In search of Red October…

OpenStreetMap Logo
OpenStreetMap Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, we are still on the hunt for our “perfect” boat. Actually we already know that boat does not yet exist. We are looking for a boat that we can make our own. Being DIYers, we have our own ideas about what we want in a boat and how we want it to function. It’s just a matter of finding the right hull for the right price and we may have just done that on this two and a half day driving trip we just completed!

It was a whirlwind, hit-the-road road trip through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and back to Southern Louisiana! Now that’s logging a lot of butt miles! Out of all the boats we looked at, we think our boat is now sitting in Northeast Kansas and we live in Southern Louisiana!

This has been an educational journey if nothing else. I’ve learned about transoms and ribs and flying bridges, and sewage treatment plants, and outlaw rigging (some people do not follow codes) and bunk rooms and Volvo engines and Chrysler engines, two engines versus one and one versus two, and I could go on but you get the idea.

English: Map of the Arkansas River watershed i...
English: Map of the Arkansas River watershed in the south-central United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We think we’ve found the Affrikann Queen. Yes, that’s my Hubby’s spin on the name. You would have to read the story to understand how the name came about. After we started with the name, no other name seemed appropriate. We also knew after all the AQ name calling, if we actually named the boat something else, we’d still be calling it the African Queen. So there you have it.

In case you were wondering, we really did do 2,000 miles in two and a half days. We traveled through some beautiful country which made traveling pleasant. There were a lot of rivers and lakes and little creeks and as we passed each one, we talked about meandering up and down them in our boat.

Our little boat is sitting at a little marina located on a huge lake in Kansas. The man told us that the lake actually freezes in the winter and they use aerators to keep the water moving so it doesn’t freeze around the boats. I told you the journey has been an education. It is hard for us Southerners to understand how such a huge body of water freezes in winter. All we’ve ever seen is slush!

The man at the marina hopped in his golf cart and welcomed us aboard. Well, he welcomed Hubby aboard and looked at me as I checked out the steep hill he wanted to climb and back at him. He was patient and after another look, I decided to ride on the back seat looking backward so hopefully the view of the lake would distract me – that and I could pray without him noticing! I tried not to think of which route he would take back down to the marina. We had to traverse a pretty steep curve on the way down in the truck so I was hoping for the quick ride down over the curvy road.

The boat was on blocks and we had to climb a ladder. That was tricky, but I climbed it. Of course, Hubby was right behind me! He is quite aware of my Lucy tendencies and if I tumbled from the ladder, I would also be tumbling down the side of a very high hill. I climbed up and figured I’d worry about climbing down when the time came. (I did climb another boat and was ready to just live on it rather than climb back down. But that’s another story!)

Overall the boat is in great shape. The transom is rotten, but that’s not big deal when you know how to fix it. Hubby inspected the outside while I was busy gutting and redecorating the inside of the boat in my head. A girl’s has to have priorities! (I probably should have been taking pictures outside as well because when we got home Hubby asked to see the pictures I took of the outside – and, well, there were none.)

To cut this story short, we liked what we saw and I put the boat out on bid for shipping. Unfortunately, USPS doesn’t deliver and you have to rely on shipping companies. There are many reputable shippers out there and as soon as the bidding process is completed, we are hoping to make an offer on the boat. It is a huge expense that has to factored in when purchasing a boat far away.

Once we make the final decision, I’ll post pictures and write more about the journey.

And what’s a road trip without a trip to DQ! Chocolate X-treme. I highly recommend it.