The Scuzbums have been participating individually and intermittently
in the annual San Diego Wooden Boat Festival for many of the festival's
14 years, but this year we got (somewhat) organized and put a
record ten boats on display (June 19-20), literally "under
the Scuzbum banner" at the Koehler Kraft boat yard on Shelter
Island. All were wooden boats, home-built between 1962 and 2002,
displaying the variety of wooden construction: strip-planked,
plywood stitch-and-tape, ply-on-frame and so on. In addition to
the eclectic assortment of Scuzbum craft, there was a shaded booth,
staffed by friendly 'Bums who chatted nonstop with each other
and the numerous visitors. Mark Kovaletz made it doubly educational
by providing a display of "bird's-mouth" spar-making
and hands-on instruction in "longboard" fairing, an
essential technique of strip-planked boat building (see photo).
||Mike Kovaletz doing longboard fairing instruction.
After setting up the exhibits Friday afternoon, Randy and Jeanne
Ames hosted dinner at the nearby Silver Gate Yacht Club for exhibitors
and families. Several out-of-towners had hotel reservations and
made a family weekend out of the festival. The prevailing "June
gloom" was actually welcome weather for the festival; bright
sun would have been too much of a good thing. All that glossy
varnish (everywhere you looked) and the pristine white deck and
cockpit of Shawn Payment's just restored Blue Jay could have caused
permanent vision damage. Over 20 Scuzbums and their families participated
as exhibitors or visitors. A few "dropout" Scuzbums
who have been missing in action for years showed up, a pleasant
surprise. The legendary Tony Groves is back in town, working at
Koehler Kraft. The long-lost Joe Ditler, one of the original Scuzbums,
came by the booth, as did Bret Morris.
||View of Scuzbum dry display area and glimpses
of the nine boats on exhibit (one more on the water).
Scuzbums' boats figured prominently in the "People's Choice"
awards for most popular boats on exhibit. Mark Kovaletz' GRIN-N-TONIC
was first place among sailboats displayed "on the hard",
and Shawn Payment's and Kim Apel's boats were also recognized.
|View of Mark Kovaletz strip planked NS14 performance
The ScuzMum didn't originally expect to be in town for the festival,
but her planned RV expedition to Nova Scotia was derailed by spiking
gas costs. Unfortunate for Annie, but her presence was welcomed
by the rest of us. Afterward, Annie thanked the exhibitors via
email: "Not only were your boats gorgeous (prize-winners
all) but you were so friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, instructive,
generous, and just plain good fun to be with. Our booth and your
boats were the best there, and you guys showed a lot of class.
You made people feel welcome, you told them about your boats,
showed them things, and all with a smile. You were wonderful.
A lot of people have a really good feeling about Scuzbums, and
all because of you. I don't know where you get all that energy,
but it was a real pleasure to be in your company. I had a ball."
|Shawn Payment's just restored 1962 Blue Jay.
||Shawn Payment's Blue Jay underway.
|Randy Ames' "Pautuxent" Chesapeake
Light Craft Kayak
||One of the two steam boats giving free rides.
This one is "Amity" designed and built by Chuck
|A restored Thompson wood canvas skiff on display.
||Detail view of the fine work on this Thompson
|Kim Apel's 17' 2" Glen-L Designs sliding
seat recreational rowing shell.
||Overview of 40 or so big boats on the water
display at the San Diego Wooden Boat Festival.