GHTA Members in the News

Group says locks vital to Monongahela River
August 14, 2012
Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Fred and Linda Mangelsdorf, the husband and wife captains of “Young America” both grew up landlocked in the Midwest — Fred in Illinois and Linda in South Dakota.
Recently they tried out their sea legs — or maybe that’s river legs — piloting their trawler on the Monongahela River.
Neither had to be sold on the idea of living on a boat basically full time after both retired, she said.
A trawler, both said, just made sense. It’s a livable boat that can navigate most waters. And the top cruising speed of 7 knots (around 8 mph) is perfect for people who aren’t in a hurry. It was Fred, in fact, who started thinking about the Mon River and the Mountain State.
“I said, ‘Hey, you can get to West Virginia by water,'” Fred remembers, musing over an old map of waterways. “Let’s go there.”
Barry Pallay likes that “Let’s go there” directive.
He’s an avid whitewater kayaker and vice president of the Upper Monongahela River Association, a nonprofit watchdog group that champions the Mon and its tributaries here.
In recent days, UMRA has watched the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has floated the idea of limiting boat access or shuttering altogether select locks along the Mon — including the ones at Morgantown, and the Hildebrand and Opekiska lock systems downriver closer to Fairmont.
Should that happen, he said, there won’t be any return visits of for the Mangelsdorfs and other trawlers who enjoyed navigating the Monongahela River.
“This shows all the opportunity the river affords us,” he said. “It’s important for economic development and for the spirit of Morgantown.”
A West Virginia lawmaker on Capitol Hill agrees. Rep. David McKinley, R.-W.Va., whose 1st Congressional District covers a lot of areas the Mon flows through, urged federal engineers to not limit river traffic here. Doing so, he said would change the course of investment opportunities in the region’s energy and high-tech sectors.
Joe Pica just wants a chance to pat the Mothman’s behind in Point Pleasant.
“Yeah,” the retired Washington, D.C., cop said with a chuckle in Morgantown. “They’ve got a statue of him in town, and somebody was telling me you have to rub his butt for good luck. Couldn’t hurt.”
He’s going to visit the statue of the mythical creature because Point Pleasant is on the way. The town sits along the banks where the Kanawha River meets the Ohio. If there’s a river, he says, there’s a reason to go. And every river town, he says, has its own fun, little oddities — be it a Mothman statue or a Jell-O Museum or a courtyard that’s home to the World’s Ugliest Fountain.
“We love this stuff,” said Joe, who has been a full-time river cruiser since 2007. That’s when he turned in his shield and he and his wife, Kathy — everybody on the river calls her by her old childhood nickname, “Punk” — put their house up for sale so they could purchase their 30-foot trawler styled boat, the “Carolyn Ann.”
Now, they drop anchor wherever there’s a dock, and sometimes where there isn’t. At this particular stop along the Monongahela River in Morgantown, they were joined by two other kindred couples in this waking, floating dream.
Randy Semper, who grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., has been into boats for as long as he can remember. The 70-year-old spent his boyhood along the Erie Canal and bought a 16-foot roundabout when he and Barbara were newlyweds, 33 years ago.
The 37-foot “Lazy Dolphin,” with its fully equipped kitchen, computerized wheelhouse and other amenities, trumps that first one, the retired statistician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, smiling.
“Now, we just go where the water takes us,” Randy said.

Carolyn Ann

Hello Andy and All our fellow GHTA Friends, 

We (“Carolyn Ann”) have spent the winter again in St Petersburg, Florida at the Treasure Island Club along with “Lazy Dolphin” (Barb and Randy Semper). 

 Our Son lives in St Petersburg and has our only grandchild.

 Soooo, St Petersburg is an attractive nuisance for us.  We’ve been doing the “Tour D’ Doctors” while here to get our tune ups for the upcoming cruising season as well as many boat projects.

Last year’s cruising was spent on the Western Erie Canal and finger lakes which was a great relaxing cruise.   Hurricane Irene forced us to make a second loop after shutting down the Mohawk River section of the Erie Canal route to the Hudson River.  We left Watkins Glen on Lake Seneca and travelled  through Buffalo September 9th crossed Lake Erie, up  Lake Heron via the Detroit River, down Lake Michigan, down the Illinois, Mississippi, Ten Tom to the Gulf  and crossed to St Petersburg from Carrabelle.

