Fifth Annual Fl Gulf Coast Small Craft Festival

By David Lucas - Bradenton, Florida - USA


This was a really fun day, the weather was good. The gunk hole trip after was canceled due to crappie weather but Saturday was fine. I've attached pictures taken by Ellen Thayer on the show boat "Packard", thanks Ellen.

Steven Worley, Cortez Melonseed

There are more pictures on the link here. Click on them for more. I've named the pictures in the order they finished the race.

Peter Vermilya, Cortez Melonseed

This race was run in an unusual way, I did it so that's no surprise. The start was from a standstill, the pictures of all of us standing in the water holding the boats is cool.

Jamie Canfield, Cortez Melonseed

We circled the islands twice and finished by ringing a bell on the beach. There were a couple really good foot races to the bell.

Howard Heimbrock, 20 foot Cortez Melonseed

I also was charged with declaring the winners. The first three boats to finish were the Cortez melonseeds, as usual. There was a Sea Pearl 21 in there but I decided he doesn't count. My nephew Steven sailing Laylah with my son Jamie as crew was first to ring the bell but I decided to give the win to Peter Vermilya, second to finish in Miss Kate. He was right on Steven's ass but had a problem half way through the race when his rudder fell off and he ended up in the mangroves till he got it back on.

Jay Ludvigh in his personally designed and built “Time II” a ‘Cedar Key 15’ dinghy.

Steven did make a great showing since he's new to this sailing stuff. The big boats (over 20 feet ) put on a good show. Howard's "Tricia Marie" edged out Bob Bloomquest in the schooner "Scoona"but I gave it to Bob because he's a yankee sailor and not used to the shallow water. Every time he was about to pass us he knifed his dagger board into the mud. We had fun laughing at him but he really was faster than us in these conditions.

Bob Bloomquest, Bolger Schooner

The small boat winner and grand champion went to Marie Cobb in the 10 foot "Bonito". She was about the smallest boat in the fleet after the puddle duck racer and she whipped ass on a lot of larger boats and had to make a diving leap at the bell to beat out Jeff Moates.

Mark Stewart, small tri

There were six kayaks who were impressive going around the islands but none stayed for the awards so I didn't count them. The man of the day had to be Bob Walden in a SIX foot long row boat. he was eighth to finish. Look at his picture, can't believe it even floats. If I missed any of you don't blame me, Hank Will was the fantastic starter and finisher and it got hectic on the finish dock, it was really fun watching the race to the bell.

Albert ‘Ford’ Walton in a Bolger ‘Tortoise’.
Steve Deming, 16 ft Melonseed
Steve Crebb, Chesapeake Sharpie skiff is a just launched. Chapelle documented sharpie built by the Crystal River Boatbuilders Chapter of the TSCA.
Marie Cobb in her DC-10 “Bonito” designed by Douglas Cooper.
Jeff Moats, Bahamas Sloop
Dave Gray, Puddle Duck Racer
Stan Terryll, Nancy's China-modified
Eric Devoe Sharpie
Jim Hanson Nutshell Pram
Curt Bowman Drascombe
Spritsail Skiff “Sallie Adams” built at the FL. Maritime Museum Boatshop in 2002
Ed Cobb Pelican
Mike Jones Windmill-enlarged
Tom Busenlener in his Phoenix III Beach cruiser “Rascal”.
Allen and Judy Boyes in their modified John Gardner designed “Fat Boat” based on a Swampscott Dory.
Rex & Kathie Payne Birdwatcher
Two Cortez melonseeds
Fiberglass reproduction of a Gil Smith Long Island Catboat by Legnos owned by Ron Gryn.
One minute after start
13’ melonseed designed by Marc Barto and built by owner Nick Jaeger.
28 Running for the Bell
29 Waiting for the Start

This was a good place to see a lot of the designs we've heard about. The Puddle Duck did pretty good for these fluky wind conditions. It's almost impossible to beat the 15 ft Cortez melons in light air.


David Lucas
Lucas Boatworks and Happy Hour Club

Shortcut to:

Shortcut to:

Shortcut to:



To comment on Duckworks articles, please visit our forum