Toledo Wooden Boat Show
August 15-16, 2014

This is it, our big show. It was the 10th one, too, so things were really rocking. It was going to be a heck of a show.

Toledo has really been sprucing things up - they recently upgraded from their wooden benches to these metalwork pieces done by a local artist.

It was Friday, the show doesn't officially start until tomorrow, Saturday. Still, the waterfront was buzzing. Every year, they do a family boat build - this year is kayaks. Sometimes it takes a little longer than the time allowed at the show, so people like to get started early.

Sebastian, Connie, and Patience were there, too. We discovered Bea had gotten quite a leak during the last week - sometimes kids come down to the Boathouse outside of operational hours and, without supervision, abuse the boats. We were going to be a canoe shy for the show this year.

A little later, Anthony showed up. The kids were n fine form.

This was the cardboard canoe we made for the cardboard boat race this year - this will be used by Bud, Toledo's Port Manager, in challenge against the Port Manager from Newport. That's Tony back there, painting on the name.

Dan came down from eastern Washington with his grandson, Peyton., Peyton was a little leery of getting in a boat on the water - we eased him into it.

The stability of a Tik-Tak Kayak was just what the boy needed. He became master of his own destiny that day.

One of the fun things about being there on Friday is watching the boats come in. Mark was having a little engine trouble on his Kayleigh.

The Turners, Case, Blake, and Braxton, showed up in their Chuckanuts.

The Boathouse was still a working Boathouse, and there was work to be done. Connie helped Tony put some finishing touches on some wood for the docks.

Dan's a sailing man, and he was intrigued with our little Junk, and it didn't take him long to figure out how to make her go.

And then he started teaching Patience how to sail. Things were under control at the Boathouse, so Curt and I had other duties to attend to.

This is Duncan, local resident and CEO of Fish People, which is opening a processing center right here in Toledo. This is a big boon for the town, and we wanted to be there to support them.

Where do you get giant scissors, anyhow?

New business welcomes and festivities over, it was back to the Boathouse for me. Evening was getting on, and Denis Banta was out rowing his dinghy in the slough.

As I headed out, I saw the most common sight there is at a boat show: Coots, standing around a boat on the hard, yabbering.

Saturday morning - and here is a proud young man standing next to a magnificent creation of a cardboard boat. It was decided this boat was too pretty to be used in the race - it is show only.

The Family Boat Build was in full swing.

The Turners had taken young Peyton under their wings and were out on the water nice and early.

Dennis Banta's and Dick Mitch's tugs - damn fine boats.

And we started getting people into boats. This grandmother was introducing her grandson to the adventures of canoeing, and we were there to help.

One of the things I like to do with the Tik-Tak Kayak is get nay-sayers to try it out. This man didn't think much of the looks, but he enjoyed the weight and utility.

That Yaquina canoe has been getting a lot of use. The kids are particularly fond of it.

The duties of the manager of the Boathouse are many and varied. I had been asked to perform a Pirate Wedding. I said I didn't have a pirate outfit. One was provided. Who is that man next to me? I don't know - but he wanted in the picture.

The script was written by Terry, the buccaneer on the right, and his wench (with extra sauce) Martina. My job was just to read. It was quite a hoot and went really well.

The cardboard boat race was going to be a doozie this year - we'd done a total of 4 boats and the rest came out of nearly no where - or at least I don't know where. Lots of creativity in there.

There were a total of 3 heats, I don't know how they were divided up. That kid with the square-nosed box thing won the first heat. He tried again in the second, but it sank about 3/4ths of the way through.

There was lots of carnage - a good 20% failure rate, if not more. Wonderful stuff.

Nobody goes to a NASCAR race to watch cars go in circles, and nobody goes to a cardboard boat race to watch the paddling skills.

This was out biggie - Bud had come to me a couple weeks prior and told me the new Port Manager from Newport had challenged him to a race. There was a lot on the line - Newport is easily twice the size of Toledo, far wealthier and more popular. They joked around and said if Toledo won, they'd move the County Seat back there (Toledo was the economic powerhouse of Lincoln County up through WWII, then tourism took over.) I cobbled together a canoe design, others said it wasn't sturdy enough, so I let them reinforce it. Ours was the only boat with any semblance of hydrodynamic design.

