Article by Judy Hills, Roving ACBS Reporter; contributed photos
Mission Navigation http://www.missionnav.com/ is a nonprofit Christian ministry based in Beaufort, NC that builds custom, rugged, safe work boats for third-world missions.
This organization had a display at the Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill Triangle ACBS Chapter Boat Show in New Bern, North Carolina in May 2017.
This nonprofit is the brainchild of RV Hodge, the founder of Mission Navigation. RV has been involved in boat building since the mid-1980’s and currently works full time for a boatbuilder.
In RV’s spare time he oversees the construction of these boats. RV recognized the need for these workboats when he heard a Haitian Missionary talk about the travel conditions there. “It’s too bad we can’t just send them a good boat,” was the missionary’s concluding remark and the idea that sparked RV’s imagination. RV is assisted by his wife, Jennie who coordinates the effort. They have been spearheading Mission Navigation since 2009.
While RV oversees the construction in the shop on his property, teams of volunteers drop by to help. These volunteers have varying degrees of skills. The boat is custom made for the specific need with most of them being an open design powered by an outboard motor. Any missionary may commission a vessel by completing an online application that includes information such as what type of use, what type of water, intensity of usage and continent where it will be used. This helps RV decide on the features the boat will need. Mission Navigation has supplied boats to missionaries in Haiti. Currently, they have a 32-footer under construction (3,000 volunteer hours thus far).
While the organization is facing a number of challenges, the founder and supporters have faith that the needed donations will materialize. ACBS members may wish to contribute to not only help this organization fulfill its mission, but also to ensure that the pipeline of craftsmen continues to be supplied for our hobby.
This is a win-win for all.
To read more about the good work of Mission Navigation or to donate online, access the organization’s website at: http://www.missionnav.com/donate/