West Coast Builders Roll Call

Hear & Discuss Everything that Happened at the 2016 Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders!

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Locutus
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West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Locutus » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:30 am

Okay so my recent post concerning a possible G-1 WEST garnered few views and no responses in 5 days. It seems there's not a lot of interest in a gathering on the West Coast. So I'm curious about whether there are even many builders on the West Coast. Here's your chance to go on record as a boat builder living on the West Coast. Doesn't matter if you've build a Glen-L, Hankinson, Stevenson, CLC or other design. Please make yourself and your build known, as well as the State you live in. A photo of your build would also be nice. Personally, I'm just finishing up on a Stevenson Super Skipjack. I'll post a photo of mine after I finish the build.

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Bill Edmundson » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:03 pm

Locutus

I'm showing:
3 in western Can.
10 Wash.
8 in OR
18 in CA (mostly in L.A. & San Fran.)

These are fairly active posters. (Not to be confused with Poster Children.)

Bill
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Dave Grason
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Re: West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Dave Grason » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:49 pm

I really don't know exactly how it happened that our Gatherings took off and have been so successful. It really is difficult at times to get folks to commit because everyone has so much going in their lives. So, who can blame them?

Every spring, we talk about getting a group of Glen-L folks to go to the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival in Mt. Dora, Florida. This past spring, there was a lot of talk about it and I cleared my schedule to attend. I even planned to write an article about it for the Glen-L newsletter. But at the last minute, EVERYONE canceled out and I just didn't want to go alone.

I think that one key to success for us at these late September Gatherings is that Bill and I scouted places for the very first one and reported back to the forum and the Newsletter. Then, all the folks who were following along on the forum, got to get a much better idea of the locations and the layout. And BTW, we did this a full year in advance. Also, Bill and I both were enthusiastic about this forum and we were both posting a lot and encouraging other boat builders a lot. Then when we met for the first time face to face, we instantly had a connection and a friendship that is still going strong and I truly believe that this had a lot to do with the event's popularity as well.

But we did go through some growing pains. The state park in Guntersville got snooty and kept scheduling other events in on top of us. We were getting squeezed pretty badly. I personally had to choke down a little resentment because we are a classy bunch of people. We behave ourselves, we don't tear up the place or leave with piles of trash and we spend money. But we had to find another venue and I really thought that the change was going to kill it for us. We really had some strong feelings for various other possible venues.

In addition, (And I will take full responsibility for this boo boo) we originally scheduled the Gathering for around the middle of October. I had suggested that as we wanted to catch the fall color change as a perk. Hey, everyone knows that Alabama in October is still warm. But NOOOOOOOOO. For three years we just about froze our little tushies off. So fortunately, when we changed to Nickajack, we also moved the event up to the third weekend in September. That was NOT my idea and I'm glad that someone (I think it was Bill) DID think of it. It has been just about perfect. (Well, except for that microburst when I was trying to save a bunch of tents from blowing off the dock and everyone else was in their cabins watching me and having fun at my expense. LOL)

There is one other aspect of the Gatherings that I have noticed and it's sort of sad in a way. Yes, we certainly do get quite a few nice boats every year. But we don't always get the SAME boats every year. We also have good attendance every year but again, there is really only a small percentage of the attendees that have committed to the event consistently. Even I have been guilty of that because I've missed one.

We started off with an excellent Canadian contingent driving all the way down from up north and they were consistent for years. But here recently, Paul Kane has been sick and Bruce Dow has moved and his situation is now entirely different. I really miss these guys and without them, the Gatherings are taking on a new personality. It's a good one but it is different.

So, I would think that the key to success would be to be happy with a small turnout the first year but commit to it every year for long enough that the event builds the momentum needed.

If you can do it, scout out the location, talk it up with whatever marina or state park would host it and get their input. Take a bunch of photos and report back to the forum. What do you think?
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Dave Grason
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Re: West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Dave Grason » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:20 pm

