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 Editors Note: The following is the experience of one of our boatbuilders (Michael Maddox, AKA BarnacleMike) at the 2013 Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders, reprinted with his permission from his personal blog.

Leave my cares at the dock? Done.


There was an old Chris-Craft ad from the 1960’s I stumbled across online not long ago. I don’t remember which model it was advertising (an early fiberglass runabout, I believe), but I do remember the tagline: “Leave your cares at the dock.”

Leave my cares at the dock. That’s exactly what I’d been wanting, and needing to do for weeks. So I did just that — I left my cares at the dock. After all, Sept. 20 was G7 weekend, and the Glen-L boatbuilders were back in town. What better way to relax than riding in hand-made classic boats?

This is now the third Glen-L gathering I’ve attended. Each year brings a little something new. This year, for me, it was an eye-opening lesson in fuel consumption. I simply had no idea just how quickly an outboard motor will use up a full tank of fuel when it’s pushing a boat fully-laden with adults up & down the river for any distance. Wow! I tell you, it makes me all the more grateful to the kind people who took me out for rides in their boats.

This year I rode in a couple of beautifully-finished Zips. I got some ideas to possibly use on my own. I also rode in a very nice Monaco, and in Bob Brandenstein’s splendid Malahini. There was a tent sale this year, and after the gale-force winds Saturday morning (which I luckily missed), I bought a pair of cleats & a U.S. Yacht Ensign flag for the Utility.

I also bought a bell. My daughter’s been asking me to put one on the boat since I first laid the keel. She saw the bell at the tent sale & just HAD to have it… so I bought it.

For now I use it to wake her & her brother up for school.


Buddy’s highly-modified Zip race boat.
There were several Zips at the Gathering this year.
Docking all these handmade wooden boats in Chattanooga.
1959 Mercury Mark 35A on Garfield’s Zip.
I was really intrigued by Garfield’s Zip, and all the unique, “out-of-the-box” thinking he put into it.
Paul brought his super-fast Hot Rod all the way down from Quebec
Bob’s splendid Malahini.
Jeff Peters’ newly-built Zip is adorned with original hardware off of a classic Century boat. I really like his distinctive mermaid fenders.


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