|History of the Col. Lewis||From the very beginning, I had
it in my head that I wanted to float the boat across 7 miles of lake before
putting it on a trailer to get it back to Bellingham. But if my plan
didn't work, I also had a back-up plan--a neighbor of ours has a 24' jon-boat
that he offered me to use to physically haul the boat out with. At
17', it would have easily fit inside, with plenty of room to spare.
My main thought about the jon-boat is that, no matter how many friends we had on hand to help, lifting the boat into the jon-boat, and then out of jon-boat, and onto the trailer was much more work than I really wanted to do! So before I went that route, I wanted to try the Umiak-style skin-on-frame wrapping--using a double-layer of poly sheeting instead of walrus skin!
View of the plastic-sheathed hull, ready for attempting to float it.
The plan was to take it in stages. First, we'd set the boat in the water and see whether or not the plastic was water-tight. If it looked like it was taking on water too fast, then we could pull it right back out and put it in the jon-boat. But if it looked like it was going to work, then I'd hook it up to our 17' AlumaCraft and tow it down the lake to the boat ramp.
Soooo, when we first put it in the water, it pretty much looked like it was going to float OK. Without have a clear plan of what I was doing, I decided to just jump on in and try to hand-paddle it to the dock. I was a bit nervous at first, since I didn't really know if the floor planks were going to hold......
But they did hold, and it did float, and I did manage to tow it down to the landing pretty much uneventfully: