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Nov. 22, 2010
Vol 11 No 2-10

Lows and Highs of Thanksgiving


It probably says something about our country that the American version of a solemn harvest holiday is now frequently associated with overindulgence. Here's a Web site about a new dessert, the cherpumple, that perfectly shows what I mean.                 





It's an answer from the dessert cart to the challenge of a turducken. You remember, it's a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey.


But I suspect that the first English immigrants to Massachusetts weren't thinking too much about extravagant feeding. They apparently spent a lot of time curled up with their Bibles, and seem to have been especially fond of the Book of Psalms.


A little research turned up three psalms that might be worth thinking about during this holiday. Go ahead, look them up.

The first is Psalm 97, that begins, "The Lord is king! Let the earth exult, the many islands rejoice!"

Psalm 104 is long, but almost sounds like it's talking about our expansive nation, describing waterways, meadows and mountains. It starts, "Bless the Lord, O my soul; O Lord my God, You are very great."

            But well-beloved Psalm 100 almost sounds like cheerleading for the Eternal. "Raise a shout for the Lord, all the earth; worship the Lord in gladness; come into His presence with shouts of joy."


And those sound a lot more like what this special 
American holiday is all about, to my ears. Here's hoping you and yours celebrate a very joyful Thanksgiving.









Good Boat-Builder News 

After more than enough bad news for a while, this month we've begun to receive some positive news about boat builders in the heartland.


Ranger Boats To Expand in Flippin


In October, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission reported that Fishing Holdings, the parent company of Ranger Boats announced the expansion of Ranger's manufacturing facility in Flippin, Ark.

           The company will invest $13 million to retool, transition and expand its facilities, which will create more than 115 new jobs. The additional jobs will increase total employment at the manufacturing facility to approximately 540 people.

            Ranger Boats was founded in 1968 by Flippin, Ark., native Forrest L. Wood. The current facility is located on Highway 178 North near Bull Shoals Lake.




Earlier this month, Skipper Manufacturing, based in La Crosse, Wis., announced via a news release that it had acquired the rights to the assets formerly owned by Skipperliner Industries, Inc. The new owner, Jeb Griffith, said SkipperLiner will continue the production of Coast Guard-certified passenger vessels, workboats and pleasure craft.

 SkprLnr 606

 SkipperLiner 606 River Yacht


           Griffith is an avid boater and entrepreneur. He is the founder and former owner of Winnebago Software Co., which he sold in 2000, and the former owner of Miken Sports, which he sold in 2004. Griffith is also the owner of Locknet Inc  and Supernal Software LLC in La Crosse, Wis.

           SkipperLiner has teamed with Pinnacle Marine Corp to lead the sales and marketing of SkipperLiner boats. Here's a YouTube video about the line.




MarineLink.com, online presence of Maritime Reporter  and MarineNews magazines, reported this month that SeaArk Marine, Inc, recently delivered a 30-foot Enforcer Series all-welded aluminum fire-and-rescue boat to the Guntersville, Ala., Fire Department. Guntersville is a popular stop on the Great Loop. SeaArk Marine is headquartered in Monticello, Ark.

               The boat features a modified Vee, constant-deadrise hull to produce a smooth, dry and stable ride. Fire fighters need fast response times, the ability to fight fires in all weathers, and maneuverability on-station, so the Guntersville Fire Department gave these characteristics high priority.

The boat is intended for fire-rescue-recovery missions on Lake Guntersville, a 69,000-acre lake, and the Tennessee River. To respond quickly, the department selected twin 250-horsepower, four-stroke, Yamaha outboard engines mounted on an integrated motor mounting platform surrounded by a heavy-duty outboard protection bar.

sml SeaArk Mar

A SeaArk Marine boat with characteristics of the Guntersville FD boat 


Mercury Marine Expands Wisconsin Plant



 An inflatable manufactured by Mercury Marine

According to the fdlreporter.com, from Fond du Lac, Wis., a 33,000-square-foot addition is now under construction at Mercury Marine's Fond du Lac, Wis., facility.

