Welcome! Here in the Pacific Northwest, its been a bit rainy, but we have been keeping busy building boats for your Spring and Summer fun! We even had some snow this winter which made driving around to pick up supplies very interesting. Too bad we couldn’t do these errands by boat, as the harbor stayed clear of ice. Well now the tulips are out, the cherry trees blossomed and where did the time go? We are making plans for the summer and bet you are too.
As many of you know we are a regular exhibitor at the Seattle Boat Show and this year is no exception. We had a great time this year as always talking to all types of boat lovers. For those of you who unable to attend we’ve taken some photos to let you know what you missed.
Now we would like to alert those of you who are thinking about getting a boat this summer. And that is we take a large number of our annual orders in early spring, so if you are wavering now is the time to put your money down and secure your place in line.
Seattle Boat Show
These photos are from our booth. We had a great location, right by the Southeast door, so lots of good people traffic.
Dave and a customer talking next to our beautiful Lobster Boat.
A nice photo of our extra custom Melonseed.
Our georgous wooden Canoe.
As you can see from the photos, we had a great time at the show. The hours are long but we love to see you all and hear about your adventures.
Boat Show Promotions
Every year at the boat show we take a moment to wander around and see who else showed up. Here are some of the booths that caught our eye, and some of the things that you might find useful.
This year, like every other year, the guys with the Sand Spikes(tm) were there. We like this simple gadget for holding the boat on the beach for picnics. As you can see, it’s just a piece of aluminum with a hole on a plate for tying to. The plate is wide so you can use your foot to push it into the sand. Of course for one of our dinghies, the small ones work just fine.
Now if you have the bow on the shore, you’d like the stern to stay out in the water, and the guys also make a very cool strechy anchor line for holding your boat off the beach called an “Anchor Buddy“.
This is one of the cool new folding crab traps we spotted. They tell us that you can collapse it into that bag on the floor. No doubt after you’ve scraped the sea star off of it.
This is another view of the folding crab trap. Notice that the outer ring is not a solid piece of stainless steel but rather is a cable. No doubt to store it, you do the figure eight twist. Still it could be a bit tricky to manipulate.
And yet another. What will they think of next?
Boy are we glad we had to stay in our own booth. We could have easily come home with a pile of new stuff.
Oar Northwest Atlantic Challenge
Now the guys from the Oar Northwest race across the Atlantic were there. We went to their presentation about rowing. Somehow sitting in a chair watching photos doesn’t really give you the full feeling of what it takes. But it sure was good to talk to the guys. And they were very glad to see us and tell us all about the trip.
This is Jordan talking to one of the many fans who dropped by to see the boat which won last year’s Atlantic Challenge.
A close up of our logo. The Oar Northwest team attributed part of their success to having our equipment allow them to perform at the highest level of competition.
Gig Harbor Boats provided both the sliding seat rails and the carbon fiber oars. The tracks we have talked about in our previous newsletters, but the oars were also special. These are custom wood oars with carbon fiber wrapped. The reason for the wood core is that a carbon fiber tube is subject to notch failure. That’s where a nick in the material will create a stress point and the tube will crack. With a wood core, the tube has internal support as well. The wood we used is that same high altitude fir that we use with all our regular oars. This wood has long straight grain, and no knots which makes for a strong yet flexible oar. Because it is so strong we can use a narrower cross section This makes the oar light as well, which is very critical when you are rowing for long periods of time, as these fellows were.
Now wandering around the show this year, among all the larger motor yachts we spotted yet another ocean rowing boat.
Erden Eruç inspired by the Sweden to Everest and back trip by Göran Kropp decided to do a human powered assent of the 7 tallest peaks. This was a long time dream of Erden. Then in September of 2004, while climbing together in Eastern Washington, Göran fell and died. Erden, after grieving, realized that life is short and you have to live your dreams and not wait for things to happen to you, decided the time was now to take up his life’s dream of a human powered circumnavigation of the world. With some corporate help and the sale of his house and replaced by a modest abode, he bought a used Woodvale ocean rowing boat, and shipped it to Portugal to row to the Americas. You can read all about that trip here http://www.around-n-over.org
When Erden came back to the states he contacted the Oar Northwest team to talk to them about their experiences and they mentioned us. We all met at the boat show and here are some photos of his Atlantic conquering boat.
This is glass on plywood boat. It’s one of the early versions from Woodvale.
This is the original sliding seat that got Erden across the Atlantic, we think that ours are significantly better.
Another photo of the sliding seat tracks looking forward.
This is Erden Eruç, the President and owner of this boat. You can just tell this isn’t a guy who gives up ever.
Erden has not been sitting still since completing his Atlantic row. He then bicycled from Florida to Seattle for the next leg of the trip. Next he bicycled to Alaska and climbed Denali, got married! Then bicycled back to Seattle. Erden is next planning on rowing the Pacific Ocean! First he shipped the boat to San Francisco and is now riding his bicycle from Seattle to California. We could hardly let him leave without offering to help. And we are back in the Ocean rowing sliding seat business!
One of Erden’s complaints about his old system was that it squeaked. This is no surprise as saltwater is corrosive and hard on things like steel bearings. We use stainless steel bearings but even these can eventually fail. Now the Oar Northwest team had a spare set aboard but never needed to replace them, so our current stuff is pretty good. Still though we are always looking to improve our boats. We started searching for an even better solution and we found ceramic bearings! We like these new bearings so much better that we are using them in all of our new boats. We are also offering an upgrade for any existing customer who needs a replacemant at a very fair price. Contact Us for the price plus shipping and we’ll set you up too.
We will continue to provide updates in our newsletters as we receive updates from Erden.
From our Mailbag
Our Mailbag again has been overflowing this spring so We’re sure you will enjoy reading about these adventures as much as we have.
Just a belated update on the Jersey Skiff – been too busy rowing to write emails ! It is exactly the right boat for us – been out crabbing the bays and fishing the local lakes as much as the weather permits. Rowed it 2 miles into a headwind just fine also some crosswinds. Doing tandem rowing with the wife and haven’t broken any oars yet !
A question – can the electric motor and rudder be retrofitted and, if so, is the boat beachable and how does it affect draft ? The boat actually moves qutie well with my little 36 lb but some of our tides here are pretty strong and imagine the rudder would be nice going crosswind.
Thanks again – great boat and great help. K.
Some of you readers with sharp eyes may have spotted this on page 172 of the April edition of SAIL Magazine.
Our version of the perfect dinghy is in stark contrast to Clark Beek’s (“Dinghy Nirvana,” January). We’ll concede that his inflatable has superior initial stability and load-carrying capacity, but in every other respect we prefer our hard-shelled dinghy. For starters, it’s just gorgeous. Made of fiberglass with a lapstrake effect and a wineglass transom, it has really nice lines. It rows like a dream with two oarlock positions and a removable longitudinal seat to allow adjustments to fore-and-aft trim. It meets all our needs for hauling groceries, laundry, and so on. It’s great for exploring, and its sailing kit, with a removable bowsprit, main, and jib, makes it both fun to play with in anchorages and the envy of our neighbors–the same ones who undoubtably appreciate the the lack of wake and noise. It creates almost no drag when towed, and at only 80 pounds, its easy to haul up on the foredeck with the spinnaker halyard and secure for longer or rougher passages. We have no worries about air or water leaks and no concerns about UV degradation. It’s our version of “Dinghy Nirvana.”
G. Wyngarden Orcas Island, WA.
So that’s all the news for now. We hope to hear from you soon. We’ll be busy working on our next newsletter as well as your boats. So if email is slow, please call.