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Author Topic:   The little boat ride
Buckda posted 05-07-2007 07:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for Buckda   Send Email to Buckda  

I attached the bow pulpit on Saturday morning, finished rigging the Bruce anchor and 15’ of chain rode, and checked the trailer tires….then off for a ride in the Whaler.

I posted last week about the “Rainmaking” inaugural run of the season. This day would be different. The wind was blowing 15-20 kts out of the NE, with cool temps and overcast skies. These are good conditions for a near-shore run up the West Coast of Michigan in the lee of the tall bluffs along the lake. You can run in about 10-15 feet of water about 400 yards offshore with very small ripples. You do get the occasional strong wind to contend with, but overall, it makes for 1’ or less waves up the coast.

So I started off at around 1 PM from St. Joseph for South Haven. The motors were purring along at 2,700 rpm pushing the boat along at 18-19 kts (20-22 mph), which is probably the slowest cruising speed attainable without using the tabs. It also provides a comfortable ride and bow angle.

At South Haven, I was having so much fun that I figured I’d run on up to Saugatuck. At Saugatuck, the wind increased a little and it began to rain a few drops. I stopped briefly, and put up the Mills Forward Shelter, Windshield and Flying top. Huge difference in temperature (Lake water temp was 43.8 degrees, providing for a rather cool breeze to the low-60 degree air). I began again, headed for Holland. At Holland, I could see the smokestack at Port Sheldon and thought, that’s not too far…so I went on to Port Sheldon.

At Port Sheldon, I entered the small lake and had my dinner aboard, and enjoyed the silence and tranquility. I was thinking at this point: I can make Grand Haven and still be home before dark!


I’d better check my lights! The aft-facing portion of the masthead light had blown a bulb, so I grabbed the spare from my locker (I learned THAT lesson three years ago with Cicada near Chicago) and changed the bulb.

I was also thinking about where I parked my truck….and decided that overnighting on the hook in Spring Lake/Grand Haven wasn’t a great idea given that I didn’t have my sleeping bag aboard, and no change of clothes, etc….

…so I started for home, running a little faster downwind.

When I got back to the truck and loaded the boat, I purchased fuel (3.16/gallon – ouch) and realized I had traveled 122 miles on just over 28 gallons of fuel.

This year especially, I’m going to love the fuel-efficiency of my E-TEC motors.

It was a great day on the water…and there is one thing in particular that made it possible: Mills Canvas.

For those of you without canvas on your Whaler, it is important to realize that, at least here in the north, the difference between a boat with Canvas and one without is literally the difference between using your boat for 8 – 9 months of the year or only 2 or 3. Days like Saturday, and also days like yesterday (when I took a brief nap under the shelter on the beach near Grand Haven State Park) mean I get to use the boat a whole lot more of every season. While an expensive option, I can truly say that no other modification to my classic Boston Whaler has contributed as much to the overall use and functionality of the boat. I guess if I had a wife, that would be considered a bad thing!



PeteB88 posted 05-07-2007 11:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Wow - Dave, you are a wild man!

Hey man, how do you think Dale got his wife- that 21 Outrage - he used to run that sucker WOT from Muskegon to Grand Haven all the time, there are so many women in Grand Haven in the summer - simple, no challenge, "hey, I've gotta go check on my boat, wanna come?" Used that line all the time when I had horses - "I've really gotta go . . ." "Why, it's early" "ya, I know but I have to go check on the horses and make sure the water tank heater is working . . ." "you have a horse?" "ya, he's really cool, but I gotta go, you can come along if you want . . . " "Really?"

And from there a midnight trip to the barn would lead to some bare back riding and oo la la . . .

Me and Dale will get you a few "man, I gotta check out my Whaler. . ." or "Hey darlin', I need you to help me check out my Whaler . . ." "I have to double check my bilge pump . . or props or here's one for you - "I really need to double check my lower unit, do you mind holding the flashlight?"

jimh posted 05-08-2007 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One conflict with Mills Canvas: the darn stuff fits so tightly that on a cold day it is just about impossible to snap it closed. I have cursed my Mills canvas a few times when trying to put up the side curtains on a cold spring or fall day.
Buckda posted 05-08-2007 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
The canvas snap tool available from West Marine is an invaluable asset when trying to stretch and snap tight canvas.

It is a good investment.

SpongeBob posted 05-08-2007 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
Dave what size Bruce anchor do you use on your Outrage?


Buckda posted 05-09-2007 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Jeff - it is 5 kg.
SpongeBob posted 05-09-2007 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
Dave where do you keep it now that you've sold your spiffy anchor chock/holder?


Buckda posted 05-10-2007 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Jeff -

I've built a spiffy bow pulpit for it.


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