Here is an ad hoc list of things that will go a very long way towards making it work. We have learned this though some trial and error and we learned some other things because we stumbled into something that worked through pure blind luck. I’m going to list what I have in my mind but others may see it differently OR they may remember something that I’ve forgotten.
1. Obviously, you need a certain amount of dock space in order to get the boats in the water. It is my personal feeling that, trying to work a gathering in with a group of other boat folks, such as the Antique and Classic Society folks is not really a good idea… or even a darned fishing tournament, like they did to us one year in Guntersville. This is because they are going to be gobbling up most of the primo dock space and the Glen-L folks could easily get shoved off into an area where the boats will get very little attention. Also, too much of a crowd of OTHER boaters will mean that it will be more difficult for OUR crowd to even find each other.
2. All the boat builders should have their boats gassed up and be ready to give rides to anyone that happens to step onto the dock. I was amazed at how the first attendees in Guntersville did this without hesitation and I think that this one aspect really made for a LOT of fun. And this has been the SOP at every gathering since.
3. When evening comes, there should be a place close to the boats where everyone can enjoy the meal. Our events have always been covered dish affairs and no one has ever gone hungry. There have always been plenty of other refreshments and imbibements on hand too. And yet, ours is not a crowd with no lack of morals or prone to drunkenness. The event has always remained classy and modest.
4. Another positive aspect is that cabins and other overnight arrangements have been available for those who want to take more time than just Saturday AND they have been reasonably close at hand. In fact, our gathering started off focusing on Saturday and, over the years, it has grown into including the River Run on Friday. Now, folks are arriving on Wednesday evening so that they can unwind on Thursday and really enjoy Friday through Sunday in a more relaxed state. This next year, I plan on arriving on at least on Wednesday and I’m not leaving for home until Sunday night.
5. One of the very best aspects of our gatherings has been through pure serendipity. It was a stroke of PURE genius and is quite the highlight of Saturday’s activities. This is Bill Edmundson’s Awards Show. Thank you Bill and Lauren. Remember that the gatherings are NOT a competition. So the awards are often gag awards, sometimes they are tongue in cheek and sometimes they honor those boat builders who have overcome adversity to be there or have traveled extreme distances to attend. Anything and everything that is notable about the folks that are attending can be a good reason for their receiving an award. Whatever the reasons, EVERYONE LOVES IT and I hope it never stops.
6. The River Run is now a very important part of the event. Currently, Hale’s Bar is just about an hour and half from Chattanooga down river. They have an excellent public dock in Choo Choo town and the microbrew restaurant is an easy walk. I think that we really owe Bob Maskel and Ray Macke a huge thanks for putting this idea into the attendees. They were the ones who originally began making yearly river runs from the Gatherings. So, if you want your event to really work, try to plan a destination for everyone to boat to and really wow anyone else that is on the lake or waterway.
Maybe others can chime in here and help you with great ideas. If you really plan this out and talk it up, I just know it will take off.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Rich Coey
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Re: West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Rich Coey » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:10 pm

Here is a possibility ,
Clearlake, Ca
It is in northern California, so more centralized than Washington or southern California. We have an ACBS event here every year.
The place is a hotel with great docks. Plenty to do on the lake. A park with docks in Lakeport,Wineries, and even the Maherajah water ski factory.
Here are some pictures of this years event showing the docks, and some of the boats, including a couple Glen-L boats "Reminiscent" and "Olds Cool" (Grandpa Steve)

Rich
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Locutus
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Re: West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Locutus » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:41 am

Bill, thanks for the numbers. Out of the entire west coast I would have thought there would be more, especially since Glen-L is headquartered in California.

Dave and Rich, thanks for the ideas. Clear Lake sounds like a great central location if enough interest is generated. But if not, and we have to cobble together builders from other designers as well, I still think the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend Washington is a great alternative. When I took my unfinished boat there in 2015 they had a dock float with several home-built boats, including designs from Glen-L, Devlin, Stevenson and CLC. I think I might be able to persuade the organizers to concentrate the home-built boats onto one dock if I can show that we make up an organized and cohesive whole. We might even be able to set up an on-shore gathering spot near the top of the ramp nearest to the home-builders' float.

I disagree in this case that combining our west coast gathering with this particular event would be detrimental to us as a group. On the contrary, I think it would enhance the experience. The entire marina is cleared of its tenants for the festival and only wooden boat participants are allowed to moor there during the three day event. Everything is quite centralized. There are food stalls and workshops and seminars and wooden boat oriented merchants, yet it doesn't feel overly commercialized. The event is immediately adjacent to the waterfront district of downtown Port Townsend.

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Dave Grason
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Re: West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Dave Grason » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:50 pm

Locutus wrote: I disagree in this case that combining our west coast gathering with this particular event would be detrimental to us as a group. On the contrary, I think it would enhance the experience.
Yes, you may very well be right. I can think of one good way to find out. :wink: In fact, it would be great if this could expose more people, who we already know to be enthusiastic about wooden boats, to the home built option. I say that because often times I've pondered the differences in efforts of what we do compared to what the classic boat restoration people do. Honestly, I would rather build new than to try to resurrect some project that initially looks inviting only to find out later that it's a complete disaster.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Roberta
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Re: West Coast Builders Roll Call

Post by Roberta » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:16 am

Getting a gathering in conjunction with an ACBS show is a great idea to start getting Glen L builders together. I belong to ACBS and I attend 4-5 shows every summer that are ACBS. Home builders are becoming more prevalent at ACBS events and are very welcome in all sizes and types. I am the Vice-Commodore for the Wisconsin Glacier lakes Chapter. We have several home builders in our group. We are hosting the ACBS International Show in 2017 at the Reef Point Marina in Racine next September.

I would suggest you pick an ACBS event and solicit Glen L builders in your area to attend. Good way to get things started and have a venue all set up for you.

Roberta :D :D :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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