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by Dave Lucas – Bradenton, Florida – USA

Junk, Mega Yacht, Wally Boat

Since some of you guys are boat builders this applies to you, all of you. This kind of stupidity would normally get you called a dumb but in our shop it's just business as usual.

Next time you're in Charleston be sure to find Captain Dave and go on his harbor tour (Agile Harbor Tours) in his Navy Liberty boat. Dave's just funny looking enough to make sure you have a great time. I knew Dave back when he had a stress filled life before he realized that we only have so much time and it's too short to sweat the load a whole lot. He looks pretty stress free here.

Two little boats; Greg G from Buffalo has this Bolger "Teal" that looks to me like something that will get you all cramped up with a wet butt and need to be lifted out. It seems that a lot of Bolger's boats have this external chine strip. Irwin Schuster (Pop I to some of us ) has made either a really tiny sailboat or a really big cloths pin. I'm inclined to go with the big cloths pin because the boat would be impossibly small to make. I want to see the boat in his hand.

Stan's Junk is becoming the hit of the shop. Visitors can't believe what they're looking at. This boat started out as joke to some of us but it's really coming together and the thing is huge, all 16 feet of it. There are no straight lines anywhere and look at the head room he's made for himself, he can stand up and put his pants on in this one. If you're confused, that's the front porch he's standing in with the big window toward the bow.

You can tell the front from the back cause there's a motor and rudders on the back. Like most of the boats here, he just makes it up as he goes along. That's why it's so much fun going out to the shop to see the strange stuff. Miss a week and there's no telling what you'll see.

Kayak Kathy spent the last month traveling all over the east coast, she got this rare picture of a sunset with a mullet jumping right in the reflection. I think this was somewhere in Tampa Bay, I don't think they have mullet at Niagara Falls.

Kevin Lott, the Southern Boy from up somewhere north of Atlanta is back working on his Cortez Melonseed. You can tell that he's enjoying the process by the fine craftsmanship seen here. Nothing just thrown together on this one. We always say "it's just a boat, we ain't building a violin" but some of these boats could be. The black stuff must be some kind of filler.

Like this one Richard just finished, what's this best in show bull; The Mystic Wooden Boat Show doesn't give this award to just anyone, he probably paid the judge off, he can't even get the gaff tension right. I suppose I'll forgive him since there seems to be a definite lack of a breeze. I love the name on his sail, I've never seen that done before or even thought about doing it but it's a great idea. Good job Rich, you're an inspiration to the rest of us wood butchers.

Speaking of making it up as you go along; Howard has his own idea of what a proper boat should look like and this ain't it. There a million of this same style boat out there stored away in hi and dry storage places, taken out three times a year or just stuck out in a field like this one. It came to us as a really, really ugly 23 foot Sea Ray and it's starting to look like something that will actually be useful. Steve keeps finding these same boats in this same condition on Craig's list all the time for the price of "come and take it away for free". We actually pulled this thing about five miles home on that trailer with those tires. Steve was following me and couldn't believe we made it. He called me a couple of times telling me to stop because one of the tires had fallen off or a spring had broken and the boat was sitting on the axel. No traffic and real slow made it home. Would any of you have pulled this one out of the mud and dragged it home? I think Steve and I did it as a joke on Howard.

Hard to recognize isn't it? It's the one on the left.

Don't ask me how he does it; you just look up and something new has been added or he'll have the hydraulics for the trim tabs or steering pulled out of the boat and taken apart getting rebuilt.

The stool is there to find the height for the seats, he showed me some store bought captain's chairs for $1700 each that look nice but since that exceeds the budget for the whole dam boat I told him to pass. Wood is way cheaper.

It's starting to look like a boat instead of a hull full of junk. The engine box really cleaned things up.

I accuse Sandy of building his pretty little boats and never using them. I guess he showed me; here's a bunch of his boats up on a lake in the Adirondacks in NY State. All these folks are part of his extended family and Sandy made all of these boats. OK, so you really do use them. You can forget it, I doubt if he'll make you one.

Continuing with the strange boat theme, lets go on to Wally. This hull started life as a 19 foot Lightening sailboat and will end up as a hard toped motor launch. Washington Dan is really loving all these repurposed boats. Why let a perfectly good hull go when you can turn it into a really strange something else.

It's going to be pretty cool when he's finished with lots of fancy do dads and such and some kind of outboard on the back. No telling how he'll handle that installation; you know it won't be just hung on the transom.

I'll finish up with this link to the West Coast Trailer Sailor newsletter. This one talks about the happenings at the Florida 120 race and the whole story about the guys who went up the the Erie Canal. Check it out. It's a little slow to open so give it a few seconds.

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