Iowa Messabout 2003
On the 12th and 13th of July, the
first annual (hopefully) Iowa Messabout came into being. In my
view it was a rousing success. All told, we had 8 people and 9
boats. Paul and Laura Ellifrit came up from Missouri, along with
Gary Irving (They live about 20 miles from each other but didn’t
know it). Gary Vanderhart came down from Minneapolis, and Tim
Boyle and Myself from the Sioux City area. We all managed to find
camping spots all in the same area and I was able to get one on
the beach, so we could gather all the boats together without any
Gary Vander Hart trying out Tuki
The weather couldn’t have
cooperated better, with nice sunny skies and light breezes. Saturday
the breezes were a little too light though, to the disappointment
of the sailors, but it was made up for on Sunday when there was
perfect sailing winds and a surprisingly empty lake. Most of the
boats on the lake were there fishing and were either anchored
or trolling slowly. All of the power boaters were out on Saturday
and even then they were pretty sparse and easily avoided.
Cruiser out cruisin’
Paul and Laura brought their Selway
Fisher designed lapstrake sailboat which had been modified to
be a Motor Cruiser. It has a comfy cuddy that sleeps 2 and nice
roomy cockpit. What struck me was the quality of the workmanship.
Everything seemed to be done to the level of hand crafted furniture.
Truly a beautiful boat. Paul took whoever wanted to go, out on
cruises of the lake.
Next we have Gary Vanderhart, who
brought 2 boats. One was Little Debbie, which is a pram dinghy
set up for sailing It is a very pretty, well crafted boat, built
sturdy enough to tackle just about anything. It had a balanced
lug sail and was able to keep up with Tim’s boat (with almost
twice the waterline length) upwind.
Gary also brought a slightly modified
Mouse (design by Gavin Atkin). Gary deepened the Vee in the bow
from about 2 inches to 4 inches, to allow better wave splitting.
It was the smallest boat there and even looked tiny against Little
Debbie, which is approximately the same length. Gary uses his
for fly fishing in small ponds, from a seated position of course.
Natasha on a solo paddle in Tuki
Gary Irving brought a boat that
he was just putting the finishing touches on (mounting the rudder)
on Saturday. It is a design of his own and will eventually be
used for sailing. At the Messabout he had it rigged with a trolling
motor and a couple of batteries. The motor was the kind that attaches
to the main motor’s shaft and he had it mounted on the rudder.
Experimentation revealed that the motor (offset 9” from
the rudder’s centerline) caused quite a bit of torque on
the rudder and made steering a chore. He is studying new ways
of mounting the motor, including having two rudders and mounting
the motor between them. The boat floated well enough, but with
the weight of the motor, 2 deep cycle batteries and Gary, had
a little less freeboard than he had hoped for. I think this boat
will do fine with a small sail or perhaps a smaller trolling motor
and only one battery.
Gary Irving’s Electric Dart (my name
for it, not his)
Tim brought his sailboat (now repaired)
built from plans by David Carnell. This is the same one that got
damaged last fall when the parking pawl slipped on my Dodge pickup
and turned the truck into a submarine. Tim was able to repair
the hole that was punched into the bottom and has sailed it a
half of a dozen times since then. This is a nice, well crafted
boat, built to have fun in. I forgot the camera on shore when
I went out and met him in the middle of the lake, it would have
been a perfect picture. As it was, I was having so much fun, I
forgot to take pictures a lot of the time.
Paul and Laura’s SF MotorCruiser
As to my own boats, I brought
4: Chugger, Fisher10, Simple Simon and Tuki, my son’s ScoutCanu.
Fisher10 has acquired it’s own name: Road Rash. This is
because it came flying off the top of Chugger during transportation
not just once but twice! The first time was on the way up and
it just wasn’t tied down well enough, it slid for about
100 ft on the bottom for a few scratches in the varnish. I finally
had to put two screws through the transom and into Chugger to
keep it on.
Inside the cockpit of the MotorCruiser
The second time was on the way
home and this time it got some damage. When I loaded everything
up for the trip back, Chugger was too far back on the trailer
and caused the hitch to lift off the ball. The trailer started
whipping around on the safety chains and it threw Road Rash like
a bucking bronco throws a rider. Damage is still only minimal
as I just need to put some tape on the bottom of the transom,
to cover where the pavement ground into the wood.
The boat lineup from the left
Back up at the lake though, RR
gave a really good account of itself, getting mile wide grins
from my kids as they first got to pound over the waves in the
front seat and then got to drive it a little on Sunday. It got
up on plane after 30-40 seconds of gathering speed. In waves it
is definitely prudent to have someone in the front to keep the
bow down. I tried it alone and kinda scared myself silly, but
I have relatively little experience with driving a motorboat at
speed and was probably quite safe. Still, it IS a little boat
and was going quite quickly and it started to pound on the waves.
The lineup from the right
Chugger proved that it is at best
a semi-displacement boat, not quite achieving full plane with
one person on board and getting nowhere near it with two or more.
Still it chugged merrily along at ¾ throttle, at about
5 mph. I only had my 9.5 Johnson along (it being the only running
motor in my possession currently). This is about the maximum for
Chugger (10hp) and a little shy of the max for RoadRash (15hp).
A good meal puts smiles on everybody’s
face. (clockwise: Gary V, Laura E, Paul E, Gary I, Tim B, Natasha
and Bubba (Steven Jr.) L
My son’s canoe got some use,
but the lake wasn’t really good for canoe exploring, not
having little nooks and crannies to poke into. Still, the kids
did go paddling and my daughter took it out solo once too. Simple
Simon didn’t see water, as it didn’t have any means
of propulsion, and I didn’t want to spoil it by using a
trolling motor on it. I am still in the process of making the
sailing bits, and I misplaced the stuff I was going to use to
set it up for rowing.
An almost full moon rising over boats and
Saturday evening we had a BBQ,
and really chowed down. I wasn’t aware that everyone was
supposed to supply their own chow, so I did up a Beef, Chicken
and Pork mix that was quite good, if I do say so myself. Next
time Y’all are on your own tho.