We might have taken things a little too seriously - that guy in the lower right, the one in the pirate suit with the square boat with "#1 Daddy" on the side is the Port Manager from Newport. Still, look a the crowd! We couldn't just play patty-cake here.

There was some pretty good drama right at the start, lots of boats never even made it away from shore. Ours was just fine.

Here's the result. Look in the background - Bud came in 4 minutes ahead of the next finisher (the Port Manager from Newport, by the way.) As victories go, it was a little excessive.

Last heat heat - the 3 boats on the left were the ones Patience, Sebastian and Anthony built. The middle one, Patience's boat - sank. The other two came in 1st and second. A lesson was learned - the correction will be easy enough.

These two were doing the Poker Paddle - going around a mile + loop picking up cards to make a poker hand. The one in the Tik-Tak gave it the stink-eye when she first saw it. When she came back, she was in love.

This is Nobel, he, also took to the Tik-Tak very well.

We were moving now - the docks were full of people and we were loading them up as fast as we got the boats back. We even had waiting lines.

1st time in a boat, and he got to paddle it himself. That was a very common story for the Boatshow.

Those Lazy Weekend canoes are perfect for this event.

Dads showing kids the joys of the water.

Friends taking friends out (after a lot of convincing)

and Moms with their kids. That's Nobel there in front - he had enjoyed himself so much he went and got his mother and little sister.

and the day wore on. Lots of kids in boats. Give a kid a boat and they will behave responsibly - it's amazing.

The junk was getting a little use - we have some bugs to work out. It looks good, though.

That little 4' dinghy belongs to Dick Mitsch - he wanted people to use it. I'm not a real fan of boats that small.

If you ever want to get a canoe to be used, paint it pink. Aurora would no sooner come back to the dock before she was out again with a new load of people.

Nav hazards - on the docks, we had a sprightly discussion as to who has the right of way - a canoe or a sailboat. We decided it was better not to crash at all.

Finally, the day was winding down, and somehow, I ended up with a pair of sprogs underfoot. I hooked 'em up with some foam 'lightsabers' (pool noodles) and let 'em whale on each other until they tuckered out.

The boat show was closed for the day, but people kept coming. Finally, it died down to a trickle and was able to pack it in for the night.

Mornings at Depot Slough are nice.

. . . and we were right back in it. Christian, his parents, and his sister, Karma, were among the first to show up.

Patience and Sebastian showed up to, so I put them to work clearing up one of the cardboard boat carcasses that had ended up on the docks.

Karma and Christian each got into their own boats.

There's a pair of rowers putting a Mollyhawk through her paces.

That lady in the boat on the left really didn't want to get on the water, but I showed her Bob Mitch's boat (and Bob) and she was hooked. She had a wonderful time.

Those ladies insisted on dual rowing, even though neither had ever rowed before. That young man over there is Cole - he was a very helpful young man, and much appreciated.

So much for design specs. Still, it floats.

The day was heating up and the verandah at the Boathouse became very popular.

Karma was back, and she wanted me to row her out. I put Cole in charge of the Boathouse, we got 50ft from shore, and I gave Karma her first rowing lesson.

We rowed all the way up to the tide gates and Karma got to touch them.

Patience and Sebastian had been building a boat during the show - they came down to show it off.

Now THAT'S a full boat.

Christian was back as well.

Canoes come in, canoes go out.

These guys were REALLY happy to get to go out in a boat. They were visiting from California, heard of the show, and came over to check it out.

This guy needed some ballast for his rowing - Patience and Sebastian are very useful.

A father and his daughters.

Now there's a guy who knows how to go for a paddle.

Bagpipers. Who invites bagpipers?

Patience had just reentered the canoe from the water - Sebastian had counterbalanced her perfectly, all without being told. Experience is a great teacher.

Need an infant PFD? I have one of those!

Brandy (from a couple weeks ago) and her nephews. They were having a good day.

That's it - we got over 200 people into boats that weekend - lots of them had never been in a boat before. It was one heck of a show - plan for being here the 3rd weekend of August next year, too.