2006 St. Joseph HPV Boat Meet
2006 St. Joseph HPV Boat Meet
Saturday, June 17, 2006: St. Joseph River, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Pictures and commentary by Dan Grow
Under the water tower, event organizer Dan Grow's HPB rests on his expensive van-top rack system.


You can click on most of these pictures to see a larger image.

Bill Goldthorpe's brand new home built 12' pedal kayak, complete with twisted chain drive. Plywood with fiberglass, first rate workmanship.
A close-up of Bill's inverted "Y" rudder. He is pleased with its reported ability to help the boat lean into the turns. The boat has excellent maneuverability.
Curt Chambers in his 12' Escapade. He looked this comfortable all day. The boat seems unshakeable. He helped with my rescue when my ama/iako system came loose.
Bill showing his textbook execution of a Murphy style twisted chain drive unit, straight off Warren's web-page. It worked nicely.
The participants in the meet, from left to right, Jake Free, Curt Chambers, Bill Goldthorpe, Paul Niederman and Daniel Grow.
Dinner after the meet at Barney's Boathouse. They have guest docks, and next year, we are going to pedal right to dinner!
Jake followed by the rest of the gang after a long afternoon on the river.
Paul, still smiling...
Paul, on his way up the river after testing his craft on the waves and boat chop on Lake Michigan.
Bill following Paul up the river at the start of the day, with Curt coming back to see where everyone was.
The first annual St. Joseph HPV Boat Meet was a big success.  Thanks again for all of the support and participation.

We were lucky to have perfect weather for the event.  It approached 90 degrees as the afternoon wore on, but on the water it felt cooler.  The wind was about 8 mph from the south, with gusts up to 23 mph.  There were no waves to speak of on the river, just boat chop, but the lake was a bit stirred up.  There was music in the air from a nearby festival at Silver Beach.

We ended up getting five boats out on the water.  Credit goes out to Bill Goldthorpe, with his brand new boat he built, a 12' twisted chain drive kayak.  Paul Niederman had his cat out, displaying his usual speed, and Curt Chambers brought one of his Nauticraft Escapades.  Jake Free had his boat back together and looking good, and I of course had my boat running as well.

We began by heading up the river.  We traveled a bit while I took pictures, and I handed my camera to Curt for safekeeping.  It was less then 20 seconds later and with a crack and a pop my iako/ama system detached from my boat, and I was swimming.  The night before I had removed the mounting hardware, leaving a couple of dabs of epoxy in their place... 

I lashed my boat back together and caught up with the group.  We headed back downstream to the launch site, and I bailed to take some pictures from the pier.  The group continued out into Lake Michigan, and tested their boats in the wind and the waves.

After the boating, we re-grouped and headed to Barney's Boathouse for refreshments and food.  They are also right on the river, and with guest docks, next year we will boat right to that spot for a pit-stop.

Some comments about the boats:  Bill's new boat is very promising, more or less a traditional kayak hullform, 12' in length, and proved to be quick and maneuverable.  It probably does not have the all out speed like the long boats like Jake, but it should hold its own at a hydrobowl.  Speaking of Jake, he suffered some damage to his hull on the way back from Long Beach, but it has been repaired, and still seems fast.  Paul's boat is looking as solid as ever, and as noted above, mine fell apart.  I expect it will be back in action immediately.  I just need to put the screws/bolts back in those holes I drilled.  I weighed the hardware removed for "weight savings," 1.5 ounces.  Bad decision...

So, thanks again, we will have to do it again next year!

Dan Grow.

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