Diaspora

Beaufort man builds boat for mission to help Haitians – Carolinacoastonline

Clear skies. Low 49F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph..
Clear skies. Low 49F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: March 1, 2022 @ 5:35 pm
RV Hodge stands beside the workboat he built and will donate to a New York-based charity that works to help people in Haiti. (Contributed photo)

RV Hodge stands beside the workboat he built and will donate to a New York-based charity that works to help people in Haiti. (Contributed photo)
BEAUFORT — A Beaufort man spent much of the last decade raising money and building a work boat that will soon be hauling supplies for a New York-based Haitian charity.
RV Hodge, who is in management at Jarrett Bay Boatworks, raised the money through his own charity, Mission Navigation, and will donate the vessel to Team Haiti-4-Jesus, a Christ-centered nonprofit organization.
According to its website, the team is a group of Haitians and Americans working together to meet the needs of the Haitian people.
“We hope the boat will have sea tests later this month,” Mr. Hodge said in a recent interview. The boat will be shipped to Florida, then go to Haiti.
Mr. Hodge said Team Haiti-4-Jesus is building a nursing home, a school and an orphanage, among other things.
“I’m so happy to provide the support,” Mr. Hodge said. “The major roads there are like backroads here, and travel is difficult and dangerous, especially when it rains. A boat is really the best way to get building materials to where they need to do. And I imagine they will use it for people-hauling, too.”
Mr. Hodge, who began his professional boatbuilding career in Alaska in the 1980s and now lives north of Beaufort, said it took 10 years – interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic – and about 3,500 person-hours to build the 34-foot vessel. So far, it’s cost about $35,000, all donated, but Mr. Hodge said the boat would sell for four or five times that amount.
“I’m so grateful to my employer for allowing me the time to do this,” he said. “It means so much to me.”
He also  thanked others who have helped him build the boat.
Mr. Hodge attends Bridgeway Church of the Nazarene in Beaufort and said that before he took on the labor of love, he had prayed for several years for an opportunity to use his boatbuilding skills to help in missions.
In 2008, a missionary who had spent time in Haiti told Mr. Hodge of the treacherous travel conditions on horrible roads in the island nation, conditions that make it difficult to get building materials to sites.
The missionary, according to Mr. Hodge, concluded by saying,  “It’s too bad we can’t just send them a good boat.” And thus began Mr. Hodge’s opportunity.
He and his wife, Jennie Hodge, went to work on the fundraising effort, but it was a slow process and interrupted by COVID. Eventually, he and his wife founded Mission Navigation, and money started coming in. As it did, he kept building.
He can’t wait for the sea trials here.
“We’re excited,” he said. “It’s been a long process.”
 
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.
 
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Pretty boat ! Have to question the decision to send it to Haiti . Understand the intended use but in the real world it will probably end up being used to escape that armpit and or ferry drugs . Will see which for sure .

Good on the fella trying to do the right thing. Fun fact… Haiti became the world’s first black-led republic and the first independent Caribbean state when it threw off French colonial control and slavery in the early 19th century. They haven’t been very successful…apparently.
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