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houseboat expo new

Apr. 12, 2010
Vol 4, No 1-10


The Great Circle calls to heartlanders

It's almost May, perfect boating weather, when boaters take up the challenge of circumnavigating the entire eastern half of the nation, otherwise known as the Great Loop.
That's our theme for May, when Mike Bush "Sums It All Up," cogitating about the places he experienced and people he met during his voyage.

railroad lock

Railroad Lock along Great Loop. Photo by Brock Lutz

Gary Kramer writes about converting a shrimper into a boat suitable for long-distance hauls, while Kate Godfrey-DeMay's roundup of tops and Biminis helps everyone choose the right model of this important part of onboard comfort.

Detail from the trawler. Photo by Gary Kramer

Capt. Fred Davis offers advice about buying a used boat in the Boat Smart column.

Joanne Cunningham Walker writes about one of the places found along the route, Guntersville, Ala. Ron and Eva Stob describe Kuttawa Harbor on Lake Barkley, a big hit with Loopers, and Terry Rau profiles another favorite, Toad Cove Yacht Club. It's part of the Camden on the Lake Resort, Spa and Yacht Club, at Lake of the Ozarks.

Boats at Kuttawa Harbor. Photo by Eva Stob

Camden on the Lake Resort. Photo by Terry Rau
Along the way, boaters would probably see many abandoned boats, Kate Godfrey-DeMay told us, because it's a growing problem.

Wear It
Photo courtesy Florida F&WC

On a lighter note, newcomer Janet Cochrane shares some of the joys of scuba diving at the southernmost tip of the journey, in balmy Florida waters.

Spanish hogfish. Photo by Janet Cochrane

A more northerly section of the route is along the Illinois River, where Hennepin Marine, of Hennepin, Ill., is located. Denise Sarsfield shares their recipe for their hot dip, bunya calda. This month, she kicks off a series of recipes from restaurant marinas. Please send suggestions here for heartland marinas you'd like her to cover.

Let's Do The Loop!


The weather is getting better. Soon most of us will be back on the water.
The nice people at BoatU.S. recently shared a series of just-released photos from TowBoatU.S. of Islamorada Florida. They document an incident that took place the week of March 15. It highlights the need for every boater to stay prepared.

A center-console fishing vessel took on water while fishing offshore at Tennessee Reef. A small-craft warning had been issued, and seas were confused, running about four feet. Fishing alone, the owner did not notice that the vessel had taken on water, perhaps as a result of the rough seas. Before he could do anything, the vessel slipped down on the starboard side.

TowBoatU.S. Islamorada responded to a U.S. Coast Guard urgent marine broadcast and a request from Florida Fish and Wildlife officers who were first to arrive on scene and safely removed the owner from the sinking boat. A little later the towing company arrived and sent a swimmer over to the boat. She had to climb aboard very carefully to remove unsecured items before connecting a towing bridle. The boat was successfully returned to port, but the owner was reported to be a little shaken.

Here are the photos: 

4 pix
Photos courtesy TowBoatU.S., Islamorada, Florida

As you begin the 2010 boating season, think about what you would do if these events happened to you. What would you do now to ensure your own happy ending to a day of fishing?


Gibson To Introduce Executive Series
Gibson Boats of Portland, Tenn., has announced plans to introduce a new Executive Series next year.
The "Exec" features one-level living while maintaining Gibson's legendary performance, maneuverability and value. This new series is in response to dealer and customer requests to "bring back the Executive."
Spokesman Kelly Sovine reported that Gibson employees are excited about their new series and invite everyone to stop by for a plant tour when in the Nashville area.
Pictured is a rendering of Gibson's new 55-foot by 16-foot Executive Classic.


master forge
Gibson Executive Classic. Artwork by Josh Austin

HLB Staff Member Attends Houseboat Expo

HeartLandBoating advertising representative Mark Gentry attended the National Houseboat Expo 2010 from March 5-7 in Louisville. He brought back interesting pictures, one of which appears in the April issue. Here's another:

Dirk Wiley, Cool Cat, and Lori Ammerman at
Catamaran Cruisers booth
Photo by Mark Gentry

To see the rest of them, go to our Facebook page and look for the latest album of pictures.


Summer-ize your boat


If preparing the boat for a winter rest is winterizing, what is the term for what you're doing now? Summer-izing, naturally.
Every spring, shortly after they're launched for the season, boats sink while still tied up at the dock. It can be a real mess. BoatU.S. marine insurance claim files offer the top five reasons for springtime sinkings.
1. Missing or damaged hose clamps. Often removed in the fall to winterize the engine, the clamps can be forgotten in the spring when the boat is launched.

One reason to inspect stainless hose clamps. Photo courtesy BoatU.S.

2. Unsecured engine hoses. During the winter, freezing water can lift hoses off seacocks (valves).

3. Spring rains. Combine heavy rains with leaking ports, deck hatches, cracked or improperly caulked fittings, chain plates, and even scuppers clogged by leaves, and soon your boat could be on the bottom.

4. Broken sea strainer. Glass, plastic and even bronze strainer bowls can be cracked or bent over the winter if not properly winterized, allowing water trickle in when the seawater intake seacock is in the Open position.

5. Leaking stuffing box. A steady drip from an improperly adjusted stuffing box--that "packing" around the prop shaft--has been known to swamp a boat. 

So, protect your boat. Click here for a free Spring Commissioning Checklist. Do not forget properly sized life jackets for each passenger, including children. Check inflatable life jacket cylinders. And, test smoke, carbon monoxide, fume and bilge alarms.

Sandy Steele and Freckles enjoy boating on Lake Cumberland.
Photo by Cliff Steele

Enjoy the beautiful spring sun,

Lee Braff 

HeartLand Boating

Editorial Offices

feature boat

1989 38' BAYLINER 3888 MOTOR YACHT - Twin 175 hp
Hino diesels, 445 hrs, 8 kW generator, 425 hrs. Custom rear
hardtop. Radar. Excellent condition, under cover, freshwater.

TN owner, Reduced price, $99,900. 423-595-7600. MR11

To find this & other classified ads please visit us online.