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by Dave Lucas – Bradenton, Florida – USA

Alaska People and Stuff

The furry faced one on the right in Chelsea is Alaska Brook. You may remember him from the picture I once sent of the boat he built that looked like an igloo. He lives in southern Alaska so that makes sense. The waving girl is his wife Wendy and sitting girl is Dorsey who lives here. Somehow they know each other from another life and when in Florida where would they go for a visit; Disneyland or our Tiki hut. I guess the answer is obvious. Like most of our visitors Brook and Wendy have some fantastic stories. The town they live in has no roads in or out, ferry or air only and heat from hot springs. They make it sound like a good place to live.

Dean is a guy who likes building boats more than he likes getting wet using them. His last one was a Goat Island Skiff that he pretty much gave away. After he sold it I got calls from a lot of you who wanted it. I'll let you know about this one.

If you come to Sarasota or Cedar Key you'll see this beautiful Penobscot 17 that Doug has done a total redo on. We should make him take us all out for a sail to see how it goes, maybe get it's bottom scratched.

Jim has come to that awful moment in motor boat building when you realize that you're finished and have to buy the motor and controls. That's always the biggest clump of money that you have to come up with at one time and even though you know it's coming it's still hard shelling out thousands of dollars.

Kevin Lott up in Georgia has finished his Cortez melonseed hull and is taking the mold apart. You can see why we love making these boats, they are so much fun to sand and look at and rub your hands over and since they're wood you can keep sanding them to your hearts content. Kevin stopped by here last year to see one of these boats in person before he started on his and decided that they may very well be the best little boats in the world.

If you sand long enough they'll look like some of these. How can you not want to keep on going to bring out this look. The guys threatened that they were going to drag this bright one out into the woods if I didn't stop sanding and get it out of the shop. Dr Jose did the yellow and red one and was a fanatic about getting every bump and hard spot out, he succeeded. I remember telling him lots of times that it was good enough and he'd just say, "it's not perfect yet".

Miss Kate is another one you can see yourself in, Howard fell under the spell. My Laylah's finish isn't up the these other boats, she's meant to be rode hard and put away wet; I'm including this shot to show you how they're suppose to be sailed. Laying down with a beer in my hand and a designated driver at the helm. This little green boat has been run up on rocks everywhere from South Florida to the Chesapeake Bay. The only boat we've built with a stronger hull is the foam boat. I wanted that hull to be indestructible so I went totally nuts with the glass schedule.

Gary Cull of Snail Mail fame pulled up in the yard last month with the boat itself. This cute little tug boat is battery powered with a real electric motor instead of the usual trolling motor types. It has a big prop and everything. This boat has been all the way to Sail Oklahoma and back. Gary's ready to move on to another build and is willing to sell this one really cheap. How cheap is cheap I don't know but he said it wouldn't be much more than the cost of the trailer alone.

Howard is tired of building boats so now he's looking at airplanes. We went over to Sun n Fun with Phil to see some kit planes and there were a lot of them. I don't think it'll be these two, probably an RV-8. Yes, he's serious and he's a pilot so I wouldn't put it past him.

Texas Buddy made this one but I think he forgot the other outrigger. Not unusual for a Texan, they think they can do anything with less. Speaking of Texas, I just read about the Texas 200 race; all I ever got from the stories is that it's hot, really hot and humid and windy and the wind is like standing in front of a cloths dryer outlet. It may still be fun since it's a fast race in shallow water. And we know that Chuck the Duck wouldn't fib to us.

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