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Jan. 18, 2010
Vol 1, No 2-10
NO DOG LIKE A DOCK DOG
Wet pups to jump in
Chicago, Louisville, and St. Louis
DockDogs is a
dog-jumping contest in which canines from around the country compete in three
events, including Big Air, Speed Retrieval and Extreme Vertical. And boy, are
they ever fun to watch, as crowds at each show attest.
Here's a picture of a
competitor at the St. Louis Boat & Sportshow last year:
Photo courtesy NMMA
I hope you caught the
action if you attended the Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show that ended
yesterday, or plan to go to the Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow that runs Jan. 20-24, or to the St. Louis Boat & Sportshow,
Show attendees can
bring their pooch to the show to compete or just watch the pros in action. For
information regarding pre-registration and scheduled events, visit DockDogs.com. Here are some
YouTube.com video highlights from
past DockDogs competitions, too.
And remember last month
when we talked about how boat shows were working to make boating more
affordable? Now comes news from Malibu Boats about
their Winter Blast Boat Show Savings Event. Additionally, the Mid-America Boat & Fishing Show, Jan. 15-24, has teamed with the
Cleveland Foodbank to offer free admission to every attendee that brings four
cans of food tomorrow, Jan. 19. It's Food Drive Tuesday. On Thursday, it's
Put-In-Bay Day, and admission is only $5 after 5 p.m.
Also, Strictly Sail Chicago,
opening in 10 days, Jan. 28-31, writes that it's offering more than 200
educational seminars to let novices learn basics, and veteran sailors find out
about new techniques. Physicist Scott Welty becomes Capt. Science to talk torque, hull speed, and lightning. Wow,
fun and education--that's what I call a great value.
Looking ahead, the NMMA has set date for next
year's New Orleans Boat & Sportshow. It will take place Jan. 27-30, 2011.
HeartLand Boating's fully equipped Web site
includes a Message Board for
reader queries, but traffic to it tends to slow down in the winter when most
boaters are storing their craft.
You're the expert in
this column! Please use the e-mail link and subject headers to send us
suggestions for questioners, and we will pass them along. Here for your
consideration are two questions posed by readers.
Question No 1:
I have a pontoon
conversion. It is called a houseboat at the marina, but it is more like a
camper. As the economy turns, we are looking at a real houseboat, maybe a large
sailing cruiser, and so we may need another marina. We are currently on
Clearwater Lake near Piedmont, Mo. If we get a larger boat, we need a marina
with a houseboat community. There are no houseboat-size marinas on Clearwater.
reside in the Missouri Bootheel. We started on Bull Shoals Lake, but that was 4
1/2 hours away. Kentucky Lake is a two-hour drive, like Clearwater. Norfolk
Lake on the Arkansas-Missouri boarder is 3 1/2 hours. I am not sure about the
distance to Heber Springs and Lake Ouachita, north of Little Rock in Arkansas.
you for your time and consideration. Have a good day.
suggesting consultation with Quimby's
Cruising Guide, HeartLand Boating hesitates to suggest a specific marina.
But we would like to know what you think. Reply to email@example.com
with "Question 1" in the e-mail's subject line, please.
Question No 2:
I am looking for
input from someone to help me size a boat, primarily for river navigation and
some open water. I have had numerous open-bow boats and taken trips down the
Intracoastal Waterway (Chesapeake Bay to Savannah, Ga.). Recently we went down
the Monongahela River (Fairmont, W.V. to Pittsburgh, Pa.) and the entire Ohio
River (Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill.), all in a 21-foot open-bow boat. The trips
were both very enjoyable and I would like to do more rivers, but more
am now looking to sell the 21-footer and purchase a larger boat that I can use
to take longer river trips and that I can sleep aboard. Ideally I would like to
sleep four adults, but still keep the boat on a trailer when it's out of the
water. I have large trucks that I can use to pull a heavier boat-trailer
you recommend an individual to assist me in not only sizing a boat, but also
suggesting styles and brands? I find that dealers often are more interested in
selling me what they have, not necessarily what I need. Any thoughts would be
Well, I suppose
you can't blame a salesperson for talking up his inventory, but I think
everyone understands your frustration. What about it, readers? What's the next
logical step for this boater? Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org with
"Question 2" in the e-mail's subject line, please.
