Visit enough boatbuilders and you learn that different departments require vastly different levels of mastery. Some of the more laborious jobs can be picked up in days, while others require years of focused training. Welding—especially yacht welding—falls into the latter category. The joining of two metals with extreme heat is something I find both fascinating and intimidating. Sparks ricocheting like shrapnel against a Vader-like mask while impossibly steady fingers work a seam. Look closely at the welding on boats today, as opposed to just a decade ago, and it’s obvious that today’s welders are artists who paint gentle waves on a canvas of metal with fire. I tip my hat to these unsung artisans of boatbuilding.