Nelson resident Don Kurylko is dismantling the shed around his 34-foot wooden sailboat

Nelson resident Don Kurylko is dismantling the shed around his 34-foot wooden sailboat

The Forever Boat sets sail in Nelson

Nelson resident Don Kurylko is preparing to sail into the sunset with a boat he built from scratch.

Nelson residents familiar with the green shed near Gore and Stanley in Nelson may be surprised to learn that there’s a 34-foot hand-built sailboat inside. But Nelson resident Don Kurylko, who has been working on the project for decades, is preparing to set sail in it.

“We’ve got 16,000 hours into it which is 8 man-years of labour, but it’s been sitting here for decades,” said Kurylko on Thursday. “The project got extended over a long period of time. Sometimes I worked on it in the summer, some years not at all. The kids called it the Forever Boat.”

But now that it’s completed, he’s eager to get on the open ocean with his wife Sanda Laine.

“We’re taking the shed down, and we’re getting ready to move it down to the coast. We sold our house, we’ve taken everything apart and we’re going to move on to the boat and sail off into the sunset,” he said.

Kurylko plans to have the shed dismantled by next week, at which point a boat mover will transfer it to a marina in New Westminster.

“We still need to do a little more work, and the sails won’t be ready until October, but then we’re off. We’re going to live on the boat and travel.”