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May 17, 2011
Vol 5, No 1-11  


Time to Take a Boating Vacation


Let our June issue take you away


What with the fierce weather this spring--more about that below--most of us are eager for a family vacation, I think. Fortunately, our June issue offers plenty of ideas.


Gary Kramer  talks about the Tennessee 600, a personal watercraft ride for charity down the Tennessee River "that feels like a family reunion," he says. Here's Kramer getting gas for his PWC, and a shot of some friends.


Bill and Florene Billman   Kramer gassing up 

Bill and Florene Billman                   Kramer at the pump                  

                                    Photos by Carol Kramer

Patricia Strutz has just begun writing for HLB, but she conveys the feel of Sheboygan, Wis., which has evolved into a true center for sailing. Here's a shot of Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center.  

Blue Harbor

Photo courtesy of Blue Harbor Resort 

Here's a picture from the Sheboygan Youth Sailing Club, and one of hers of the Harbor Centre Marina.  


 SYSC   Harbor Centre

Photo courtesy SYSC        Photo by Patricia Strutz 


Looking for a getaway? Kate Godfrey-DeMay suggests

Rend Lake Marina on Illinois' Rend Lake, and tells why

it's ideal for a family stay. 

Rend lake aerial

Photo courtesy Rend Lake Marina 


But Bob and Mavis Duthie suggest the

City of Hannibal Boat Harbor as another choice. The  

historic city owns it, and the fact it was Mark Twain's boyhood home means that many family friendly attractions are nearby. Here's a famous Hannibal landmark, the statue of Twain, appropriately as a riverboat pilot! 


 Twain statue

 Photo by Bob Duthie

And for a third alternative, Ron and Eva Stob explain why

Sequoyah Landing Resort and Marina is a great place for

a family to visit.



Photo by Ron and Eva Stob 


Want to know what's in the future of inland boating?  

Capt Fred Davis, who writes the Boat Smart column,

thinks he knows. In June he tells about his visit to the

Elco Motor Yachts factory.


 Fred at factory

Fred Davis, right, talks to Peter Houghton.  


Joan Wenner, JD, takes up the important subject of  

required equipment and safety regulations. Because  

the U.S. Coast Guard is vitally involved in enforcement of these requirements, they provided some illustrations of  

the process. Here's one of them.  


USCG vessel

Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard 


Finally, you'll be glad to know that Dan Armitage has thought hard about how to cope with the primary problem that bugs vacationers--bugs. Here's one innovative device that sees sales soar every 17 years, when periodic locuts hatch.

A faceshield can be useful.
Photo by Dan Armitage 

Enjoy happy times with your family.  




Tornadoes Beat Up on the South


HeartLand correspondents tell their stories 


On April 27, many tornadoes slammed through the southeastern United States, affecting large portions of the heartland area. Jesse Cox, owner of Smithville Marina, was killed when the tornado went through Smithville, Miss.

The Smithville Marina advertises in Quimby's Cruising Guide, and we have worked with members of the family, so the news hit hard.


Also, Helen Stewart, owner of Eagle Cove Marina on the Black Warrior River, called to say that Eagle Cove had been completely destroyed by tornadoes. HLB profiled Eagle Cover Marina in May of 2005.


Contributor Joanne Cunningham Walker of Dadeville, Ala., writes that "About 6:45 Wednesday morning April 27, a tornado slammed into two docks at Alred Marina, Guntersville, Ala.


"On one dock, it picked up the walkway and roof and dumped them on top of the boats. Roof and supports on the walkway to another, outermost dock, were destroyed. This long dock itself was partially torn loose, shoved 45 degrees from its original position, heavily damaged and metal roof peeled away although, miraculously no major damage to boats on this dock."


Pictures of what she's talking about:


 Alred 1  Alred 2


Alred 3   Alred 4  

Photos by Joanne Cunningham Walker 


Walker went on to say that "Several boats floated away from the dock. The rest of the docks sustained no major damage."


Amazingly, no boaters were hurt badly, although many were on board their boats. Speaking personally, Walker said that she and her husband, Bill, their house and boat, all got through intact, "but it was hairy."


In Cullman, Ala., where Elliot Free heads an insurance agency, he said the agency has been entirely devoted to coordinating records of client losses since the disaster hit. Downtown Cullman was totally destroyed, he said, with only three buildings left. One of them was the building housing their offices. Two people were killed in his northeast Alabama county, but no one was killed in town.


"The major tornado came about 4 p.m.," he said. "The tornado stayed on the ground for 38 miles, which let it do some damage. Where it hit, it's pretty much total destruction.

"The three of us got into the middle office when the weather newsman said to take cover," Free said. "There was a loud crashing noise in front, the building shook, and the power went out. It was deathly silent. Turned out, the storm blew out one window. We were amazed at the amount of glass."


When they picked their way out of the damaged, but still-standing building, they found damage all around with some buildings simply gone. The tornado picked up one truck and deposited it in the middle of a building. Trees laid uprooted facing every direction, and one house had been turned 45 degrees on its foundation.


Free said that 58 separate tornadoes hit Alabama the same day, and the loss of TVA electrical lines meant power was out for eight days. The TVA had never experienced that level of destruction previously. He said that surprisingly, the local boat dock sustained little damage with little marine damage overall in the county.


If readers wish to donate funds to help the people suffering as a result of the tornadoes, Walker suggested the Red Cross first, then looking on the Internet for lists of agencies.(Although please be aware of possible scams, sadly.)


"People have been wonderful about giving and volunteering," Walker said.



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Wisconsin DNR Gets New Boat  


Barney Devine retires; Coregonus now the new kid

DNR logo
Fisheries biologist Paul Peeters recently reported that the 74-year-old RV Barney Devine, a 50-foot tug that's served for decades as the research vessel for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

has been retired.

Barney Devine on land   Photos courtesy Wisconsin DNR

Burger Boat Company of Manitowoc built the Barney
back in 1937 for a commercial fisherman. But in
late 1940, the DNR purchased it for law enforcement. It was used to check commercial fisheries,haul gill nets,conduct
fisheries research,and conduct many water-quality studies.

"Recognizing the ship's technical limits and advancing age, DNR fisheries staff has been working on plans to replace
the vessel for over a decade," Peeters wrote."Fisheries
worked closely with SeaCraft Design, naval architects in Sturgeon Bay, to design and develop a ship that would maintain our ability to efficiently let out and retrieve gill nets while expanding our abilities to use additional types of fisheries gear and limnological sampling equipment like bottom and mid-water trawls." 

Coregonus under construction

Along with many more safety features, the new boat, called Coregonus, will accommodate hydroacoustic ("fish finder") technology, will be able to accumulate large amounts of information about fast-moving fish populations. It is 60 feet long with a 16-foot beam.Once again, Burger Boat Company of Manitowoc is building it. 


Here's to improved technology to keep our lakes safe and full of clear water. Enjoy this early season boating.




Lee Braff

From the editorial offices of HeartLand Boating