2011 Toledo Wooden Boat Show

Toledo holds their boatshow the third Thursday in August every year. And every year it gets better.

The Toledo Community Boathouse was going to figure prominently in this year's show, and we were scrambling to get it cleaned up and ready for guests. Rick was prepping for the Family Boat Building that'd take place up in the parking lot.

I decided I needed a new pair of oars for the Toledo Flyer, a one-sheet skiff I'd made for the show. Curt and I turned to on a 2x4 and knocked 'em out pretty quick. That 4x24 belt sander with 40 grit paper really makes things smooth fast.

Once the oars were done, I found Mary sitting outside with a copy of the Marlinespike Sailor in her bag. "Mary, can you please wrap these?" "Sure!" What a trooper.

Once wrapped, it was time to put 'em to use. Here's Dave in the Toledo Flyer. You'll see a lot of that boat in this photo spread.

Family Boat Building was well underway. Rick and Aaron were facilitating the process. Carl Chamberlin, Master designer, builder, and proprietor of of Basic Boats in Port Townsend, has a 10 foot canoe called a Nuf (which is just enough, don't you know?) Carl comes down every year to put on the Family Boat Building program and in 3 days, a family will build a 10 foot canoe.

It was still early on Friday, and already, boats were showing up. Rover is owned by Coot Brian G. and is a beauty. Too bad I'm not into power boats. Still, a nice little camp cruiser.

Jim, one of the regular volunteers at the boathouse, and his dog, Lucy (also a regular) showed up with Big Blue.

And as evening came on, we closed down the activities and all the available Coots and their significant others retired to Pig Feathers for a meal and some beer at the brew pub.

Saturday morning came with magnificent splendor. Toledo is a timber town and the mill dominates the background.

More friends start showing up. Here's Bill with a fantastic example of a lapstrake rower.

Dave was out in the Toledo Flyer and young Blake took to the water in the Turner family Blue Canoe.

There's Blake with his dad, Case, who is paddling his Dave Gentry designed Chuckanut 15 (imaginatively named Chuck)

The Chamber of Commerce puts on a heck of a pancake feed. Well worth a stop to load up on syrup and coffee.

Blake was hitting all the activities early. The Kid's Boat Building tent is always a big attraction.

There are a lot of activities scheduled throughout the day - and a big one is the Yaquina Run-Off paddle/rowing race. That Gloucester Light Dory on the left was a commissioned build for the Boathouse. Rick, Michael, and Aaron did a heck of a job on it and the new owner is very happy.

I was walking around and saw a young lady and her mother if they'd like to borrow some life jackets and go rowing or paddling. The mother was a little skittish, but the daughter, Casey, was interested, so I put her in a canoe and we took off.

We needed up having a great paddle. The first thing we did was row out and "attack" the guys in the Teak Lady. Teak Ladys are 18' sailboats built of teak in Hong King in the first half of the 20th century. They are pretty rare these days, and we have two.

Speaking of Teak Ladies, the donors of our second one came down to see her. Michael had done a fantastic job of restoring her and the previous owners were very happy to see her alive and on the water again. They were also quite pleased with our Boathouse activities.

I was having a blast, finding people who were walking around, getting them into life jackets, and getting them on the water. Kids, especially, were really excited to have the opportunity to go rowing or paddling without having an adult in the boat.

One of the activities is a Poker Paddle where people go to five floating mailboxes laid out along the slough, collecting envelopes, each one containing a playing card. When they get back, they open the envelopes and see win prizes based on their hand. These ladies wanted to play, but didn't have a boat. Boathouse to the rescue! It took 'em a bit, but they eventually got the hang of rowing.

Lots of people were borrowing PFDs and hopping into the Boathouse boats.

The canoes were getting some good action, too.

Back in the Boathouse, we started our "interactive demonstration" where we got people from the crowd to help us skin our new Skin-on-Frame Ruth, a pulling boat designed by Dave Gentry.

"Here, here's a staple gun." "Um, what?" "Take this staple gun, pull tight on the fabric, and staple it." "But . . . " "Try it." "Wow, this is fun!"

"Do you know how to sew?" "Kind of . . ." "GREAT! Here's a needle and thread. First we do a running stitch like this." "Um, OK" "You did great. Now we do a whip stitch, which looks like this."

It took about an hour and a half to skin the Ruth - and they did an EXCELLENT job.

Back outside, it was back to getting more people into PFDs and out on boats. These girls were hilarious - the one in the back was terrified and the one on the oars was all gung ho.

A ship of Coots. Joe (on the tiller) had originally planned on using a steam engine in his launch, but someone provided him with an electric motor that was no bigger than a box of Wheaties, so he used that instead. They tootled around for hours.

That evening, I closed everything down, locked up the Boathouse, and walked out to my car. I realized I'd forgotten something and turned around, only to discover one of the Boathouse gang had opened the doors again and the Coots had snuck in and were holding a jam session. Coots! They are worse than raccoons, some times.

The next day started early. I had kids hounding me for PFDs and boats almost as soon as I stepped on the dock.

That's the RAVN, a beautiful boat by Brandon, one of the Coots. It won the People's Choice Award.

Look at the boat this adorable little moppet made at the Kid's Boat Building tent. She was very proud.

Her sister was rightly proud of her boat, too. Those who know the ballad of Laguna Cinco, el Flamingo del Fuego, know I am a fan of pink boats, I just wish I'd thought of adding bling to the Flamingo.

The Gal was the star of the show this year - she was even featured on the t-shirts. It was only natural a painter set up his stand on the verandah of the Boathouse. It was also only natural for Blake to come over and supervise.

More families in boats. "Hey, wanna borrow a life jacket and go rowing?" "I don't know how to row." "That's fine, Frank is a fine rower - he'll take you and your girls out. Let's get you all fitted for a PFD."

Back in the Boathouse, we started the heat shrinking of the Ruth. People were a little skittish here, fearful of "doing something wrong." I could only talk Aaron (a regular volunteer at the Boathouse) and Brandon (Coot and builder of the RAVN) into hoisting the heat guns. Again - they did an excellent job.

I had a lot of fun getting people to try rowing the Toledo Flyer. Once they get going, they really like it. Leland (a regular at the Boathouse) seemed to really enjoy it.

Here's another random kid figuring out how to use the oars.

Brina was one of the stars of our Summer Youth Program. Once she got properly seated, she took off.

I love the expression on this kid's face. When they got back, he was just ecstatic - all excited about the boat ride.

I had these two girls asking to go out but they were scared to go out on their own, then this lady wanted to go out, but she was alone. A match made in heaven.

Georgia Pacific, the company that operates the mill in town, made a boat out of cardboard (more properly called "container board") and rowed it the 1/4 mile up to the bridge and back. They are probably going to provide kits for cardboard boat races next year - which is way cool.

And right as things were closing up, Jacob, another veteran of our Summer Youth program, and his sister came running down the stairs to show me the boats they'd made. Good job, guys.

That's it, the 2011 Toledo Wooden Boat Show from my perspective. It was a lot of fun and we had hundreds of people go through the Boathouse. I'd like to thank the Port, the people on the planning committee, the sponsors, and especially Curt, Jim, Aaron, Michael and Rick of the Boathouse Gang, and Mary, who stepped in and helped out like a hero. Y'all are fantastic.