NEWS FOR BOATERS
New marina for Old
Contributor Bob Duthie www.greatloopcruising.com
writes us with news
about what was up on New Year's Day. This photo
shows "the new marina
that replaced Lakewood Marina on Old Hickory Lake. The new marina is called BlackJack Cove. The restaurant is the Black Pearl and by all
accounts is very good. There is also a shop, bait store, fuel dock (gas and
diesel) and lots of transient space," Duthie said.
for the update, Mr. Duthie. We're always glad to hear news about marinas.
Loran-C signal ends soon
The director of
prevention policy for the U.S. Coast Guard has announced plans to stop
broadcasting North American Loran-C signals on Feb. 8. Both Joan Wenner, in her September Waterway Law column titled "EPIRB
Facts & Rules to Know," and Patti Clausen in her October beacons roundup, have discussed
newer, more advanced rescue technologies now available to boaters as a
replacement. Neither the armed forces nor the nation's transportation sector
uses the terrestrial-based Loran-C system anymore, according to the news
Grand Lakes Yacht
Club scores for Ronald McDonald House
Reader Leslie Goodman
writes to tell us that the Grand Lakes Yacht Club collected 249-plus pounds of tabs during 2009.
Members counted how many were in a pound, and discovered it took 1,475 tabs to make that weight.
One of the club members presented the tabs the tabs in to the Ronald McDonald House in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 6. Well done, Grand
Lakes Yacht Club!
the club itself, Goodman says "We are boaters from Lake Barkley Marina, Buzzard
Rock Marina, and Kuttawa Marina on Lake Barkley and GTB Marina, Kentucky Dam Marina, and Kenlake Marina on
Kentucky Lake. We don't actually have a clubhouse. But we have super club
afloat parties at different marinas throughout the summer. We also have one
heck of a good time with other boaters."
club's new commodore is Michael Swinea, who boats at Kenlake Marina.
Houseboat on Fox
River prompts neighborliness
Contributor Jeff Yates
sent in this link about a Wisconsin man
caught both by ice and by the economy, in his houseboat. His story took a
surprising turn a couple of weeks ago.
Praise for the
Mark Gentry, the
advertising representative for HeartLand Boating, reports that the calendar made a big hit at
the Nashville Boat & Sportshow, and readers appear to agree.
J. Cecil Smith, who
often contributes to "Heard From the Heartland," writes, "I got the calendar;
I'm really proud of it! For a
first effort, it has great personality!
Stunning pictures! Glad to
see Cliff and Freckles again."
February calendar picture of the Kingscraft houseboat is exactly and precisely like the one that I had two of. Our tornado of 1974,
which killed 31 people in our town of 1,700, also destroyed my 1972 Kingscraft,
which was in winter storage on barrels. A total loss. So I found one just like
it, same year and everything. Insurance bought it for me."
|BECOME A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD
Those who don't
know better sometimes declare, "There's nothing to do during the winter in the
heartland!" But the inventive Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau declared this past Saturday and Sunday as "Let's Paint the Town" weekend.
What a great
idea. And there's no better place to find out what's happening in your neck of
the woods than by consulting the HeartLand Boating Online Calendar.
Right here in
greater St. Louis, for example, Alton, Ill., is sponsoring Eagle Meet and Greet
Sundays all month, plus the first Sunday in February. See a live bald eagle up
close, and learn about the species. Call 1-800-ALTON-IL (258-6645) or click here for details.
Saturday of January, the "city of festivals," St. Charles, Mo., puts on the Fete De Glace (Festival of Ice) on North Main Street,
near the mouth of the Missouri River. Watch professional ice carvers compete
using chain saws, power grinders, sanders, cold chisels, handsaws, and irons.
The crowd judges the results. Coffee, hot chocolate, and fire pits warm up
And finally, if
it's January, can Mardi Gras be far behind? St. Charles, Mo., parades
alcohol-free for Mardi Gras the first Saturday in February; New Orleans, of course, celebrates on the day itself.
Just think of
Mardi Gras as the first day of very early spring.