Friday, February 24, 2017

Boat Build!!

Greetings!  After a long absence, I'm back, and about to embark on another boat building adventure.  I'm planning a big trip down the ohio river, Kentucky Lake, Tennessee River, Tombigbee River, and ultimately. The west coast of Florida. 
Choosing a boat design for this kind of trip is really the hardest part of the process.  My first impulse was to go big, with comfort being the key part of the design.  With this idea in mind, I started looking at triloboat designs. I was thinking along the lines of 24x7. I quickly reversed this decision and decided going smaller would be a better way to go. 
I began drawing up some smaller versions of a suitable trilo design. Finally deciding that a 16x6.5 could be very comfortable. Some of my lines ended up being the wrong color but you should be able to get an idea of what I had in mind. 

Since I'm planning to do as much of the trip as possible with electric drive, I finally abandoned the barge type hull.  Speed can make a huge difference on a trip like this, so perhaps a sleeker hull would be a good choice. 
After studying plans by many different designers, i then settled on a michalak musicbox 2. Pretty much the same dimensions as a bolger micro, and a much faster hull. I think musicbox 2 would be a very good choice for trip like this.  

After being about 80% settled on musicbox 2 I started thinking why not go even smaller?
I commissioned a design from a drawing I made for Jim Michalak called Robbsboat. 

I built one several years ago but only used it a couple of times with a 2.5 yamaha outboard.  This boat was VERY fast under engine power and i believe her to be very capable in rough water.  She can carry a 1000 pound load, which is pretty extraordinary for a boat her size. So this is where i am now.... Between musicbox 2 and Robbsboat.... Decisions decisions.  More coming soon!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Grand Lake From A Boat

ter a fun night fishing at Grand Lake from a pier, I decided to return with a boat I had just traded for. It is a 12 foot aluminum hull made by sea king. 

there's nothing really special about this boat but I like it because it is small, light, yet it has good stability.  I got a very good deal on this boat and it came complete with a brand new MinnKota motor, a new battery, an Anchor, and life jackets. The trailer that this boat is sitting on, seems practically new and that was the real score.  So I hit Grand Lake a little after noon and used an app on my phone that showed depths. This is a shallow lake that almost has nowhere that goes over eight feet. Most of it is six or seven feet and on my map I found a spot near the middle of the lake that had a drop off from 6 to 8 feet. It was literally like a hole in the middle of the lake.  This is the spot that I dropped a hook and fished on bottom.  I was fishing with 7/0 hooks and using medium shrimp for bait. It didn't take long for me to get my first take and I was amazed that I caught about a three pound channel cat.  The action only got better from there and I wound up having to stop fishing with two poles and use only one because of how fast they were biting.  after only a couple of hours I stopped fishing because I had so many fish on my stringer that I could barely lift it to put another one on.  What a great day on the lake!

The bittersweet part of this entire trip was that I had to stay up till about midnight cleaning fish but it I will take that problem any time! Here are some more photos showing the beauty of this lake.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fishing at Grand Lake

I have decided to visit some of the lakes around Ohio that I have not yet been too. This week I've have hit two different Lakes. The first Lake I visited it is called Kiser lake. When I arrived at this lake I discovered that over a beautiful place to visit, it seems to be over grown with moss and vegetation under the water. Fishing here was almost impossible for me so I left and headed to Grand Lake which is located between the towns of St Marys and Celina . For bait I had brought nightcrawlers and some frozen shrimp because I heard that frozen shrimp does very well in this lake. I was able to catch a few blue gills on nightcrawlers but both were too large to use as bait so I switched to a big rod baited with shrimp.  In no time I got my first hit and was able to catch a nice size channel cat. This fish was about two and a half pounds and had very beautiful coloring.

Before I had much of a chance to catch a second fish, a small storm rolled in and I had to retreat to the car to wait for the rain to stop. The rain only lasted for about 20 minutes and soon I was back already my pier to begin fishing again. I went back to using the shrimp again, and no time I had fish number 2 on the line which felt noticeably bigger and indeed was, because this fish weighed in at about 4 pounds.  

Soon after I had caught fish number two the wind shifted drastically from being mild from the SW, to being quite brisk from the east. After this happened, all fishing success halted!  I was pretty disappointed when I failed to catch any more fish but that is the way fishing goes!  I am planning to go back to Grand Lake and I am on the hunt for a monster blue cat. I will also in the near future give an essay on all of the fishing gear that I use.  

More coming soon, but in the meantime I would love to hear about your favorite fishing spot.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Equpment Review - Kelly Kettle

Once in a while I come across a piece of equipment that really stands out. This is the case with the Kelly Kettle. The Kelly Kettle is a small appliance that will heat water in a big hurry with just about any solid fuel you have available and also doubles as a cooker. Its a very high quality piece of equipment that will last for years.
The model I own is the largest stainless steel version that they make and comes with a carrying case. 

To begin using the Kelly Kettle, place a few loosely waded newspaper pages down the chimney and light them through the access hole in the bottom section. 

After the pages light, you can add larger pieces of fuel down the chimney. In this case I will use cardboard. 

The chimney creates a strong draft which burns very efficiently

It won't take long to boil the water. 5 or 6 minutes is all it takes. 
Prepare your coffee or in this case, soup. 
Instant hot meal!!
You can get one here: Kelly Kettle on Amazon

Monday, May 12, 2014

Readying The Boat

Much work has been done to get this boat ready for the water. I am trying to if this all wound up so that I can be in the water and enjoying the summer. I had a problem with the electric anchor windlass which I traced to a faulty breaker. After inspecting the anchor line I decided that it was okay but the end needed to be cut off and reattached to the anchor.

I also installed some new rod holders that I think will work very well with this boat. Fish on!

and finally a shot of me taking a break from work. Some good adventures coming soon this summer!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Chris Craft

Much has happened since the last time I posted to this blog. Since that time and recently, I have bought a Chris Craft commander 336 cabin cruiser.

I still enjoy building boats but I have decided that a boat this big and at the price that I bought it at, would be a much better deal for me been trying to build a boat this size. Older boats can offer a much better deal in the long run than trying to build a large boat. The boat is absolutely gorgeous inside and out and has many features that I never thought that I would have in a boat. For now, I will let the pictures do the talking for me. The boat is located in St Joseph Michigan and we will be launching soon and moving south. Watch for many adventures coming up this summer. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blue Heron on Rocky Fork Lake

A good day and nite on the water at Rocky Fork.  The lake had some nasty wind but surprisingly there was no rough water.  Anxious to go out more!!