Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fishing for a Boat

Paulette and I are pretty much caught up, settled back in, and doing well. I managed to repair the A/C and heater on the fifth wheel trailer myself. Bela helped me paint my office and replace the carpet. I have too much junk, so am throwing stuff I haven't used in years away (I know Jamie won't believe that). That means I can delete one file cabinet in the office and have a little room on top of the bookshelves again.

At one time Alaska was just a dream. With a few cautious intermediate steps the dream became a reality. I feel like God gave us the desire of our hearts. I am still dreaming, this time about getting a fishing boat for AK. (Perhaps I am never satisfied.) I have never shopped for a boat before. In this economy I expected boats to be selling for distressed prices. If they are I haven't seen it yet.

Looking for a boat for Alaska in California is somewhat like looking for mukluks in the tropics. Boats for the southwest are entirely different than what is desired for Alaska. Most boats down here are fiberglass. Aluminum is preferred in the northwest. You can beach an aluminum boat without doing damage to the hull. Plus aluminum is lighter and therefore requires less horsepower to push through the water. Aluminum fishing boats down here are usually less than sixteen feet in length, and have flat bottoms. That would be fine on a nice day up north. But I would prefer something more all weather in the twenty to twenty-three feet range with an 18-22° deadrise. (Alaska is unforgiving if one makes a mistake so a bigger boat is better than compromise in the smaller craft direction.) A pilot house or enclosure is part of the criteria to provide shelter on inclement days. Outboard engines made recently are very fuel efficient so that option would be desirable also. Now that I have completely bored you with details...

This is a pix of a new boat. I'm looking used. But this style should work for us.

We looked patiently for years before finding the riverfront lot in AK. I hope it doesn't take that long to find a suitable boat. I try not to make emotional decisions on major purchases. To remove emotion I need to divorce myself from the desire to see grandkids catch a fish as big as they are. At some point my age becomes a factor. Paulette is urging me to get ANY boat I want. I'm having to throttle her back.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


After two weeks on the road we arrived in Mentone at 3PM Sunday. Now a lot of work awaits to get everything from the trip organized and in its proper place. I anticipate more than a week getting bookkeeping and maintenance covered. Living in the 5er for two consecutive summers has dictated need for a number of repairs to the rig as well.
All the local grandkids are coming over for pizza. I'll try to keep the blog active once we get settled back in sun country.

Friday, September 9, 2011

South in the Lower 48

We crossed the border into Washington Labor Day Weekend. Not that we realized it was Labor Day Weekend. After living much of the time in AK without paying attention to the calendar that caught us by surprise. We spent the weekend camping with a cousin near the Canadian border. Then south again Tuesday AM to Portland, OR for a few great days with Jon, Elisabeth, and the grandkids. Daytime highs have been in the low to mid 90's, higher than we have seen in almost a year. We planned to leave early (7ish) Friday AM but they sealed the asphalt in the RV park and the note on the door when we returned said they won't remove the barriers until at least 8:30. So we are taking our time getting ready. From here we head south and will drop in on a Manx Dune Buggy Club run in the Mammoth Lakes area of California. We haven't been to one of those in a year. Then perhaps home to Mentone on Sunday afternoon.