Thursday, September 29, 2011

Big Swan Creek Revisited

He either camped on the wrong gravel bar, or they haven't looked in Pee Wee's yet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What I think is you should come down for the Jon Boat workshop next week.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pope John Boat II

We tested the new boat on its first shallow river and experienced some discomfort in our rear end that has been traced to a case of Severely Acute Transom Syndrome.

Maybe that's Severely Obtuse. Anyway, our transom is not vertical and it means our propeller will be doing some serious ass-dragging on the rocky shoals of the Duck River if we don't fix it, especially because we have a long shaft motor (like the RRCC would ever have anything else). Normally we could just adjust the motor angle but because of the transom shape we can't get enough trim (like the RRCC ever could).

Here is an update of what we'll need for the other boat improvements. Most of the supplies have already been gathered, but everybody needs to bring a bunch of tools, especially whatever power saws are best to notch out the plywood. No clue on that. By the way, we removed the forward swivel seat because it suggested a kind of leisureliness that was just not proper for a work boat like the Green Mule. We can decide if we are going to take out the stern one when we are all together on Jon Boat Day October 5th.

Floor - parts and supplies:

Cardboard for templates
3/4" plywood (two 4x8 sheets)
Wood supports
Weather stripping
Thompson's waterseal
Marine carpet
Carpet fasteners/staples
Carpet glue

Floor - tools:

Scissors, box cutters, tape and markers for template
Table saw
Band saw (or jig saw?)
Saw horses
Paint brushes
Throw tarp
Staple gun or carpet fastener
Drill and bits
Extension cords
Real screwdrivers

Electrical - parts and supplies:

Rocker switch panel
Mount for switch panel
Wire (different gauges)
Screws and attachments
Silicone sealant
Port (red) and starboard (green) side navigation lights
Stern (white) all-around, pole-mount navigation light
Cigarette lighter accessory plug for spotlights (and cigarettes)
Trolling motor cables and clamps

Electrical - tools

Wire cutters
Wire strippers
Real strippers
Drill and bits
Extension cords


Automotive console cup holders to mount on carpeted floor
Foam lining to convert live well into built-in cooler
New trailer wheels and possibly wheel bearings
Replacement trailer rope
Gunwale and transom trailer straps
Deep cycle marine battery

If you think of anything else post it in the Comments or just bring it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boat Party is Oct. 5

Jon Boat Improvement Day will be Wednesday, October 5 at Phil's Cool Springs Canoe Trailer Storage and Dry Dock. There is real work to be done and it's going to take some time, so plan to go straight to Sportsman's Lodge right after work where we'll roll out the blueprints before heading over to the warehouse.

Someone tell Frieda to tell Jim to look at these pictures we found on the interweb. This is one of the things on our To Do list:


Three or four philosophers in bib overalls with brown juice in the corner of their mouths regarded me as I dumped the pup on the floor. Countrymen are usually unfond of dogs indoors, but I was tired of carrying him and didn't trust him alone outside by the highway. Their gazes told me that I was dirty even by their standards which by open evidence was not effete.

"Kind of motor you usin'?" the owner said. Four sets of hairy philosophical ears radared toward me.

"Canoe," I said.

And saw a quintuplicate reproduction of the expression on the face of the little man at Possum Kingdom dam.

"Tippy damn things," the owner said.

Goodbye to a River, pp. 120-21.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pimp My Jon Boat

We are going to have a boat workshop to get The Mule ready to whisk Stuart and the other Night Rangers down the river for a Friday arrival. We will do it at the warehouse (right, Phil?) just like our maintenance and repair party a couple of years ago.

The main jobs will be to install floors over the exposed ribs for maximum cooler stacking - and wire up regulation lights for night running.

A short, thin man in a Stetson, seam-faced, came out and looked at us and at the canoe on the car, opened the gate, and showed curiosity and a willingness to talk. November is a quiet month for sociable people at lakes. . . .

"All by yourself?" he said. "Without no motor?"

I said yes.

He looked disgusted and, walling his eyes across the lake, said as though to a fourth, disinterested person that he'd never had no use for canoes, not even in summer.

Goodbye to a River, pp. 17-18.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Green Mule

Here is the big news for 2011:

The RRCC has a motorboat. And we intend to use it.

It all began when Stuart committed to the Fall Trip but can't make it down until late Friday night November 4. There are others who can't make it in time for a morning departure either - and since it will be a full day paddling on Friday it will be too far to take a canoe down to the campsite in the dark the way Rob did on the Eleven Point River. But...what if we had a big, flat-bottom jon boat? ...With an outboard? ...And a spotlight?

That was just the excuse we've been looking for. Because the RRCC needed one of these things years ago without ever knowing it. Now, we not only have the perfect vehicle for Midnight Riders, we have solved the problem of the overloaded canoes forever.

Bikers call it a "Sag Wagon":

A sag wagon is a support vehicle for cyclists. As a general rule, cyclists on tour call the vehicle a sag wagon, while racers prefer the term “broom wagon.” In either case, the sag wagon can be a vital part of the team which support cyclists along their journey. On long tours and trips, many cyclists grow quite attached to the sag wagon and its drivers, thanks to the comfort that the sag wagon provides.

The origins of the term “sag wagon” are a topic for debate. Some cyclists believe that it is an acronym for “Support and Gear” or “Support Aid Group.” Others suggest that it may be related to distressed or weary cyclists “sagging”, or trailing behind the pack. In either case, the sag wagon can be a lifesaver for cyclists, since it carries everything from water to medical supplies. Many of the staff on board are cyclists themselves, sitting out an event for various reasons or simply enjoying the opportunity to help out.

Usually, the touring sag wagon takes the form of a large, sturdy van or truck. It is designed to hold food for the cyclists, along with camping gear and other equipment. The sag wagon may drive ahead to the night's designated camping spot, so that the cyclists are welcomed to a fully set up camp when they arrive. In other cases, the sag wagon trails slightly behind, keeping an eye on the cyclists and picking up stragglers who may need a brief break from the open road.

Using a sag wagon for a bicycling tour allows the tour group to include a wide range of cyclists at varying levels of physical condition. The wagon can carry the bulk of the cyclists' luggage, making the bikes much lighter and more easy to handle. It also brings along a sense of home, and since a van can carry far more food than a bicyclist can, it usually indicates that good supplies will be less spartan than they might be on an unsupported trip.

In racing, the broom wagon specifically seeks out cyclists who may need medical attention or a rest. The broom wagon meanders through the course route slowly, making sure that stragglers are cared for and meeting the needs of cyclists who may need anything from more water to a lift, so that they can withdraw from the race if they are experiencing physical problems. Staff on the broom wagon usually have medical training so that they can evaluate cyclists in distress.

Cowboys never called it a Sag-anything. They called it a mule. They figured out a long time ago that if you're going to be hauling cast iron cookware, bottles of whiskey and guitars, you better get a mule.
So we did.