What's New On Tom's Travel Blog?

Flickr has been improved! Almost all photos on this blog come from my Flickr Photostream. You can now go directly to a page that shows all of my Flickr photo sets by following this link. It's the easiest way to navigate in my on-line photos.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A trip to Long Lake, Burnett County, Wisconsin

Well, not a real trip. But a nice mental break at this time of year!

I was cleaning out boxes of "old stuff" in the office when I came upon these plans for building a pontoon boat in a dusty storage box.

The plans are still in pretty good shape except for some waterproof glue stains on them.

I think that every man wants to build a boat and possibly sail around the world - or at least as far as the South Pacific. Only a few actually make it into the ocean, like Gerry Spiess in Yankee Girl.

We hadn't owned our cabin on Long Lake in Burnett County, Wisconsin for long when Linda saw these plans in a magazine around 1979 and ordered them for me. Soon I had three deck sections and two twenty-two foot long pontoons sitting in the back yard of our South Minneapolis home. All these parts were made of 1/4" or 3/8" plywood except for the sides of the pontoons. Those were crafted from 1x12 pine.

Now a wise person might have given some thought to questions like "How high off the water do you think that deck is going to be?" or "How long do you think a 3/8" deck is going to last?" before starting this project, but not me.

With the help of a rental truck, I soon had the completed parts up at Long Lake. I couldn't wait to put the boat in the water and go fishing.

It took another summer to build the seat boxes and canopy but by the following chilly Labor Day we able to take the family for a ride.

Over the course of the next twenty-seven years I fiberglassed the wood pontoons, replaced the wood pontoons with factory-made aluminum, built a new deck, rebuilt the seat boxes, and lost track of the number of times I replaced the canopy.

But for all that time, I am sure I provided a frequently entertaining topic of discussion for the neighbors on the lake. Not the least of which might have involved, "Bet he wishes he took that boat out of the lake before Halloween!" in early November of 1991.

In spite of the hastle with maintenance, the boat supplied many pleasant memories over the years.

The boat plans came from Stevenson Projects which is still in business although most of their plans are for sailboats. Pete Stevenson tells me that he sold the original version of this boat long ago but ran across it once out in the San Diego Harbor. The new owner yelled, "Watch this!" as he jammed on the power. He'd put a 50 horse Merc on it and the thing actually took off planing!

No comments: