Elk City Messabout

by Pat Patteson

Here's a bunch of pictures from out July, 2003 Elk City, Oregon Messabout. Elk City is kind of a ghost town that was once the head of navigation for Yaquina Bay, and Newport. It is the Confluence of the Yaquina River and Elk Creek. Neither is big enough alone for Steamboats. Not much town there anymore and the steamboats don't go up there anymore, either.

Pat Patteson, PK-20
Photo by John Kohnen

The railroad kind of put an end to the need for that head of navigation, and the Elk City. But, they have a nice, County Campground and it is still a very nice place to take little boats.

Suspension Bridge
John Kohnen, McKenzie Skiff

Nearly everybody made the trip under Trolling motor power. Even the PK. At least we made most of the trip under electric. Our old Minn Kota 65 with only 28 pounds of thrust had to be run at nearly full power, so I after a couple of hours I had to crank up the 33 to make it home.

Left to Right
Bob Larkin, Mill Creek 13
John Kohnen, 16' McKenzie Skiff Designed and built by John McCallum in 1981, based onthe Steamboat Yawls used on the Columbia and Willamette and elsewhere.
Jim Cooper, Nutshell Pram
Jeff and Rose B., "Portabote"

The photo of me with oars is a little misleading. The PK does Not row well, even with the 8-1/2' drift boat oars I have. I had the Trolling motor running at nearly high speed and was able to assist and maneuver with the oars. When the battery died so did any forward motion. The oars can be used for close maneuvering, arouond docks shore and other boats, but I'll wait for help if the 33 and the Minn Kota both die.

Kay and Pat Patteson PK-20
Photo by John Kohnen

A lot of new ideas for control and steering extension came from that trip. Nearly everybody had sore shoulders from having to reach back to control the Electrics.

Terry Lesh Windance

John has a pretty cool extension now the a push pull steering with twist speed control on the extension. Much more comfy, and gets his weigh further forward for better trim. I believe that is John McCallum, the designer and builder of John Kohnen's McKenzie Skiff testing the extension.

John McCallum, McKenzie Skiff

Below is a picture taken by John Kohnen of Bob Larking and his Mill Creek 13 (Bob has a sail rig for it, but didn't use it there). With his ultra shallow draft and maneuverability Bob was leading the Tour and was usually too far ahead for me to get any good pics of him. He was also able to venture further up the Creek and River than any of the rest of us.
All the way up to Very Shallow water and lots of rock.

Bob Larkin Mill Creek 13
Photo by John Kohnen

And I added the Photo of Dick Mitsch and his "Orca". He's a great guy and attends nearly all the Boating events around here. "Orca" started life as an inboard, power by a very old 1-1/2HP Clinton Lawn Mower engine with a Brass 3-4" diameter Vertical pipe for the exhaust. It made a Very Cool sound with the exhaust resonating from the big Brass Exhaust. Looked and sounded kind of like a Steam Engine. But, what was a Very Cool Sound to others became a very annoying Loud Sound, right at ear level.

So, first the exhaust was changed to a quieter one. Then the Clinton inboard was removed and replaced with a quieter outboard in a well. He has also added a sailing rig. He Added the Fabric Launch top recently in hopes that if will make the boat look Cute enough that someone will want to buy the boat. It Is for sale, last time I talked to him.

Dick Mitsch "Orca" Many time Modified Yankee Tender as a Launch

Kay says there was not a good picture of me so I am adding a couple. One for your enjoyment. John and I enjoying a little shade. It might be a little to risqué for
general audiences. The other one is a "Good Picture of Me" at the helm of the PK doing my best to not run over John.
The PK-20 in its Designed Environment. (Editors note: I think they are both great pictures. Pat at the helm of his PK-20 is at the top of the page, and the "risqué" one is below)

Pat Patteson, PK-20
John Kohnen, McKenzie Skiff

I think I got most of the the names and boats, and I hope they are correct. I couldn't remember the Last Names of "Jeff and Rose B." so I wrote to them and found that the "B" is for Brodniak. Their "Portabote" and Frank Mabrey's Gig Harbor are not Wooden. But Both are used a Lot and to me, that is more important than the material they are made of.

Jeff and Rose have permanently fastened and reinforce the interior frames of that boat and carry it on top of their small Van sized "Motor Home", so it no longer folds up, but is ready for use anytime, anywhere.

Jeff and Rose B., "Portabote"

Frank's side mounted trolling motor proved to be not as maneuverable in the shallow, twisting water as he had hoped. Even with his centerboard down and with assistance of the rudder he had a hard time making some of the corners. The one, long "Sweeper Tree" was a real challenge for him. The tree reached nearly to the shore and there was only a small "Slot" with a turn that needed to be negotiated in order to avoid the tree or the rocks.

Terry Lesh Windance (I'm not sure if that is the Type or name of boat.)
Kay Patteson PK-20
Frank Mabrey Gig Harbor Whitehall (OK it's Glass but Frank is a Wooden Boat Kinda Guy.)

After much planning and a "Game Plan" he attempted to make it though. Unfortunately, his plan may have been good, but the maneuverability of the boat was not. He missed the rocks, but managed to get the bow of his Whitehall stuck on the overhanging sweeper. The current force him forward as the tree began to bend downstream. But, eventually, the spring of the tree overcame the power of the current and he was thrown back upstream, like being shot from a catapult, much to the delight of his cheering Messabout "Friends".

(detail of photo above)

Right back to where he had done All that Planning. Next attempt was successful, but not nearly as entertaining.

Kay Patteson PK-20
John Kohnen, McKenzie Skiff

Kay Patteson, PK-20
John Kohnen, McKenzie Skiff

All the photo are by Kay or me except for the two credited to John Kohnen.

If you would like to learn more about this messabout and other West coast activities, check out the Messabout West discussion group.