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Lake Conroe Messabout
by Chuck Leinweber  chuck@duckworksmagazine.com

On April 15, 2000, my friend, Tim Webber hosted the third annual Lake Conroe Messabout.  I went to last years event, and had so much fun that I had to attend this one.  Most of the credit for the success of the get-together has to go to Tim.  He is a great host who makes everyone feel welcome with his graciousness, and   his dry wit.  There were about 15 to 20 attendees, and eight boats: 2 Michalak Jonsboats; a Michalak IMB; a Bolger Pirate Racer; a Bolger June Bug; an Uncle John skiff; and a couple of amateur designed boats.  Here are two websites that have pictures taken during the day's activities:
Tim Webber's Page: 
http://web.wt.net/~tbertw/MAB2001.html
David Routh's Page:  http://www.shortypen.com/maib
group.jpg (22429 bytes) The messabout was held on the grounds of the Conroe Yacht Club, of which Tim is a member.  I am not sure if we scared the YC people away, or not, but they were scarce.  Maybe they were too embarrassed to hang around.  We had a great sand beach on a sheltered cove which adjoined Lake Conroe.
Roger Harlow designed and built this pram which is called "Nabisco" because of its cracker box appearance.  Last year, this boat was setup for rowing only.

nabisco1.jpg (20135 bytes)

nabisco2.jpg (22808 bytes) This year Roger rigged a rudder, a nice looking lee board, and a polytarp sail put together with duct tape.
Ken Abrahams <abrahams@structurex.net> drove over from Louisiana with an Uncle John's skiff stacked on top of a Bolger Pirate Racer

ken1.jpg (33172 bytes)
Ken Abrahams and Tim Webber

Ken's Pirate racer with its salty paint job, and colorful lateen sail was a delightful sight.  He had a little trouble with the mast step, but all in all made a nice showing.

ken2.jpg (18888 bytes)

ken3.jpg (14158 bytes) Ken, who knows Uncle John personally, built one of Uncle John's skiff kits.  I was really impressed with this design from someone outside the group of more well known small boat designers.  This model seemed well thought out: practical, and good looking.
Dave Gulley came back this year with another of his special variations on the six hour canoe.  I am not sure if he is more proud of the boat, or his classic Mercedes wagon.

gulley2.jpg (20703 bytes)

gulley3.jpg (25614 bytes) Dave's canoe/pirogue design is made by the stitch and glue method from 1/8" Luan ply and epoxy.  It is a light and stable and very nice looking little boat.  You can see more pictures of Dave's boats on Tim's webpage.
Charles Nichols built this scale model of Jim Michalak's Trilars.  This is a trimaran adaptation of his popular Larsboat

trilars.jpg (15726 bytes)

jonboats2.jpg (16970 bytes) Greg Rinaca and I brought our Jonsboats for class races.  You can't tell from this picture, but Greg's (on the left) is really a much nicer boat.
Jim Michalak has designed two johnboats: the larger Jonsboat (seen here), and the smaller Jon Jr.

jonsboat2.jpg (23737 bytes)

jonsboat.jpg (19497 bytes) I can tell you from first hand experience that this   boat is easily built from inexpensive materials.  It is a stable and handy vessel that is great for fishing or general messing about.  Visit Jim Michalak's website by clicking here
Here is another boat that returned this year with a brand new sailing rig.  Tim Webber's slightly modified June Bug got crowned with Jim Michalak's own Piccup Pram lugsail.  This sail at 69 sq. ft. is ten feet bigger than Bolger calls for.  It works quite will, though, in fact it works so well that Tim reports that "my son
has basically STOLEN the boat".

junebug2.jpg (17281 bytes)

junebug1.jpg (15817 bytes) No wonder Jeff, Tim's son, has taken over the boat.   Here he seems to be one with the June Bug here, as they slip upwind.
You may have been following the progress of Jerry Scott's IMB on Tim Webber's web site.   The IMB is one of Jim Michalak's wonderful takeoffs on Phil Bolgers Birdwatcher.   It was Jim's entry into an International Marine design contest.  The name comes from International Marine Beacher.

jerry+imb.jpg (22649 bytes)

imb4.jpg (10154 bytes) When Jerry first launched his IMB, he had a little rigging problem and before he new it, he had drifted onto a lee shore.
Fortunately, Greg Rinaca came to the rescue in his Jonsboat.  His trolling motor had no trouble pulling Jerry and his boat out to a point where he could raise his sail and...

imb3.jpg (20189 bytes)

imb2.jpg (10097 bytes) ...silently and gracefully sail away.  Read what Jim Michalak has to say about this design by clicking here

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