The Ultimate Team Building Exercise

At Dalia we take group activities very seriously, and not just because we relish the chance to witness our fellow coworkers let loose, throw down and have some fun. For us, group dinners, Wii tournaments, and barbecues are a way to let the mind rest, celebrate our successes as a team and build new memories together. And when it comes to creating experiences for us to enjoy together, we like to think outside the box.

One of our favorite team accomplishments has been the construction of our boat, ‘Cindy’. More raft than boat, Cindy took about 2 months of hardcore construction, and another month for planning and preparation. Having a boat has been a dream of ours since last July, when we were lucky enough to hitch a ride on the amazing boat that our friends at Panther Ray built entirely out of recycled material. (To see how Panther Ray made their boat, check out this TedX: it starts at 1:35:00) The Panther Ray’s boat is complete with raised platforms for sunbathing, a swing to sit on, a bar for refreshments, and a seating area. We all had a blast seeing Berlin from a totally new perspective on that perfect sunny day. Needless to say, this first trip on the water really struck a chord, and we quickly came to the conclusion that building a boat of our own should be one of our top priorities!




But how did we go from enjoying a boat ride to committing a whole summer to building one? As we would learn, constructing a boat is no easy feat: it took a lot of coordination, teamwork and persistence. First, we enlisted the help of teambuildingthings team to provide us with a boat design and engineering guidance for the construction of the boat. Once the building location was set and all the materials secured, about 5 to 10 of us met every Saturday and Sunday for about two months to cut and oil wood, drill holes into steel and slowly see our boat come to life. It was a rewarding and at times exhausting experience, but the final result was worth all the effort.


Boat plans from teambuildingthings

Prep work: smoothing and oiling the wood

In week three we started building the steel frame over the buoys


Some flame-throwing action

By the fifth week we’d made headway with the raft’s floor

By the 7th week the upper platforms were taking shape


Finishing Touches and Our Maiden Voyage

Cindy now holds upwards of 30 people and has a bar, tiered raised platforms, a sound system, a flag and an (almost finished) toilet. It’s also larger than the original boat, to accommodate over 10 new team members that we’ve added in the last year. We’ve been on two voyages so far, and are learning more about best boating practices every day as we navigate both the city waters and the city’s boat licensing bureaucracy. Most of all, we’re really proud of what our team has accomplished together this summer and look forward to more parties to come.


Cindy is ready for her first trip





The team shares their thoughts about the experience:

…Fernando on the magic of coming together:

“The boat experience has been a clear proof of how powerful we are as a team, and what wonderful things we can build if we are determined to do it.”


…Niklas noted the surprise many of us felt when Nico first proposed building our own boat:

“I think many of us thought he wasn’t serious. He was serious.”

… and on the difficulties

“We had to get especially creative when setting up the buoys which weigh nearly half a ton each. There was a considerable risk the whole enterprise would fail, but in the end we managed to lift them both together as a team. It was humbling to do manual work after sitting on a computer all week, and I got to know my colleagues from a different side.”


…Jakob on the team’s commitment:

For me the most impressive thing about the whole project is the dedication it took to get up on Saturday/Sunday mornings and do the 1 hour subway ride to the end of the world (Spandau) :)”


Join Us

Over the past few weeks, Cindy has become a true member of the Dalia family. She’s not up for rent, but if you’re interested in coming aboard, please send us an email. But, be prepared to hear all about our career opportunities 😉 See you onboard!