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Chick Ludwig

Appalachian mess-about

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Hey y'all. Would any of you guys like to get together for sort of a one day mess-about here in the southern Appalachian area sometime this spring or early summer? Any ideas where would be a good place to do it?

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Works for me April on.  Should have a new boat by then if Amanda kit easy as they say :) . Maybe a campground with cabins, & motel nearby on a nice lake?  Rick

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Matt, Roanoke shouldn't be too far.

Rick, sounds good. So, you've decided on Amanda? I don't know yet which I want to build yet. I can't start a new project until spring anyway.

 

I don't know yet where it would be. I'm looking for suggestions from the "natives". We need enough room for launching and beaching, a ramp, no fee (or very little), many of the lakes here charge fairly steep daily use fees to out-of-towners. Some lakes are over-run with bass boats and jet skis. Camping on site or near by would be desirable. Hey, maybe we should do a 2 or 3 day event??? We'll have at least one power boat---mine "Turtler", sail boats and kayak/canoes. I think that anywhere from the south western side of Virginia down to about Lake Hartwell would be suitable.

 

I'll be talking with Thrillsbe (One of the Messing About forum guys that lives about 45 minutes south of me here in Hendersonville, NC.) He seems to have good knowledge of lakes around the area. Maybe some of the rest of you do too.

 

Looking for your feedback, suggestions, an encouraging word, etc. Thanks!

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The biggest obstacle I see to this GREAT idea is that in my slice of Appalachia a "beach" usually consists of red clay. How are we going to beach our toys? Any ideas?

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Yep, beaches that we could use and launch at  may be hard to find. let's be looking. As far as red clay---it'll clean off out purty boats. (Hey, may be that painting Turtler red wasn't such a bad idea!) Rocks on the other hand..... But then, if we carry a carpet scram to lay on the rocks? Now boulders could be a problem. 

 

Is there a suitable area at a campground on Jocassee or Keowee? Or Lake James? Folks that don't want to camp there would need to be able to use the ramp too.

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Great idea. Guntersville in North Alabama is a popular sailing lake, and I hear Watauga in NE Tennessee is goof.

Remember that the Cedar Key Sma Boat meet is the first weekend in May. Best winds are spring and fall, with light and variable the norm in summer in the SE. Jocassee or Hartwell or Smith Lake in Virginia would work.

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If Smith Mountain Lake was considered, I could potentially host the gathering at our sail club there.  Its situated at the largest part of the lake, has beaches and docking, and would offer cheap camping, some with electric.  There are nice condo rentals within walking distance and hotels I think within 1/2 hour drive.  April is probably ideal.  

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Mattp. Looks interesting but is almost 5 hours from me. I'm thinking of something closer. What do you other guys think?

 

What is the address of your sailing club so I can "Google Earth" it?

 

Anyone know anything about launching and camping at Watauga Lake? I see a "Watauga Reservoir Boat Ramp". Would there be room to pull boats up to shore there? Or are there other places on the lake? Camping near by?

 

Guntersville Lake is over 5 hrs. from me, but also looks interesting. 

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Mattp. Looks interesting but is almost 5 hours from me. I'm thinking of something closer. What do you other guys think?

 

What is the address of your sailing club so I can "Google Earth" it?

 

Anyone know anything about launching and camping at Watauga Lake? I see a "Watauga Reservoir Boat Ramp". Would there be room to pull boats up to shore there? Or are there other places on the lake? Camping near by?

 

Guntersville Lake is over 5 hrs. from me, but also looks interesting. 

 

Understood.  If I were to drive 5 hours, I'd hope to be somewhere coastal.  Just putting it out there as an option in case the discussion brings it that far north. 

 

450 Sailors Cove Dr, Moneta, VA 24121

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Matt, I'd say it's still a possibility---mainly because of the facilities at your sailing club. We'll see what everyone has to say, and how many would come. My original intent was aimed at the folks near the Asheville, Hendersonville, and Greenville areas. Don't know how many of us there are. Who knows what it could morf into.

 

Keep it comin', y'all!

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Latest news. I visited with Thrillsbe (Not his actual name, but he posts in the Forum under this name.), and some of the folks in the Polk County Boat Builders group in Mill Spring. It's only about 35 minutes away from me. Never thought that there would be other boat-messing type guys here in the mountains. Hey, let's call them (us) the Appalachian Mess-about Bunch. Anyway, we had a great time talking boats, boating people, builders, and various problems of the world (of which we solved none of).

 

Somewhere in there we made an executive decision (maybe) about a potential place for the mess-about. One of the bunch is Mitchel, who races sailboats down on Lake Hartwell and is a member of a sailing club there. Maybe they will host the mess-about for us. More to come later. Meanwhile, you guys can look up Hartwell on Google Earth.

 

I'd like to introduce you to the A.M.B. (You remember---the Appalachian Mess-about Bunch.) They meet and build in the basement of the Polk County Agricultural Center. In the old boiler room. This building was once the Polk County High School, and was built around the turn of the century. One of the bunch, Don, started using the building to work with young people to learn boat building and messing skills. He's had a steady stream going through his program. Along the way, some "big people" wanted to join in.   

 

This gentleman's name is Don---let's call him "Big Don", not because he's big, but because he's the oldest, but I don't want to call him "old man Don". Anyway, Don is the master boat builder. He's done more, and been more places than any normal human bean has time for in one lifetime. His personal boat that he is building right now is a ----dang if I haven't mis-layed my notes. I'll have to fill in the blanks later.

