut by computer-controlled machinery, can be assembled by amateurs.