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Old 01-10-2013, 20:48   #1
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An unusual voyage

OK, forget that a powerboat (can't we all just get along ) is involved in this and just accept it as a "cruising story"

Somewhere around 2005/2006 I was delivering a 570 Carver from Georgian Bay to Toronto. On the Trent Severn system one night I docked next to a fella in a 20' homemade open boat ... looked kinda like a runabout but very unusual. I struck up a conversation with the fella and got a tour (20 seconds). The boat was homebuilt and powered with a Mazda car engine that he had kitted out with a jet drive. His reason for such a curious power train .... it was all he could afford and it had been assembled from whatever bits he could get his hands on.

He launched the boat in Wind River, Wyoming and apparently had to push her through several miles of shallows. He ran her through the rivers, through the Great Lakes, down the St.Lawrence, around Nova Scotia and down the east coast to the Bahamas. His hope is to reach lower South America.

His name is Spike Hampson, a fascinating guy and his website is a fascinating read.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:43   #2
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Re: An unusual voyage

That's crazy stuff, W. Thanks for the link. I figure that if a sailboater can't learn something from a powerboater of such focus and enterprise, it's evidence of a closed mind.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:52   #3
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Re: An unusual voyage

Jetdrives are neat. Seems like someone should make a low speed type for sailboats. Gets rid of propellors, gears etc. I guess they are not as efficient as props fuel wise. But everything is a compromise.
It sounds like a great adventure. Sometimes I think pocket cruising in small boats is an adventure overlooked way too much. There are so many little places to explore without crossing oceans to do so. There were many I wish I could have explored in the Bahamas, but they were uncharted and shallow. A small jet boat would have been perfect. Nobody gets there, every coral head is loaded with lobsters, you can stand beside your boat and wash the hull!
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:02   #4
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Re: An unusual voyage

I had a very enjoyable read a few years back thanks to Jonathan Raban's Old Glory, his tale of an Englishman taking a powerboat down the Mississippi.

Just because I am unlikely to ever own a stinkpotter doesn't mean I dismiss the adventures you can have in one.
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:25   #5
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Re: An unusual voyage

A follow up ... I just received an email From Spike Hampson, so for those who found this interesting .... here it is.

Hi Wallace,
I thought you might like an update on the status of Kobuk. The Mazda system finally drove me to drastic action. Over the past two months I ripped out the engine and jet drive, patched the holes in the hull, and hung a new 25 hp Yamaha 4-stroke on the transom. Now, Kobuk is only outboard powered but it's working out well. Sunday night I crossed over to the Dominican Republic and now I'm inching along the north coast. There are problems with updating my website so I'll attach the log entries for the first few days back on the water.

Cheers,
Spike
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Old 04-12-2013, 18:09   #6
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Re: An unusual voyage

Please keep us posted.
This is very interesting.
Youth is a wonderful thing......he is young isn't he.....yes???
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Old 04-12-2013, 18:14   #7
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His web site says he was born in 1943, makes him 70 years young
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Old 04-12-2013, 18:16   #8
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Said something about being born in 43'
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Old 04-12-2013, 18:16   #9
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Re: An unusual voyage

a little confusing....his website has a picture of someone who is much younger than a person born 1n 1943.
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Old 04-12-2013, 18:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caradow View Post
a little confusing....his website has a picture of someone who is much younger than a person born 1n 1943.
Felt the same, but figured he just wanted to show the best...like people selling boats with pictures 10 years old
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Old 04-12-2013, 19:33   #11
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Very interesting Boatpoker thanks..
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Old 04-12-2013, 20:06   #12
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Re: An unusual voyage

I grew up in Nj, home of the Garvey. Instantly recognized. Neat.
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