Cianbro built the best ice shack in Maine. And you can buy it.
On November 18, The Maine Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors hosted its first annual Maine Super Shack Build at the Augusta Civic Center. I was one of the judges, along with Harry Vanderweide, editor of The Maine Sportsman, Doug Denico, Director of the Maine Forest Service, Pat Sirois, Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and State Senator Tom Martin, an ABC member.
ABC Maine President James Cote escorted us through four imaginative shacks constructed by competitors RJ Grondin & Sons, IRC Industrial Roofing Companies, Cianbro, and Storey Brothers Excavation.
The shacks had to be entirely constructed at the Augusta Civic Center that day. But when we began the judging at 3:30 pm, only Cianbro had finished. Even if the other shacks had been completed at that time, however, Cianbro would have won.
Their shiny yellow shack was amazing, good enough to live in, probably something Dale McCormick could consider as an alternative to her $300,000 public housing units.
The shack included thermostatically controlled heat and lots of insulation, a gas stove (with cookies baking in the oven), 2 covered-holes in the carpeted floor for fishing, a hanger for ice fishing traps, gaslights, and rugged aluminum Teflon skis. The interior cedar walls were gorgeous, and windows on all four sides let in lots of light and provided an opportunity to keep an eye on your fishing traps out on the lake.
There were two folding benches, suitable for sleeping, a porta toilet, and even a carbon dioxide detector. The Cianbro crew had done its homework, laying out copies of The Maine Sportsman and the SAM News, and providing a cooler of Shipyard, my favorite beer. This shack would also be superb for hunting and many other uses.
The other three shacks were also well done. I especially liked the IRC shack, a well-planned unit that probably would qualify for an environmental award with its solar panel for electricity and its super insulation – its small 2-burner grill can heat it. The IRC crew was also on the ball, running an episode of Wildlife, the TV show that Harry and I cohost, on a laptop computer as we entered the shack. Nice!
The shack constructed by R.J. Grondin was spacious and included a fish design carved into the door. A lot of students worked on the impressive building.
Storey Brothers built a more traditional shack and liked it so much they bought it. I liked it too.
You can buy the other three shacks through a bidding process outlined on the ABC website, www.abcmaine.org. You can also call Hope Perkins at 207-841-5217 for more information.
There were no losers in this contest because the money raised by selling the four shacks will benefit the Downeast Construction Education Foundation- the training and educational affiliate of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine.
The mission of the Downeast Construction Education Foundation is to provide, support, promote, enhance and create opportunities for education to meet the needs of the construction industry; assist people interested in the construction industry to enhance their skills; develop alliances with educational institutions and other organizations willing to deliver a standardized construction curriculum.
Now, I’m thinking that Cianbro shack would look really good down on my woodlot. It would make a great little hunting camp and a perfect place to enjoy lunch while snowshoeing. Got to get my bid in!