“Notes from the Tiki Hut” – Cedar Key 2017

by Dave Lucas – Bradenton, Florida – USA

The big meet at Cedar Key was a little different this year, the wind on Saturday was 20 to 30 and gusting higher. Only a few hardy souls went out and were lucky to make it back from the island. I can’t tell how many boats were there because most weren’t on the beach. None of the dozens of canoes and kayaks were out. Helen and I did launch on Sunday morning and had a nice couple hours sail.

Click on this link to see a lot more boats and who they belonged to: wctss.ij.net/photos159.html

Kevin Lott and his beautiful black melonseed always puts on a show while Helen and I just slip along.


I think the most impressive boat there was this dinky little 12 foot SCAMP. It’s really a huge boat inside and while the rest of them were beating themselves to death these guys were just zipping along like it was a calm day at the pond. Kevin and I chased them down for half an hour and just barely caught up with them. There is something truly magical in this design, that’s why there at two of them going together right now in our shop.

Another worthy mention was this one; Marian wanted a solid, stable motor boat and taking a page out of my book got an old ODay sailboat and used it’s hull for a motor boat. He stayed dry and comfortable the whole weekend.

I have to mention Simon and his Goat Island Skiff. He’s fearless and a little nuts and will go out in anything. It doesn’t look too windy because the wind was blowing the tops off of the waves. We watched him from out balcony window and couldn’t believe how fast he got that goat going. He later said that he was up to 18 knots. It looks like turning may have been a challenge.

We had dinner at the Island Hotel watching the Kentucky Derby and breakfast at the B&B playing with Guinness the doodle. We didn’t stay there but if you tell them they’ll give you breakfast.


My friend Chip has a Coronet that’s made in Sweden or Finland, something like that. It looks like the perfect boat for water that stays around freezing all year. It has twin Volvo inboard/outboards; I advised him to switch over to something with an outboard motor. The water around here is usually only knee deep.

Lone Star
Lone Star Cruise-master

And how can you say this is an ugly boat. It’s a 21 foot aluminum Loan Star. Our friend Johnny Mac moved to the NC outer banks area and got one of these. It’s really old, 1967 I think he said but if it floats should be the perfect boat. I actually like the looks. He got his for the scrap price of the metal, what a deal. It reminds me of some kind of PT boat. I think the condition of his is somewhere between these two. I hope more to the green one’s side.

We need three new steering wheels so Howard dug the Shopsmith out and is turning some for us. Two will be very old red cedar and one is from plywood, it looks great. I’ve said this before about Howard. It doesn’t matter how hard something is, he’ll tackle it if it challenges him. All we have to do is to get his old tool and die maker brain going and there’s no stopping him.

When Red moved to a fancy retirement home he gave me his Sunfish for my grand daughter Laylah. She’s coming from Utah next week for a visit so I had a sticker made for her. We’ll see if her dad still knows how to sail.

Steve Brookman

Steve Brookman sent this one showing a row boat he made during the long Maine winter. I think he was just proving to me that the water isn’t always frozen up above the Florida line. They bought a really old farm house that needed a 110 % rebuild. When I ask why he didn’t just bull doze it down and start over, he said something about the feel of old houses or ghosts of something. Anyone living year round in Maine probably has something special going on upstairs. This is a pretty cool row boat. I like the wide flat bottom.

Jimmy’s Melonseed is all primed and ready for some paint. He’s still surprised every time he sees this and can’t believe he did it. Actually, I think most of us feel that way when we look back at what we created. That’s the shocked look on his face.

John is building us a fancy little house out in the woods. It’ll have lots of design features but the one we all want is a wooden Kraken to hold the porch roof up. We’ve assigned Howard the job of duplicating something like this in wood. This was Helen’s choice since it’s her favorite rum.


  1. Dave, we are all praying for the best for all you guys and the Tiki Hut, as well as all in the path of Irma. We were in Marco Island for Andrew, and still have a son and grandson there now. These storms are no joke.

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