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October, 2012

As this goes to press, I've seen a few boats get winterized already. This is the time of year that we enjoy the lesser-crowded waterways under the greenhouse effect of our bimini enclosure, while waiting for the occasional warm spells to get in some late-season watersports.

This time of year features several fall events, such as "Bands on a Boat," the Madison Chautauqua of Art and HCBOA's "Dockoberfest." Around the corner, there are classes offered by the Power Squadron and True Courses to keep your boating knowledge sharp over the winter.


Above, a few local boaters trying to stay warm after a Canadian air mass came through over the weekend.

Great Loop Cruise

Congratulations go out to Capt. Richard Smith, who recently completed his Great Loop Cruise. You may recall that he headed south about this time last year from the Rose Island Yacht Club. The trip took him south on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, then across the Gulf shores of Florida, where he cut across the Okeechobee Waterway. After spending some time in the Bahamas, he made his way up the Intercoastal Waterway to the Hudson River in New York City. After a scenic trip up the Hudson past Westpoint, he picked up the Mohawk River and Erie Canal system, which connected the journey to Lake Ontario. From there, he crossed the Trent-Severn Waterway to the Northern Passage of Lake Huron.

From Lake Huron, it was though the Straits of Mackinac, then south to Milwaukee and Chicago. In Chicago, Richard and his girlfriend took Chillin' through the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, which connects to the Illinois River. It was south toward Peoria, eventually reaching St. Louis and returning up the Ohio to Kentucky Lake, where the 6,378 mile trip officially began. All total, Richard covered 126 locks in 18 states, the Bahamas and Canada. His 42' trawler averaged 1.6 mpg at 9 kts.

Many of us find it difficult to get away for the amount of time required to take a trip like that. In Richard's case, he was fortunate to make it work for a year, using airline points to go back-and-forth between his commitments here and his far-flung boat. Richard has hundreds of pictures to sort through, and we look forward to eventually sharing some on the site. Meanwhile, we've enjoyed following his progress.


Above, Richard Smith and his girlfriend Becky as they entered the Hudson River.

...and Speaking of "Loopers"

I recently had the opportunity to meet Joe and "Punk" Pica, who were traveling with Randy and Barbara Semper. Both couples were from the St. Johns River area, just outside of Jacksonville, FL. The Picas had done the Great Loop twice, and were joining the Sempers on an adventure exploring the Ohio, Beaver, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in their 37' Great Harbor trawlers.

From Pittsburgh, Joe and Punk explored the Allegheny as far north as they could given the rotating lock closures, then took the Mon River 130 miles to Fairmont, WV, where it begins.

In Louisville, the couples had fun exploring the mansions of Old Louisville, and took a rental car to see Frankfort and the Buffalo Trace Distillery. They also had the opportunity to meet and hang out with local boaters at both the Captain's Quarters and the Louisville downtown waterfront docks.

Having traveled thousands of miles around our country's waterways, Joe commented that "Louisville, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh make for the Triple Crown of good places to visit." They were especially pleased with Louisville's amenities, such as the nice docks and free utilities available for transient boaters. They also commented on the friendliness of everybody they've encountered, especially in Louisville.


Above, the Sempers (left) and Picas (right) check out the Brown hotel. Also pictured are their boats, the Carolyn Ann (top) and Lazy Dolphin (bottom). Photos by Capt. Eric

Interestingly, the two trawlers pictured above are both Great Harbor 37s, and are almost identical in structure from the rubrail down. They are custom-built to the buyer's desires, and feature 54 hp. Yanmar diesels. On the Carolyn Ann, the Picas get a little over 3.5 mpg at an 8 kt. cruise speed, demonstrating the incredible efficiency achieved by matching an engine's peak operating range to the boat's hull speed. Touring their boat, I was particularly impressed with how much space there was, including a nice kitchen with full-sized appliances and a separate enclosed engine room where you could easily access the engines, generator and other mechanicals.

Like many other visitors who come here via the river, these families have come to appreciate the efforts that cities like Louisville have done to promote tourism.

