Scamp Raid on Jackson Lake

They’re beautiful lakes in the Rocky Mountains.  Jackson lake ranks among the most scenic.

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Northern Cross resting peacefully in Colter Bay.

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Approaching Moran Bay, Teton National Park

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We got a lot of looks with our classic wooden boat.

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Johnny Walker with his modified Balanced Cat Ketch rig on Scamp #24.  Jonny’s had a lot of experience sailing with his family and developed a unique Scamp to suit his voyaging philosophy.

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Scamp #24 had lots of mods and was even powered by a through transom electric motor

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Hal powering around on his SUP/chair combo amongst fellow boaters.  Hal’s a mountain climber, sailor, kayaker, boat builder and good conversationalist.  His athleticism defies his age.

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Skiff America’s flat bottom beaches with ease.  Here we took some time to explore the shore and take a nap.

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Jennifer exploring a small bay off the South end of Jackson lake.

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The folding bikes (Brompton’s) worked well to access more scenic vistas.

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We secured the bikes on the dock and cruised away on our Skiff.  This made us feel quite hip.

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At this high altitude, the weather can change in an instant.

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The bow works well for photography

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Paul Breeding aboard Northern Cross traveling into Moran Bay.  He’s the only guy I know (other than myself) who has built both a Scamp and Skiff America.  It was great to meet Paul, after having had many phone conversations with him over the years.

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You’ve got to see Moran Bay in person to appreciate the majesty of this peaceful remote bay.

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I had so much fun on this lake, I came back a few days later with my dad and 2 of my sons.  Bennett loves to drive.

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Here we are going where only kayaks can go.  We floated through 8″ of water to access another bay on the lake.  That’s a kayak coming in behind us.  They were amazed we could make this passage.  With the motor raised, we paddled right through.

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It rained and hailed for a few minutes.  My dad and sons take cover under the cabin.  This is a very versatile boat that can change with the weather.

Summary:

Northern Cross has impressed me with every adventure I’ve pursued.  It’s a boat that many misunderstand.  It does what it’s designed to do and continues to amaze me with its versatility, efficiency, ease of towing, affordability and good looks, to name but a few of it’s virtues.  You almost have to own this boat in order to understand it.  

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Ririe Reservoir, Idaho

Today I got out with some of our kids to explore and play on a nearby reservoir.

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The paddle boards proved a huge hit.

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We hauled two paddle boards across the back of Northern Cross.  The didn’t move an inch.  

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We offset the fins and placed the paddles across the top.  

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Bennett loves to drive.

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The older kids blasted the tunes inside the cabin.  We all had a great time.

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The cabin cover proved an excellent place to get out of the sun.  By removing the filler boards, you still get good air movement through the cabin.  

Parting Shot:

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It doesn’t get much better than this folks.  A great time was had by all.  

What we learned:

  1. The paddle boards were a total hit.  By tying up to a dock, it allowed the kids to play on the boards and explore the area.
  2. With the bimini up and cabin top installed, we had a huge amount of shade and a great place to lay down and get out of the sun.  With the filler boards removed, we still had excellent air flow through this area.
  3. Music as provided by the teenagers, keep things hopping.
  4. Food out on the water is essential and keeps everyone happy.
  5. The boat works as well as a transport tool and it does and exploring rig.

Summary:

My kids had so much fun on our Skiff America.  It was very rewarding for me as the builder to see my kids having so much fun on a boat I built.  I’m very impressed by the design and functionality of this simple, affordable water craft.  We spent $9 dollars in gas for this excellent outing.  Amazing, just simply amazing.  Kilburn Adams, thank you for designing this most excellent boat!

Skiff America at Hebgen Lake, MT.

Hebgen Lake is a beautiful, large mountain lake minutes out of West Yellowstone.  Jennifer and I spent Friday exploring this beautiful lake.

Check it out:

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The cabin offers tremendous wind protection with the front filler boards in place.  The lap trays worked extremely well for multiple uses.

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The No Feed Back Steering system allows you to steer by shifting your weight.  This makes it very handy when motoring.  

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Here I’m standing in the cabin footwell, steering by shifting my weight.  This was a lot of fun.

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Mountain Dew happens to be my preferred beverage of choice.  

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The front cushions provide a great place to kneel.

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The bow breastplate is a great place for observing wildlife.  We came upon several large pelican colonies.  

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First Mate takes her turn at the wheel.

What I learned:

  1. The boat is extremely versatile.
  2. You can steer from the wheel, or by standing in the cockpit or footwell and shifting your weight.
  3. The bimini is fast to deploy and a must have for sunny days.
  4. Lap trays are very handy for a variety of task when a built-in table is too big.
  5. I motored for 4.5 hours and burned approximately 5.5 gallons of fuel.

Summary:

This boat is going to be an excellent tool for exploring our mountain lakes.