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Rav's Magic Theatre

Not for everyone.  Admission? Well, you know what the admission is...

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Welcome to the home page for River Boat Camping Project. Read my rantings or skip straight to the Devlish Details of the project.

How it came to be - in brief

The RBC Project is a combination of my current minor obsessions.  I could say "interests" or "hobbies" if I wanted to shade the truth to appear more balanced.  The truth is that at any given time I have at least three ideas (visions, revelations, fantasies, dreams, topics, activities) which plague my mind to the degree that I have difficulty concentrating on day-to-day reality.  In fact, pondering on these things consumes me to such a degree that I am forced to do something about them, try to make them reality on some level.  

Now, I will not share the true extent of my depravity on the World Wide Web.  Let's just accept the idea that I am an obsessive maniac, and sometimes I do some interesting and entertaining things.

Over the last thirty years I have had several rather useful (and socially acceptable) obsessions.  One of these was Personal Computer technology.  In fact, this may have been my most developed obsession ever.  This is not to say that I am one of those computer geniuses.  I am strictly in the "expert USER" category.  I know a lot of useful things about how PC's work and what I can do with them. I've invested a lot of time messing them up so I can fix them.  Another obsession has been wilderness living/camping.  It has been longer running, but much less developed.  My mother and father are equally responsible for flipping that switch during my childhood.  They are true Survivalists (and I don't mean of the weekend militia stereotype).  Over the years I have done little to scratch that itch, except that my wife and I go on a couple of camping weekends every year and have amassed an embarrassing amount of equipment.  But the MAJOR OBSESSION of the day, the one which eclipsed all others for the last two years is BOATBUILDING.  When I drive to work, I am scoping out the boats I can see from the road.  When I flip through TV channels, I will stop for a boat and watch another hour of the worst television ever made for hopes of another glimpse. I actually leave the computer and rush to the living room in order to catch a two second look at Scotty's (The Backyard Renegade) Classic Scrappie in a Celebrex commercial.  There just aren't enough boats and boatbuilding in modern culture and media.  I have built 6 boats to date.  They were not complex comparatively.  I am not an expert boatbuilder, nor do I aspire to be.  I just like building them.  I built my first boat because I thought I could use it to get some exercise (a pirogue type canoe).  I barely waited a month to start on my second boat, a rowing type skiff of my own design. I used it three times before trading it away and beginning my third boat, a Bolger Skimmer.  My fourth boat, a Michalak AF4 outboard cruiser is still the biggest, and best boat I have built.  I followed this with a Piragua 18 also from Michalak (I like his designs), and a Bolger "Big Tortiose" style Brick.  Somewhere in there I realized that I loved building them more than I loved using them.  And I do love using them.  But unfortunately, building boats is a moneymaking proposition for very few.  Homebuilt boats do not have much resale value, especially mine.  Even much more experienced builders than I say they are lucky to sell a boat they built for more than the cost of their materials--forget about their time and labor.  Production boats are too cheap to compete with, too many used FRP or aluminum john boats out there, etc..  So unless you are a reputable builder of expensive custom works of art, don't quit your day job.  

Currently I have purchased an Bolger Topaz built by Sam Glasscock in Delaware.  It is in excellent shape and he didn't hardly charge me for it.  Dianne and I cruised it to pieces the first 6 months of owning it and have done a little work on it since.  Finally I am enjoying USING a boat.  It is our favorite way to spend a weekend (or week as opportunities present).   The Topaz is a perfect 2 person cruiser or 9 person day boat.

The only problem is, we can't stand to keep it out long enough to make necessary repairs.

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Last updated: June 08, 2007.