While not our planned route it was a good cruise and afforded us the opportunity to visit many new places and a few we skipped on out first loop such as Charlevoix, Mi with it’s charming Earl Young designed boulders homes.

and Door County Wisconsin.

   We also took this opportunity to visit Joe’s amazing 90 year old Aunt who lives on the family farm west of Peoria. 

 We and a couple of other GHTA’rs are planning an unusual cruise this year to the Point at Three Rivers Pittsburg, Pa..  The Ohio River is a blue collar river deeply embedded in our country’s history with it’s own interesting scenery, towns and cities to visit.  We have been busy collecting Ohio River information for this cruise.  Feel free to contact us if you are interested in a cruise up the Ohio River.    We hope to cross wakes with all of you sometime soon.  

Until then Cruise without Drama but have fun!

Joe and Punk

Pipe Dream II

On Wednesday 3-14-12 PIPEDREAM left St. Andrews Marina in Panama City, FL bound for Tarpon Springs. The 230 mile trip would take us 31-1/2 hours to complete. We started out in Fog and had to listen to the foghorn for over four hours. But the fog lifted around noon to reveal a really great day. Seas were approximately 2-4’ for the first 6 hours, then laid down handsomely to under 1 foot. The night was clear and cool and the crossing uneventful (thankfully). There is no substitution for good planning and good maintenance.

We arrived off Anclote Key to the standard mine field of crab traps and had to be very diligent all the way into the marked channel. Along the way, we gave thanks for the strong heavy construction of the GH47 and the roomy and comfortable confines of our boat. The Yanmar engines performed flawlessly.


We are now docked at Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs and have eaten our weight in Greek Food. The marina has new floating docks and is spotlessly maintained. It is only a two block walk to the sponge docks and we have had a wonderful time.


Now we are back in Atlanta for 10 days and will return to make our way to the east coast. We would love to know if anyone is going around the horn to Key West before starting North up the ICW. We will probably stop in Jacksonville for a while. But mostly, we don’t know what we are going to do and don’t care. We are just enjoying the boat, the scenery, the food and the boaters that we meet along the way.


Fair Seas All

Bill and Betsy Buckland


Managing the Waterway:ICW

There are several guides that assist in navigating the ICW.  I think this is one of the best.  Read on:
Hi Andrew,
Our son is going off to college and Mark and I have moved back aboard full-time.
Unfortunately, we’re in Virginia and our fulfillment house in Minnesota is relocating. We need to move our inventory out the door rather than paying other people to move heavy boxes of books for us.
So we decided to throw a “wild and wacky warehouse bonanza sale!”
We’re offering all of our cruising guides, chart guides, books and charts at the following discounted rates …
$15.00 Managing the Waterway: ICW (regularly $24.95)
$15.00 MTW: Florida Keys (reg. $24.95)
$30.00 MTW: Chicago to Paducah Inland Waterway ChartGuide (reg. $49.95)
$15.00 Electronic Chart and Nautical Reference Library (2-DVD Set) (reg. $39.95)
$15.00 Get Onboard With E-Charting (reg. $34.95)
… with FREE SHIPPING by USPS Media Mail to the United States. (International orders please email us for a shipping quote.)
These short-term sale prices aren’t compatible with our web shopping cart, so if you are interested please reply to this email with your order and a mailing address. I’ll reply with options for payment and confirmation of your order.
You can view sample pages and descriptions of each title at:
So please give us a hand here and help us “lighten up”!
And as everyone knows, they make great gifts for other boaters!   <hint hint>
Fair winds,

Dock n’ Dine

It’s an accepted fact that Great Harbours have among the most comfortable galleys you’ll find on a 37 or 47 foot trawler yacht, but occasionally we all like to go out to eat, too. Here are a few places I like to “Dock n’ Dine” with a trawler.

Add your own favorite destinations to our list by clicking “Comment” at the bottom of the post (you must register to comment, but it is totally worth it!).