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PostPosted: November 8th, 2022, 2:16 pm 

Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2535
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
I was fast becoming a hermit before Covid. I’m not out of my shell yet, and not sure I want to be. But every once in a while a shop day with friends is the perfect introvert tonic.

Joel arrived first, to pick up the finished Loon. Not actually pick up; post motorcycle accident his right arm still doesn’t work well if lifted above his head. We needed someone tall and strong, and easily convinced to help whitewash a fence. Steve was also heading to the shop.

Steve arrived from Maine, and with his considerable assistance we got the Loon on the racks via the aero bar modified Yakima rollers & Thule saddles. The addition of a strapped down center cover allowed us to rack the Loon upright.

ImagePB030008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

ImagePB030007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

ImagePB030009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

With Hully Rollers at the back, adapted to fit the Transit’s aftermarket aero bars, and HydroGlide saddles adapted up front for sliding the upright hull into position forward, getting the Loon roof racked was as easy as it’s going to get on the high Transit roof. Even so having tall Steve was a big help.

Eh, a loop of rope around the stern to gently lower the bow into position would still be helpful. Just sayin’.

Steve was an absolute joy, no wonder Joel speaks so highly of his company. I had met him too briefly a year ago, and having him in the shop was pure pleasure. Not just for the tasks completed, including dual license tag bolt tie downs on the Transit for the two racked boats.

ImagePB030010 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Or the minor adjustment and improvements made to Steve’s Thule racks.

ImagePB030011 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Joel may not be able to do much that requires use of both arms, but from decades of selling and installing various racks, and helping friends with theirs, he is a wizard with roof racks and adaptation ideas.

Admittedly we were puzzled for a spell trying to determine if the racks required a hex key or a Torx, and what size; the adjustment fitting is tiny, and set deep inside a plastic sleeve. Until, lookee there, a handle knobbed hex tool, stored inside the Thule foot covers. In two of the foot covers in fact, batting .000 just not the two on which we started the initial adjustments.

Nice touch Thule; I’ll remind Joel next time. And Steve. Maybe especially Steve, who originally installed the racks with the manual in hand.

We needed to make those roof rack adjustments to Steve’s van because had expressed an interest in a big boy decked sailing hull. I dressed up the Pamlico 160 up with a sail, partial spray covers and a stern deck bag. And a peculiar custom paddle.

ImagePB020006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Steve looked pretty in pink paddling. Note that, to kill any hint of a breeze when putting up a sail, the boat need not actually be on the water. You are luffing there Steve.

There followed some hours of sterling shop conversation; both Joel and Steve work(ed) as guides, and guides tend to be wonderful conversationalists, with a empathy tuned to human dynamics from subtly sensing client’s needs and desires.

I think that sensitivity carries over beyond clients, although their cash tips from me have been few and far between. Steve insisted on paying more than I asked for the P-160, so I guess that is another hull that comes with a lifetime guarantee. I’d love to have them both back in the shop anytime.

Too soon the Loon headed up the driveway.

ImagePB030015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Followed closely by the P-160

ImagePB030016 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

All of the boats got red flags with prismatic reflective tape. Joel and I have both noted that the winky blinky of the reflective tape in car headlights at night keeps people from riding our bumpers. Blessed is the red flag with reflective tape; I detest tailgaters, especially glaring headlights in the mirrors at night.

Shop visitors departed, I was

But not for long. Tom and Finn stopped by the next day, en route back from paddling the Conowingo Pool. Tom described his route in great detail, even after I gave him a map and mentioned that I had done that same route just two days before. Finn laid on the shop floor drooling. Or maybe it was the other way around.

Tom soon headed out, with a box of needed Torx bits, and a suggestion that he lighten his poling canoe, a Vermont-era glass Explorer, by taking out two of the three seats I had originally installed for use as a family canoe. He only ever uses the bow seat backwards, and that rarely when poling.

That should read “FINALLY lighten his poling canoe”; I’ve been after him for 10 poling use years to remove those superfluous seats, the largest unoccluded area in his poling Explorer is less than 2’ long between seats and thwarts, but that task would require 20 minutes work with a screwdriver and socket wrench.

Tom wants a Millbrook Coho. When he finally gets one I’ll help offset the cost and offer him $100 for that now worn out freebie glass Explorer. Another once-mine canoe could return to the shop decade’s later, and retro benefit from accumulated outfitting experience.

PostPosted: March 15th, 2023, 7:39 am 

Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2535
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Shop visitors are always interesting. The Gorton’s Fisherman paid a shop visit.

ImageP3110030 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Or maybe that was Papa Hemmingway. He brought some high-test beers, and actually did a wee bit of work for a change.

ImageP3110031 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

New underhood tie downs for the two canoes that live full time on his boat-toter truck. He wanted to ropes well away from the hood of his new truck, so I made the webbing straps extra long.

ImageP3110033 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The refurbished “Lady Jane” Explorer is there in the background. Cap’t Gorton will be coming back to fetch it as his scapey shallows poling canoe. I told the Cap’t he was my acid test, beat her up, my repairs can handle it.

He was fine that that shop guarantee. He was fine with the red pigmented G/flex and glitter foot pad. Until I explained that there were some mutual friend’s cremains thickening those worn footbeds.

“I’m not standing on Brian” he cried. “You’ll be standing on the shoulders of giants” I replied.

“Well, since you put it that way”

Captain Hemmingway has promised to return to fetch Lady Jane. It will not be “Lady Jane” when he departs; despite my telling him that the Lady Jane was “an arctic explored vessel lost in the ice in 1899” he has sworn to rename her.

Hmmm, I have a lot of vinyl letters left. Maybe I should re-moniker the poling Explorer before the Captain returns. I bet I have enough 2” vinyl letters to spell out “SWMBO”.

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