By Mike Hillis - Missoula, Montana - USA

In August, 2007, Chuck and Ginny Tribe hosted a wooden boat regatta at their cabin on Montana’s Flathead Lake.  With a few exceptions, most of the boats were built by Chuck over a 15 year period.  Several of Chuck and Ginny’s friends who owned or had built boats, showed up with their home-built recreations.  The day was cool and blustery, but there was lots of beer, cheer, and good eats, so no one seemed to care.  Everyone tried out at least one or more boats.  Here are a few photos and sketchy details for each boat:

19’ Nessie Yawl designed by Iain Oughtred

15’ sailing Whisp designed by Tom Hill

15’ MacGregor canoe, designed by Iain Oughtred - This is an asymmetrical design that also reputedly sails well

15’ two-person, Mill Creek canoe, designed by Chesapeake Light Craft

11’ Queen Charlotte solo canoe designed by Tom Hill

9’ Nuthatch designed by Joel White

19’ modified semi-dory designed by John Gardner

6’ dinghy designed by Paul Garside (being rowed by a somewhat dubious Pete Metzmaker, whose personal LOA was greater than the dinghy)

Hosts Chuck and Ginny Tribe in the Mill Creek

A collection of boats, including a 16’ Whitehall at left - The Whitehall was designed circa 1869, plans available from Mystic Seaport

Our friend Jan looked particularly smashing during this year’s regatta after her makeover -  Queen Charlotte in the foreground, a CLC sea kayak in the background

By late afternoon the cool and blustery weather finally upgraded into a 30 mph gale straight out of the west.  Chuck’s Whisp rolled over at the dock in one particularly brutal gust.  Most participants promptly departed by car, but Fred Stewart and Mike and Lorena Hillis, who had arrived “by sea”, headed home, directly upwind into the storm.  No big deal for the Hillises whose 19’ semi-dory (see "My Serious Affair With Semi-dories") had experienced a lot bigger stuff off British Columbia.  Apparently, it was no big deal either for Fred, who claimed, “The Whitehall barely took a drop of spray, and lost no momentum whatsoever in between strokes.”  I guess that’s what a century-old design that’s 16’7” long and only 3’7” wide will do for you.   Here’s hoping that the Tribes’ will host another regatta in 2008!

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