Louisville Sail and Power Squadron Courses

Mark your calendars! The Louisville Sail and Power Squadron is hosting the following upcoming classes:

America's Boating Course

A fun, in-depth boating safety course. The United States Power Squadrons' ABC course meets Kentucky and Indiana boating license requirements. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts for boaters who complete this course.

Where: Harrods Creek Fire Department 8905 US Hwy 42 in Prospect.
Details: Price includes 244 page textbook, student CD, digital charting DVD including all US charts, and a 6 month USPS membership in the United States Power Squadron.
Price: $50. Families may share materials
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our site: link

When: (3 separate classes to choose from)

Fall, Wednesdays in October 3, 10, 17, 24. 7-9 PM
Winter, Mondays in February 4, 11, 18, 25. 7-9 PM
Spring, two Saturdays in March 9 & 16. 9 AM- 1 PM

Advanced Piloting

Course covers advanced navigation techniques, navigation in tides and currents, and advanced GPS usage.

Where: Louisville Fire Engine Co. #10, 501 West Ashland Ave. Louisville, 40214..
Details: Price includes textbook, digital charting DVD including all US charts.
Pre-Requisite: Piloting Course or Instructor Approval.
Price: $50 Members $80 non-members.
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our site: link

When: Fall, Ten sessions on Monday nights 7-9 PM October, November, and December 3rd.

Engine Maintenance

Course covers the operating principles and beginning care and maintenance of inboards, out boards and diesels. Course will help you to "Know Your Boat".

Where: Middletown Christian Church, 500 Watterson Trail, Louisville, 40243
Price: $40 Members $70 non-members
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our site: link

When: Spring, Eight sessions on Tuesday nights 7-9 PM March and April.


Covers basic deck seamanship, marlinspike, anchoring, rafting, basic boat care and maintenance, and nautical and USPS etiquette.

Where: Harrods Creek Fire Department 8905 US Hwy 42 in Prospect.
Price: $50 Members $80 non-members
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our site: link

When: Spring, Eight sessions on Tuesday nights 7-9 PM April and May

Slips for Sale

Our Most Popular Newsletter Link!

As we head into cooler weather, many boaters are looking for a safe harbor for winter storage. Here's a link to our page of slips for sale or lease, which was audited and last updated this week: link

Have a slip of your own to sell? See the page listed above for information on how to list yours!

Threadfin Shad or Golden Shiners?

That's the debate, and by now you've probably seen them schooling by the thousands in your marina.


Above, a school of fish in the Rose Island Marina.

Newsletter Circulation

I need your help! Our list has grown 20% over last year, but there are still many local boaters who don't know about Port KY.

To complicate matters a little, I formed an LLC and found advertisers to help cover growing costs. While effective, that move makes Port KY a business. As such, my own marina will no longer promote this newsletter--To be fair, they'd have to equally promote other businesses, which is understandable.

What I'm asking is that you forward the newsletter to your boating friends, and invite them to get on the list. The more boaters we have, the more we can keep the information flowing and keep our boaters up to date. Here is the sign-up form: link

Thanks! -Capt. Eric

OUPV and Master Class

It's that time of the year again--Port KY is promoting next Spring's OUPV and Master Class by True Courses. Since 2009, they have trained 30-some local captains right here at the St. Matthews fire station.

Look for posters that will be coming soon for the Louisville March class, or contact Captain Ron Getter of True Courses for more information: link

Another Proposed Fleeting Operation

This just in: There is another Public Notice available on the US Army Corps of Engineers site reflecting a fleeting proposal at Mile 596.4, on the Indiana shore. The depicted area is just upriver from the entrance to "Utica Cove." The proposal depicts 30 barges stored in a 6x5 configuration. The public comment period begins on September 27th.

For more information, visit the USACE website, and navigate to "Public Notices" and "Indiana," referencing "LRL-2012-236": link


Above, an excerpt from the referenced proposal

The Social Side of Boating

For many of you, Capt. Joe Frith needs no introduction. He's been boating since he learned to walk at Rough River, and is the owner and operator of Marinette Dream Cruises*, a local charter operator on Louisville's Ohio River. Joe spends most of his time either working or playing on the water, and will be contributing to Port KY with the social side of things.

