Rend Lake 2004
by Jim Michalak
I want to thank all the great folks
who came to the 2004 Rend Lake Messabout. A lot of you drove (or
flew) a long ways to attend. It is the people that makes these
such great events.
Second I want to especially thank
Max Wawrzyniak, the old outboard guru, who does so much to keep
everyone informed. Since he got involved the meet has essentially
doubled in size. Speaking about doubling in size, Max has about
done the opposite having lost 100 pounds this winter by brutal
dieting. Most likely he will keep it off since has noted his AF4
is about 10% faster now with no changes to motor. In spite of
the diet he is still the grand chef of the Saturday cookout. He
also kept a sign in sheet that I am using to reconstruct what
happened. I hope I get your names right.
Third I want to thank Chuck and
Sandra Leinweber and John Sellers who provided almost all of the
photos. I took some too but proved again that I can't take pictures
and steer a boat at the same time. (John came to the very first
Rend Lake Messabout.)
Sandra Leinweber tries to steal Rocky's
lunch at Rend Lake.
... is all important at a meet
like this and usually it is so-so, this year no exception. We
had a good breeze on Friday for some spirited sailing. Saturday
was a bit calmer with a shower here and there. But one of the
good things about a meet that last a couple of days is that you
will always get some hours when the weather will be OK, and so
it was this year. The lake was a bit high again, good in that
you don't run aground much but bad in that our "beach" got rather
THE FORMAT OF THE MEET...
... has changed a bit over the
years. Originally it was on Saturday and Sunday. I used to show
up on Friday afternoon and usually be alone until that evening.
Now some are showing up on Thursday and by Friday noon there are
several boats in the water. Saturday has always been the main
day with the cookout getting better every year. (Although the
Bloomington, Indiana cookout still has us beat I think.) The Sunday
boating is minimal now with most folks hitting the road early
on Sunday morning.
ANYWAY, ON TO THE 2004 REND LAKE MESSABOUT...
Max was the earlybird at this one,
arriving on Thursday evening with his AF4
and his Oracle
rowing boat. Had them anchored out.
Chuck and Sandra Leinweber arrived
early Friday with the prototype Ladybug
on trailer with a new Toto
and soft skin kayak strapped to the top. I got a good ride on
it on Friday and was quite impressed with it all.
We launched all and jammed them
onto the little beach, shown here. Max's AF4 is in the background,
my and Chuck's Totos in the foreground, along with Chuck's Ladybug
and Phil Lea's Junebug Plus.
Phil Lea was another early bird
bringing his Junebug Plus, about a 10% enlargement of the Bolger
Junebug. Chuck and I sailed alongside Phil on Friday. Phil's boat
is almost always the fastest thing around and he knows how to
make it go.
Also there on Friday was Dave Seaberg
with his D4 dinghy. I think this photo was taken on Saturday when
Dave was working hard on his sunburn. He is from the Rockford
area and not used to sailing an hour in one direction:
I got there too on Friday with
Mike Zenker (and daughter) was
back for the second year with his Campanoe, a very interesting
commercial boat. Here it is all folded up on its trailer. It unfolds
to become a low power catamaran with a screen house.
Kilburn Adams and wife brought
their Skiff America, using it as a camping trailer at night in
the camp ground. I met Kilburn about 20 years ago at Carlyle Lake
and it was he who introduced me to lug sails and also low powered
skiffs. My AF4 is a result of his conversations and experiments.
And Rhett Davis and Dianne Miller
trailered this AF4
all the way from the Georgia coast where it has been getting a
lot of use:
Saturday brought Bill Pettit and
his modified Campjon. He shortened it 2' by truncating the snout
but that won't bother it in smooth water (and a jonboat is not
a rough water boat in any case). The cabin is also different from
the plans Campjon but it all was very well done, I thought. He
went fishing in it Saturday but he had to hurry home and I didn't
get a chance to try it out with him:
Bill Hoevel brought a Gator Croc
with antique motor from St. Louis, one of Max's old motor buddies.
I think this one is fresh from the work shop:
And Paul Ellifrit brough again
his beautiful Selway Fisher, a sailing design that he has modified
for low power. I think this boat is well traveled.
Gary Lang brought this very interesting
flat iron skiff with electric power. The motor head is mounted
to the rudder and is quite powerful, 60 pounds thrust and 24 volts
as I recall. Not shown are the two batteries needed in the bow
to store the juice. Very much a "laid back" boat as quite quiet
The two jetski powered boats were
back this year, Guy Boyce and Larry Poulon. Guy's boat is a modified
Crestliner (I think) that came from the junkyard but you would
never know that after seeing it. Larry has recently sold his jetski
skiff which is homebuilt. He is moving in another direction now,
thinking of a tunnel drive outboard jonboat since he lives in
an area of pretty but shallow rivers.
David Grey of Polytarp
Sails fame brought his Cartopper complete with one of his first
polytarp sails. He also provided the big tarp we stretched over
the cookout which came in quite handy:
Jeff Hoesel brought another small
runabout complete with an antique motor. The design is a Jinx
from the free plans that magazines like Science and Mechanics
offered in nearly every issue back in the the 50's and 60's. Here
he takes his two girls for a spin. I guess this is what we did
before jetskis but this is on 12 or 15 hp:
Paul Brunkow also brought his Cartopper
for a few hours sail. Glad he had a bit sailing breeze this year:
There might be others that didn't
We have this fairly unplanned cookout
on Saturday evening. This all done under one of Dave Gray's big
white polytarps since it would shower every now and then. Max
and I run into town to buy the basics but all the other goodies
are pitched in by the folks. Good variety and no one goes hungry.
Got to talk with several folks who did not have boats there but
more important brought themselves. The sign in sheet shows they
were David Billsbrough, Robert Eggers, John Sellers, Roger Shull,
Marc Pauls, Chris Feller, James Dagger and Paul Haynie. I found
this year that the evening and late evening and really late evening
conversations were sustained by these folks.
Max (Sandra Leinweber said we should
now call him Slim) is shown here putting the spoon to two big
pots of peach cobbler all cooked over coals in a device that featured
a modified grease barrel. He is already dreaming up next year's