            "It's a large building, but it doesn't look that large when you look at the overall plant," community development director Wayne Rollin told the Fond du Lac Reporter newspaper. "A year and a half ago, we thought the company might not be here at all. So this is definitely good news for the community."

Construction is expected to be completed by Jan. 1, according to Mercury spokesman Steve Fleming.

The expansion project is needed to support the consolidation of Stillwater, Okla., operations with Mercury's Wisconsin site. 


A New Brand


News is spreading about Wayne Floe, builder of docks, trailers and boat lifts in McGregor, Minn. Apparently he now plans to build a new line of boats called Floe Craft, with a very unconventional look to them. Minnesota's Bluewater Yachts will be building the Floe Craft boats.



Twin 454 Crusaders, 8.0kW Westerbeke. 1,200 hours. Two heads, closed cooling systemHarbormaster, full size refrigerator, dual heat and air, anchor windlass. $35,000. larryrauch@bellsouth.net or 770-422-4967.
2011 GIFT GUIDE, Part 2

As we promised in the last newsletter, here are more gifting possibilities for boaters.


HLB Subscriptions or Our Beautiful New Calendar

How could you go wrong when you select a gift subscription to HeartLand Boating? Or our luscious new "Oh! The Places You'll Go!" 2011 calendar. Only $14.95. Or better yet, take us on this offer that combines both. 

Holiday promo

To order, call (314) 241-4310 and ask for Pat.


 Children's Books From Linda Aksomitis


Our dauntless contributor also writes children's books; in fact, Aksomitis' young adult novel, "Snowmobile Challenge," was a finalist for best children's book in the 2003 Saskatchewan Book Awards.


 Living Skies

The new one is about her native province, titled "L is for Land of Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet." It tells why Saskatoon called the "Bridge City," where someone can find rare plants such as the prickly pear cactus or the gumbo evening primrose, as well as why the John Arcand Fiddle Fest is worth a visit. It is her first picture book. Click here to order. 


 Sternwheel Calendar


The Historic Sternwheeler Preservation Society has issued its 10th calendar. All proceeds go to maintain the sternwheel towboat, Barbara H. Price is $15.95; S&H is $4.50 for one calendar, with an additional dollar added for each additional calendar. Click here to order online.

    front  back cal 


 "The Mississippi" by Quinta Scott


Do you know someone who spends happy hours poring over an atlas? (Could it be you?) If so, have we got a gift for him or her. Or you.

 The Miss

"The Mississippi: A Visual Biography" by Quinta Scott, is published by the University of Missouri Press. With 200 gorgeous oversize color photos, Scott illustrates the course of the mighty river from Lake Itasca to the Gulf. She began the daunting task just before the 1993 flood. Next to the pictures, she tells how humans have changed each place, how we attempt to manage it, and the wildlife that occupies it. There's also commentary about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.





Ten Secrets For Cruising
                    Comfortably and Safely

By Mearl Murphy


Longtime writer and photographer Mearl Murphy has written a poem, summing up important tips. The beautiful sunset photos were taken by Sandy Steele during this month, on Lake Cumberland. Take it away, Mearl.

1. Bring plenty of stuff, or you'll never have enough.


2. Check your bilge plug-if not in, it's GLUG, GLUG, GLUG!


3. Turn blower(s) on first; engine fires are the worst.


4. Main channel docking? You'll never stop rocking.


5. Tie up for a gale. Sleep better without fail.


6. Prepare for the worst, check your charts first.


7. Keep life vests handy. If needed, they're dandy.


8. Be aware of the weather; storm clouds may gather.                 


 9. Check out your horn; other skippers you must warn.


10. Anchors work fine with plenty of line. 


11. Keep watching your fuel. If you run out you're a fool.


12. Always watch up ahead or you could end up dead.


  Photos by Sandy Steele 

(Did I say 10 secrets? I never could count.)

Safe Boating and Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Lee Braff 

HeartLand Boating

Editorial Offices