After building it entirely from scratch, Matthew Nusom ’23 launches his fishing boat on Seneca Lake and reflects on the two-year project.
“I spent my whole life out on Block Island. My parents would never buy me a boat, so I knew the only way to get out there off-shore would be to build one myself,” says the Connecticut native, who double majors in environmental science and philosophy with a minor in entrepreneurial studies.
Having attended a marine mechanic and biology high school on the Long Island Sound, Nusom joined a woodshop program. With the support of his teacher, Nusom began building his fishing boat he named “Blockbuster” when he was 16.
In a special edition of #FlyoverFriday, Matt Nusom ’23 drives his boat and Chief Photographer Kevin Colton goes tubing.
“The most difficult part of building it was the engine. I had to electrically engineer the entire thing from the front up. Every little light, every little speedometer and throttle had to be perfectly created. There were no directions. It wasn’t like there was a blueprint I had to follow. It was just figuring out what voltage each thing made and then planning based off of that,” he says.
Two years later, Nusom accomplished his goal and says the project helped him decide to attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges that boast beautiful real estate on the shore of Seneca Lake.
“I saw the lake and thought ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to take my boat out on it one day,’” says Nusom, who wrote about Blockbuster in his application essay for the Colleges. This semester, he brought his boat to campus and cruised around the largest of the Finger Lakes on his homemade vessel.
On campus, Nusom won the Todd Feldman ’89 and Family Pitch Contest for his sustainable design company SymBio, which reimagines the dining experience to help people manage their landfill, recycling and organic waste. He is also a member of the HWS Debate Team.