Members from six states gathered at Brent Howard’s Classic Boat Shop on a beautiful February day. People came early with comments like, “I couldn’t wait to see everybody. It’s been too long since boating season.” People brought along friends, they brought along their own chairs, they brought things to donate to the swap meet – things like a boat trailer, outboard motors, old water skis, and they brought enthusiasm for learning and sharing information.
Brent Howard’s shop is spacious. He and his crew had it all cleaned up for us. Every year it is interesting to see what the current project is for a customer, plus to check on the progress on Brent’s own cruiser that is coming back to life. All attendees appreciate the great “classroom” Brent provides.
Dan Diehl has been the organizer of this event for years. He always comes up with new topics. This year’s lessons started with a presentation about zebra mussels. They started to be a nuisance, even a hazard in Grand Lake last year. Pictured here are the zebra mussels clogging up an impeller. Now we know what to look for and how to prevent moving the pests from one lake to another. Funny thing, after the winter flooding, they seem to have disappeared. Who knows? Here are some links if you like to know more.
Brad Anderson, who is the main mechanic for Howard’s Classic Boats, showed the difference between mechanical and electrical parts made for marine use and parts made for automotive use. His showing and explaining the differences made everyone very aware of how dangerous it is to use auto parts in a boat.
Dave Lundy explained “speiling”, the art of making a copy of a plank that needs to be replaced on a boat. It’s not as easy as it looks to reproduce a piece with multiple curves to fit exactly where it belongs.
Why would a boat owner want to know about the score sheets for judging a boat? Clay Thompson, who has been a judge at several International boat shows, explained the ACBS judging process and how it would help a person make decisions about how to preserve or restore a boat. Having a boat judged is a learning process for the boat owner and also for the judge. The judging criteria and score sheet were given out for powered boats.
“Cool Tools” is a traditional part of each workshop where attendees can share a tool or technique they have discovered that has become useful for them. This year Dan Diehl demonstrated how a compressor driven palm nailer helped drive the nails into the keel and frame assembly for his Riva reconstruction. This tool takes some practice to get just the right pressure, but works great in those tight places where you can’t swing a hammer.
Eight new Heartland caps as well as all of the treasures brought to the swap meet went home with new owners. Everyone took home some new advice and a good feeling about having spent the day with friends. A comment overheard on the way out was, “This is my favorite event of the year.”
Thanks, again, to Brent Howard and his crew for providing such a great place, and to Dan Diehl for organizing a very worthwhile day, the 2016 Winter Workshop.