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by Dave Lucas – Bradenton, Florida – USA

September in Florida

September in Florida sucks, it's like your winters up north; when is it ever going to end.

We were all suppose to go up to Fort DeSoto yesterday for a grand sailing event but it is still hot as hell and there wasn't even a hint of a breeze. Stan was still in a boating frame of mind so he took his Junk out for a little motor trip. As you can see this is a good boat for these hot days; it opens up nicely, has a shady cabin and pushes along pretty well with the little 2 hp Honda.

We were out in our neighbor's giant pontoon boat with a whole pack of dogs. These guys like boats as much as I do, always something new to bark at. Asia is getting too old to be jumping on and off boats so Steve carries her like a suitcase, she's fine with that.

I was so impressed with the giant garvey boat that Wally's making that I'm doing on for myself. It's going to have an amazing cabin arrangement and a landing craft drop down ramp on the front so we can play on the beaches easily. I have so many projects going on right now that I get frustrated that I can't do them all at once.

Like this one. I wanted a good trailer for the new boat and I know that Gary wanted to sell his "Snail Mail" so he told me I could buy his trailer if I took the boat with it. Now that I have it I can hardly wait to make it into a cute little play boat. I had Jay Bliss the electric boat man come and take all of it's electric drive stuff out and when I get the chance I'm going to put a little 5hp motor in a well for no frills simple propulsion.

This will be a perfect evening wine cruise platform. I can see it now with a smoke stack with Mickey Mouse on it chugging down the river and Helen and the neighbors lounging in the back sipping some cool ones.

Here's "Helen Marie" sitting on her trailer waiting to head out to her new home. We weren't using her much anymore and she had turned into a trailer queen. I like going to our water front watering holes in the fast boat better so I decided to pretty much give her away to a good home. I wanted her to go to someone who would use her like we wanted to but couldn't. And I think I picked the perfect man.

This crazy guy showed up on my beach one day in this tiny little boat to see the shop and Helen Marie. He had motored across vast oceans and faced unimaginable extremes to get here; sea monsters and cyclones didn't deter him from his goal. Joe has put about 2000 miles in this toy boat, it's time he stepped it up a little. I think his wife will approve.

His real job is setting off the fire works at Disney World but he does some cool things in his spare time; like this golf cart. Click on this youtube site to see what a gas turbine jet powered cart goes like. I've found that if the sign at your gate says "Welcome" instead of "Keep Out" you get to know a whole lot more fascinating people, a little nuts but fascinating.

With winter coming on in Buffalo it's time to start the boatbuilding at the Marine Center. Roger Allen sent me these showing what the new boat they're starting will look like. It'll be a 42 foot Erie canal boat. Now that seems like a fun project to do during the cold winter months; inside all snug and toasty while the drifts build up over the building.

The bearings in my yard hauler finally went out after 15 years of extreme use so instead of just buying new ones I made new bushings out of a piece of hard wood, Howard put the new tubes and tires on and it should be good to go for another decade or so. You're thinking that wood bushings will never last...

Not so fast, I have a piece of very old Lignum Vitae wood from Panama that Phil gave us when he sold his place and cleaned out his barn. As you know, or will in a moment, this is one of the hardest woods in the world and has it's own oil built in that makes it perfect for use a bushings. Water wheels and wind mills used it. They still use it today for some applications. I saw that the first nuclear submarine used it for the bushings on it's main drive shaft. I'd say this puts me in a very select group of people alive today who've ever used it for bushings for every day use. And yes, the new Icehouse bold beer is really good.

Bring on the cool weather.

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