A Great Day for Gaffers
Lake Nokomis, in the shadow of
the Minneapolis skyline, was the site of the Minnesota Messabout
on August 23. The get-together featured beautiful homebuilt boats
including four Weekenders and two Skipjacks (both Stevenson Projects
designs), a Chesapeake Light Craft kayak, and a canoe and kayak
designed by their builder.
Four gaffers at the dock: Surprise, the
Tam Weekender - on opposite side, Skipjact, and Wood Song
The main event was the launching
of Julie K, a Weekender built by Dave Richards of Rochester, MN.
Dave, with the help of his wife Kari, produced a real gold-plater.
The boat would look as at home in a fine furniture gallery as
it does on the water. The workmanship is superb, and the attention
to detail amazing. With family, friends and well-wishers at dockside,
the Julie K sprinted from the dock in a very stiff wind to begin
her long career of transporting Dave and Kari to years of joy
on the water.
Dave Richards makes ready to launch the
Kari Richards feels at home
Jeff and June Tam brought their
son Michael and their year-old Weekender. It’s always fun
to see how builders modify the plans to suit their own needs.
Jeff eliminated the lazarette and replaced the standard wheel
with a tiller. Jeff is quite a craftsman, and even made his own
wooden blocks for the running rigging.
Jeff Tam's Weekender
Jeff & June Tam sail under a reefed
Michael Jarchow purchased a Weekender
awhile back, and due to changes in his life has it up for sale.
Wood Song is a pretty boat, and sails well. While I reefed my
sail to accommodate the high winds, Michael flew along under full
sail, and she behaved admirably. Wood Song will surely make some
new owner proud.
Nancy and I brought Surprise, our
cabinless Weekender. It looked odd next to the regular Weekenders,
but after three seasons of sailing her, I’m glad I made
the choice to eliminate the cabin and extend the seats forward.
Surprise at the dock
Craig Bursell brought his Skipjack
which he launched earlier in the year at this same lake. Even
though the wind was high, and he had no way to reef his sail,
Craig went out a couple of times and rocketed around the lake.
The boat is light, nimble and faster than one might expect. It’s
also surprisingly roomy and comfortable. Craig’s next project
is already underway: a Vacationer by Stevenson Projects.
Craig & MIssissippi Bob. This Skipjack
Craig's Skipjack in a quiet moment
Chuck and Dianne Casterline brought
Sawl T Dawg, their Skipjack. Chuck had made some serious modifications
to the mast just that morning, and decided that the wind was a
bit too high for testing the rig.
Chuck Casterline's Skipjack
“Mississippi” Bob Brown
brought a canoe and kayak of his own design. He specializes in
solo boats. His plywood solo canoe took about 30 hours to build.
“Half of that was painting,” said Bob.
Bob Brown's plywood canoe
Bob Brown's Kayak
Steve Rice had his CLC kayak with
him. It’s as beautiful a kayak as you could ever hope to
see. He did a great job building her.
Steve Rice's kayak
It was a rare treat to have
so many builders in one spot. We had a great time admiring each
other’s work, asking questions, and comparing ideas. As
always there was lots of talk about “next boats,”
but that’s another article.
From left to right the builders are Steve
Rice, Jeff Tam, Dave Richards, Mississippi Bob Brown, Chuck Casterline,
Bill Paxton, and Craig Bursell.
One last view of Julie K