I Build A Boat, Sort Of

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Crafts' started by Ike Willis, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    We were living in town by the time I reached the ripe old age of 13. Dad built a house on a block long dirt trail in the south end of town. On the opposite side of this "street" was a slough, the end of which was in front of our house. This slough wound through the countryside for many miles, until it reached the Mississippi river. However, about a half mile from our house was a dirt dam with a pumping station. It's purpose was to keep the town side from rising too high, due to rain water from storm drains that emptied into it. This slough was full of carp, bullheads and some gars. Mostly trash fish, but fun to catch.
    One spring day, a truck load of lumber arrived in the alley behind our house. Dad asked me to help unload it. When I asked what it was, dad answered, "It's a boat. What the 'ells it look like"? Thus began a really great summer.
    First, dad built a couple sturdy saw horses. Then, two cypress planks were clamped together, measured and marked on. Here dad and I had our first argument. Dad planned on building a 12 foot long Jon boat. I was leaning toward a 14 footer. So, we compromised on a 13 footer. I don't know if cypress planks are available anymore.
    The side planks were cut with the sloping front that characterizes most flat bottom Jon boats. The rib pieces were measured out, cut, drilled, bolted together with galvanized nuts and bolts, painted with a couple coats of dark green porch and deck paint, then fastened to the sides with brass screws.
    Then, the boat was turned over and the bottom planks screwed to the ribs. The seams were caulked and everything was painted. Did I mention, dad tended to over build everything.
    When that dried, the boat was turned over again and the insides painted, then seats were added. A front deck, that could be raised and locked closed, was a storage place for life jackets etc. There was a seat in the middle, to row from, and a seat in back.
    Many a happy hour was spent rowing that boat about the slough, then dad sold it late that fall, to a duck hunter. But, that next spring, a bigger and even better Jon boat was built in our back yard. This one, we launched in a shoot off the Mississippi river, about 12 miles south of town. It was in a well known area for bass and crappie fishing, and duck hunting. That boat lasted a number of years.
    What I wouldn't give for one more day fishing with my dad out of that old green home built boat. homemade-boats-plans-free.jpg plywood.jpg
    Similar to ours.
     
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  2. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    awww what great memories Ike...thank goodness you have them to keep you warm...
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    What an awesome story, @Ike Willis , and I bet that you did love fishing with that wonderful boat ! When I was a kid, my folks had an old boat that belonged to my Grandpa Bailey, and they used that for fishing. It,too, was an old wooden boat, and maybe hand made like yours; but not by my grandpa, as far as I know.
    When the adults were asking a break from fishing, my mom would sometimes let me take the old boat out and row it around on the lake, as long as I stayed fairly close to shore, or other times, she would ride along while I rowed, and then we could go further down the lake.

    After I was much older, I eventually had a little pedal-boat, and I really loved fishing with that boat, too. I lived fairly close to Mayfield Lake (in western Washington State), and there was a big old waterlogged tree stump laying in the water, jut across from the trail where I walked down to the lake.
    I kept the pedal-boat chained up there , and all I had to do was grab my pole and tackle box and off to the lake and out fishing in the evenings.

    I miss fishing, too. There is a spring down the road from where we live, and people do fish there. One of these days, @Bobby Cole and I are going to go down there and see if we can still remember how to catch a fish.
     
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  4. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Fishing is like riding a bike. Once you learn, you never forget.:)
     
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  5. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Wonderful story, Ike. When DH and I first started fishing, we had a boat much like that. It was called a Carolina boat. It had a motor on the back of it. We fished for bass, bream, crappie, and other fish in the rivers here.
     
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  6. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm not much of a fisher, but I have fished a few times in the past.

    The first time, I was on a date with a guy I had met recently and he was going to teach me how to fish. We went through the casting, etc. So now I was ready to cast. I drew the rod back and just before I flung it forward I heard him shout" Stop, don't move". I turned and saw him trying to get my hook out of his face, blood dripping.
     
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  7. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Gee, it looks like you had a close relationship with your father. I grew up in the city so I could not relate to the boat but I understand the excitement of a teenager when you set it up on the river. And that fishing spree had been etched in your memory, big deal, really.

    Once my husband and I planned on going fishing but when we got to the fishing ground, we were turned off by the fees - the boat rental including the rod and reel plus the bait would be costlier than eating steak in a classy restaurant. So we just took pictures and left.
     
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