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 small.


... 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.


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 my AF4 and Toto.

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 and smooth:

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 get photographed.


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 masterpiece!