North America

Boating Dreams: Building your own boat – why not?

Can you imagine building your own 30-foot boat from scratch? The Osse family in Barueri outside São Paulo in Brazil is living their boating dream in the midst of sweat and hard work: constructing their dream boat – that will take them all the way to Alaska someday.

The Osse Family
Caronlina and Marina walking on the streetsCarolina and Marina help with the boat building on weekends and sometimes after school.

As their 25th wedding anniversary present, Tony and Cylene Osse got themselves something really special: a Volvo Penta engine. The 200 horsepower machine will fit perfectly in the boat – a sedan cruiser – that they are building together with their daughters Carolina and Marina.

A boat engine as an anniversary gift might sound odd, but not for a couple whose entire life together has been about boats. Tony and Cylene share a history of boat building, but in a much smaller scale. After a trip to Canada, where they tried canoeing for the first time, they decided to build their own canoe. People around them got interested and asked to buy one. Tony and Cylene started building canoes – making it possible for them to establish a small family business constructing and selling canoes.

“Since we build canoes, why not build something a little bit bigger?”, reasoned Cylene and Tony, and many years after the idea was born, they started their huge boat building project.

“Why we choose Volvo Penta”

With their big Alaska adventure coming up, Tony and Cylene wanted an engine that they can rely on everywhere.

Learn more about the D3-200

“We started one and a half year ago and we are now around 40 percent done. The project requires about 3.000 hours of work,” says Tony who believes they will be finished within two years.

The Osse family are somewhat odd birds in Barueri and Brazil. Not many people in their neighborhood have boats, Brazil has no particular history of boating, and when other families go to Disneyland on vacation, Tony and Cylene have always preferred taking their girls Carolina and Marina on trips experiencing nature.


Building the boatBuilding a boat is hard and heavy work. “We knew it was going to be tough, but we didn’t know it was going to be that hard at times,” says Cylene.

We try to show them different kinds of things so when they grow up, our hope is that they can face challenges more easily

says Cylene

Building a boat is also something not many teenagers experience. Tony and Cylene hope that the project teaches the girls something more than only boat building.

“We want to show our girls that if you put your mind into something, you are capable of doing it and achieve your goal,” concludes Cylene.


5 questions to the Osse family

Who are you? “We are Tony, 53, Cylene, 53, Carolina, 14 and Marina, 12.”
Where do you live? “In Barueri, 30 minutes from downtown São Paulo in Brazil.”
What’s your occupation? “We are both biologists, but not practicing. When we aren’t building the boat, we build canoes and work in the canoe shop.”
Favorite boating memory: “Two years ago, we did a canoe trip down the Cristalino river in Brazil. We spent one entire week camping with no bathroom and no shower, so we had to bath in the river. It was a great experience.”
Why do you want to go to Alaska? “We live in a warm place, but we love colder weather. Alaska seems like an amazing place and it’s a good adventure.”