As you read the following, you can hear Capt. Joe's voice in your head:

Ever since Labor Day, all I had heard is, "summer's over and so is boating." Well, everyone should know that is the farthest from reality. Last Friday, a small group went to Tumbleweed on the Water to spend some time, and we had a blast. Oh, and by "small group," I mean 12 cruisers and 32 people came with the group, and then some came by land. And by "spend some time there," I mean the first arrived early Friday afternoon and all twelve were there before dark, then we all stayed the weekend and left Sunday afternoon "

Boring you say? Not for a minute! Saturday night, we all went to Tumbleweed for dinner, and we were treated like kings and queens. Service was great, and except for our poor little overwhelmed server, who could not believe 22 boaters came in for a table (she was new), everything was wonderful.


After dinner, the entire group retired to the lawn chairs on the docks of Tumbleweed and spent the night contemplating the meaning of life, or anything else we could contemplate. There was music, dancing, late night snacks, and being that no one was going anywhere for a couple of day's, maybe a beverage or two.

The next morning brought sunshine and brisk breeze, but everyone was pleased with the warm air. A few people walked downtown to get a little morning work done and others walked to breakfast. There was a small festival happen on the lawn above us and that provided a live band into the afternoon. Once again, we sat on the docks and did some more contemplating of life. By afternoon, the wind had picked up to around 30 knots, and we watched the boats on the river fight a fleet of waves coming up the river. However, our docks stayed stable. Other than a couple of chairs that decided to go swimming on their own, we had no issue with the wind.

After dinner was cooked on the boats and shared on the docks, night time grew near and there were critical decisions to be made! Where are we going to watch the U of L game? The Louisville Crashers are playing across the river, Fourth Street Live has live music, and Carrie Underwood is playing at Yum Center. All were tough questions, what would we all do? Some went one direction and some went others, some stayed on the docks, and some went up to Tumbleweed to listen to the Jeffersonville Amphitheater across the river. The girls dolled up and headed to the concert, certain to get in, while the guys sought out pizza, beer and the game. We all straggled back in at different times. Some stayed up once again on the docks, while others did their best to get back onto the vessels. The night air was cool, but the stars were bright and air was crisp.

Sunday morning brought another wonderful day, with sunshine beaming through the windows of each of the cruisers. Coffee and any kind of breakfast you wanted was had on the docks. As we eat on, more is better and everyone shares. We spent another day on the dock relaxing and contemplating but this time we had figured it out, whoever thinks that boating and river life ends after Labor Day are nuts.

HCBOA plug: We took a lot of time thinking about what we are going to all do on the weekend of the 5th through 7th of October, which is the HCBOA Doctober Fun fest weekend. If there is anything about this past weekend that sounded fun, then Doctober Fun will have something for you. It is at the "new" Riverpark Place Marina. Slips cost $10, only to cover the charge for electric and water usage. We are going to have a Chili cook off and a "Chili Walkabout" at 5 p.m. on Saturday Oct 6th. Bring your finest chili, and we'll go boat to boat to test for the best. There're going to be other shared cook outs, along with DJ music to dance into the nights. If you want to come and go there is parking for your cars, and a cab to Fourth Street will only cost $3.00.


Article and photos provided courtesy of Capt. Joe


This weekend:

Bands on a Boat
Fundraiser for Water Step, formerly named Edge Outreach.
Saturday, September 29th
Cunninghams 145 p.m., then CQ 4:30.

Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art
Madison, IN
September 29th-30th


HCBOA "Docktober Fun"
Riverpark Place Marina
Friday, October 5th-Sunday, October 7th
"Chili Walkabout" Saturday Oct 6th, 5:00pm,
"We go boat to boat to test the best chili!"
Slip is free, but $10 per slip for electric usage,
32 slips taken to date 9/12/2012 - 40 slips still open
More info: link

That's it for now--Stay safe, and we'll see you on the water!

Eric Grubb
USCG Licensed Master
Webmaster, PortKY.com

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