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William "Alberto" Oberg

"Resident Boatbuilder"

I can get paid to do this?!
— Alberto

Alberto was born with a canoe paddle in his hand.  In his teenage years he traded in his canoe paddle for a kayak paddle.  He practiced his sit down comedy routine while working at the Kayak Centre in Wickford as a guide, instructor, and technical representative for Valley Canoe Products.  Alberto had a dream to build wooden boats and went to the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport with the goal of learning the skills to fix a boat worth fixing.  That boat wound up being a 32-foot lobster boat from 1940 made by Baltzar-Jonesport. 

Alberto emerged from the smoke of a Waterfire to the gondola dock where he asked for employment, days later he had an interview and then started training.  Alberto has enjoyed learning and teaching the technique that goes into successfully rowing a gondola, and says that it is like learning to play chess when the pieces don't always do the same thing on a board that moves.  Alberto recently gained employment at an organization, geared at cleaning up large debris from Rhode Island's coastline, called Clean the Bay.  

Photo credit:  Gondola Greg

Photo credit: Gondola Greg