 

Then there is Little Don---not because---awww, you know. He was laying out the building frame for a Devlin______(durn notes again) that will be used in a rowing and sailing club located around Lake Bowen and_____. Not present was De from Key West. She is a 77 year old young lady building a Devlin _____. Last and not least---well, maybe least--- in age anyway, is the before mentioned Mitchell. He is a 14 year old home schooler that Big Don is teaching how to build a B and B Spindrift 10. It's just about completed and ready for christening. He's doing a fine job of it too. All it needs is a keel, which is today's project. Mitchell is already an accomplished racing skipper.

 

I'll come back later and "fill-in-the-blanks. But meanwhile I'll post some pics (At least I didn't lose the durn camera. Good thing---Miss Debbie woulda killed me!)

 

post-1823-0-35733200-1412285012_thumb.jpg  The boiler room/shop.

 

post-1823-0-52496500-1412285007_thumb.jpg  The Master, Big Don.

 

post-1823-0-00750800-1412285006_thumb.jpg  Little Don showing Mitchell "how it's done".

 

post-1823-0-82214600-1412285008_thumb.jpg  The crew' laying hands on Mitchell's Spindrift.

 

post-1823-0-10758500-1412285011_thumb.jpg  De's boat.

 

post-1823-0-97273200-1412285009_thumb.jpg  Big Don's boat.

 

That's about it for now.  I'll stop by later when I find my stoopid notes and edit this mess. See ya later, y'all.

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You did a darned good job at remembering everything.  Let me straighten out a few things, though.  "Big Don's Boat" is actually one he's building for a long-time friend.  I think there's an understanding that Don will get a few hours of use-- I sure hope so.  It is a Phoenix III by Ross Lillistone.  Don is in the process of selecting a boat for a solo cruise/adventure.  We intend to build it this winter, so he can launch and go adventuring late spring.  I'm laying out a Duckling 14, from Sam Devlin.  We intend to row it on Lake Blalock, the home for the hoped-for rowing club.  

 

I hope the club on Lake Hartwell works out for the Appalachian Mess-About.  I haven't seen the club, but I've heard good things.  And Lake Hartwell is HUGE.  The only thing it lacks is a nice, sandy beach.  (Got plenty of red Carolina clay, though!)

 

We didn't get a lot of work done today!  But we sure did have a great time talking.  It's great to have you nearby, Chick.

 

btw, "Thrillsbe" is a moniker I was given, back when I organized whitewater rafting trips for friends.  The nickname stuck.  I even named my Catalina 27 that, back in the day.

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Don. Thanks, but I have a terrible memory. Heck, I can't even remember what I did with my notes. I need a note to read my note, and another note where I put THAT note. Oh well. Since you filled in the details, I won't go back and edit my post.

 

Sounds good on Hartwell, but if that doesn't work out, we'll find somewhere else. We need you other guys reading this to chime in too. If we did Hartwell, would you be able to come? We're thinking the 3rd. weekend in April.

 

It was great fun today. This stuff is much more enjoyable with like-minded friends nearby. We'll have many more great visits and boating adventures together, But mabe not too many thrills, Thrillsbe.

 

Hey, maybe we could call you the "Boiler Room Boat Bunch". Actually, would it be ok to call all of us together the "Appalachian Mess-about Bunch"? Other ideas? i like to put a cute name with these little postings.

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Sounds like a fun crew out there.  Only challenge in April for me is I'm trying to pull off a B&B Family Boatbuilding Weekend in conjunction with our annual Marine Market in Washington.  Have to confirm the date with the Marine Market folks.  If I can make it work I'll see you all then if not sooner. 

 

Marine Market (and possible family boat build) is 25th so 3rd weekend ok for me, but won't have Amanda by then.  Have to conjure up something to bring :-).  Rick  

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Rick, if  the 3rd. weekend won't work, suggest another. I can't do the first weekend,  Easter  and my anniversary are that weekend, so scratch that. Anytime after that is ok. For now we'll leave it on the 3rd.

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Lake Hartwell is a bit of a haul for me but I would like to see some other folks projects and meet up with some.  MattP, I would love to see what you've got and any other local builders/projects you know of. SML/ Moneta is only about an hour from my place on Leesville.  A cousin of mine lives in Moneta.

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Hi, Had a pretty good response to Graham's Amanda demos & talks, and B&B boats we have displayed past two years at our little April Marine Market (new and used boats and gear) day in little Washington NC.  If it fits Graham;s schedule, going to see if we can market at least 4 Amanda (or similar) kits for a 3-day build around the Marine Market Apr 24-26.  May have to build under 10x20 tents on the Waterfront, or possibly use sheltered decks around our Estuarium on the waterfront if I can arrange it.  Just dreamin' at the moment but will contact Graham soon now that Carla is on the mend pretty good, and talk more at Oct Messabout.  Rick

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Lake Hartwell is a bit of a haul for me but I would like to see some other folks projects and meet up with some.  MattP, I would love to see what you've got and any other local builders/projects you know of. SML/ Moneta is only about an hour from my place on Leesville.  A cousin of mine lives in Moneta.

 

I'd love to show you our boat sometime.  I was at the lake last weekend but it may be a while before I get back.  PM me if you make it to Roanoke.

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