Captain Kidd's Boatyard



The "Gathering"

Posted by [email protected] on September 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

"The Gathering" is the name that has been given to the get together of Glen-L boat builders that is held every year in the fall. This was "G8". The first 3 were held at Guntersville State Park in Alabama. Since then, they have been held at Hales Bar Marina on Lake Nickajack in Guild, TN. 

I attempted to go to G1 but totalled my car when I was only 2 miles from the park. I made G2 and stopped briefly last year with my wife on our "shakedown cruise" on the Hunter 18.5 as we were preparing for our Pensacola sailing vacation. There were only a few boats there when we stopped as most were on the "river run", their usual Friday excursion to Chattanooga for lunch - a run that takes them through the Tennessee River gorge. This year the weather looked great and I had the time, so I went up Friday afternoon and returned the next afternoon. 

This year was lightly attended with something less than 50 people and maybe 15 boats. It was still enjoyable. 

The launch ramp is about a half mile down river from the marina. I launched about 4 p.m. Here I am loaded up and headed out into the lake:

My bandana is laid out drying after I spilt some coke. My waterproof box is open since I'm using the camera. I always take it now since I have already ruined one camera. 

Here I am approaching the marina:

What is very deceiving is that there are shallows that run all along the river. That big building is an old power station left over from when the dam was at this location and a rail line ran right up to the station. The rails are still in the water and they are only a few feet from the surface. The sea grass grows very thick over a good portion of the lake here. I got caught in it twice while I was here. No fun! I just need to get a little up to speed on the "local knowledge". 

We had a great time just hanging out, talking boat building stuff, eating good food, taking boat rides, and soaking up sun. Here are some of the boats that were there (btw - my boat was the only sailboat and gathered her share of attention though she is obviously not in the same category as most of the boats there). This is Innocence, a 24' Tahoe.

The owner/builder has just finished a complete restoration after she was totalled in a garage fire. This was the second major job he had done on her. The first was a repair after a jet ski hit her and knocked a hole in her side. He had the repair professionally done with insurance at a cost of $30,000. Yep, that's the correct number of zeros! Here's a stern view:

The swim platform was his modification.

Here's a beautiful trawler built by a guy from St. Louis. He built it in 5 winters. The deal with his wife was if you build it, you do it in the winter. You're mine for the summer. He plans to retire in 2 and a half years and do the great loop.

Here's a nice one that the guy built in 10 months! He said his job made it possible to spend a good bit of time building. He's already planning on a bigger build.

There were several others of this caliber as here:

And then there were a few smaller models as here:

and here - this one with a jet ski motor:

A couple cute boats:

And then this cruiser:

And one built by a 14 year old young man from Minnesota. It was pretty rough but he did it and better yet, he paid for it with his own money ($2000) that he earned cutting grass and shoveling snow. He's the blond fellow with the owner of the #62 above which is the same model.

And here's Little Bit at the dock. This was taken Saturday morning and the sprit is still in the "tent pole" position.


Yes, I did sleep on her again. It turned into a long evening as the wind blew all night rattling the tarp I had thrown over the sprit as well as rocking the boat a good bit. Besides that, there were fisherman out in their airboats bow fishing in the grass! Man those engines are loud and spot lights bright. 

It was a quick 25 hours but enjoyable. Kinda gives you the itch to go after a stack of wood. 

Categories: Adventures on Little Bit

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