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by Dave Lucas – Bradenton, Florida – USA

Visitors and Boats, We Love Um Both

I'll start with a video of an old motor like Larry gave us. It's going to be perfect in the boat we'll have to make for it. It's hard to believe that it's a hundred years old and still looks perfect. They really don't make them like they use to. It's pretty much all bronze.

Steve's putting the deck on his melonseed; nice hey.

Kevin Lott up in Georgia is building a Cortez melonseed from plans I sent him. He's doing a fantastic job. I just hope he can get past this phase of the build. These hulls look so good that you just want to leave them on the mold and come out and rub on them every day. That's why it takes some guys so long to finish. There are several other designs for melonseeds out there but it's hard to beat this one that Roger Allen drew up.

Richard Honan, the bigger of the two kids with ice cream, is also building a melonseed. Here's some shots he sent from a boat builders show in Maine. Richard's a good guy and is doing a great job on his melon but I found that both his and Steve B's plans weren't from the Cortez melon plan I sent him but someone else's. My advice to both was to burn the hulls and start over with a great design, like everyone else I give advice to, they ignored me.

We were out in the wild jungle the other day with Jay and Peggy when Crazy Steve said "follow me, I know the way". How can you go wrong following a guy named Crazy Steve. After we managed to get untangled from the swamp grass I decided to do the leading. You see why we made these boats indestructible and easy to self rescue. We have no fear of anything we may encounter here in the sand bottoms of Florida. The dogs never seem to get too worried, I think they are laughing at the strange people they have.

"It wasn't me officer, I never saw that girl in my life". Or even better, "it wasn't me, it was crazy Steve who did it and he's hiding right out back". Actually we're never too surprised when we see the fuzz pull up to the shop. New guys are sometimes shocked when I walk up to the car and say to them, "if you didn't bring beer get the hell out of here". We have all kinds of boatnuts and some who in their real lives are the police. Ernie got us in this picture, Dawn was actually here on official business. A boat had floated up on the shore, it was a stolen boat so when I called it in we had some official business to do. The owner lives just down the river and came and got his boat. We invited Dawn to come back to the Tiki hut when she's off duty.

Gary Cull of the little red tug boat "Snail Mail" stopped by with his wife Penny. I think it was really her who wanted to come and not to look at boats. She's a quilter and wanted to meet Helen and see her sewing room. You think it's hard getting us boat guys to leave, Gary had to drag her out of here. He says that Snail Mail is for sail for a bargain price, about what the trailer costs. It's got some kind of fancy electric drive system to move it along.

Jay and Peggy Bliss were in the area trying out their new small camper and stopped by this weekend and stayed a couple of days. Us boat guys really like talking to Jay, he thinks totally outside the box with his boat designs, even more so than us or even Washington Dan and that's saying something. When he builds one and it doesn't blow up and kill him he considers it a success. He's working on some kind of high speed twin screw electric boat. It'll have surface piercing props and and upside down hull shape, maybe I got that wrong but you never know.

And don't tell me that I don't know how to show a girl a good time; here's me taking Peg for a ride in our Possum truck. She's actually the first person who's had the nerve to do it and I didn't even spill her wine.

A horrible thing has happened to Rex and Kathy Paine, Trimaran Frank's put the voodoo hex on them and all of their boats have grown training wings. Chuck the Duck even said that his boats have some merit, this is sure proof that Frank is up to no good. Just cause his boats are fast and easy and fun and cheap don't mean nothing; what's become to tradition, of slow tippy boats?

I'll close with these from Simon Lew. Just shows you that old houses and old boats have a lot in common. They may look good on the outside but they'll work you to death when you get under the skin. Once he got started it was just rip out and rebuild, rip and rebuild. Those of you with old wooden boats (Kristyn) let this be a warning to you. The work never ends and then you sink.

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