Saturday, March 20, 2010

Week 7 of Pram Building in the ISEA Boat Shop 3-20-2010

Chuck instructing the crew on fiberglassing technique.
Filling screw holes with epoxy putty.

More epoxy work.

Hull #2 gets the putty treatment. Instructor David D. supervising.

Invasive Ruffe Update from US Fish & Wildlife Service

ISEA's Schoolship Inland Seas participates in the annual survey for the invasive Ruffe. None were found in our trawls in Grand Traverse Bay and Little & Big Bay de Noc in 2009. The following report was sent to us by Anjie Bowen of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Range of Ruffe in the Great Lakes, 2009

Lake Superior: No range expansion was detected. The ruffe range spans the entire south shore from the Duluth-Superior Harbor on the border of Minnesota/Wisconsin to Whitefish Bay, Michigan, and along the north shore from the Duluth-Superior Harbor to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

St. Marys River: Ruffe remain undetected in the river.

Lake Huron: Ruffe were detected in one area of Lake Huron - Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay River and Thunder Bay). Ruffe have not been captured since 2003 and have not been captured outside of Thunder Bay.

Lake Michigan: The ruffe range consists of Green Bay.

Lakes Erie and Ontario: No ruffe were captured from the Lower Great Lakes. Ruffe remain undetected in the Lower Great Lakes, and in all inland lakes and streams within the Great Lakes Basin.

For additional information, contact Anjanette Bowen (989-356-5102 x1014), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Alpena, Michigan. For a ruffe fact sheet and photo go to

Pram Progress, March 13, 2010

Preping hull #2 for bottom installationApplying epoxy to bottom Screwing down the bottom on Hull #1
Easy-does-it with the screw gun.

Next we will apply fiberglass tape and epoxy to the hull edges.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 6th in the Boat Shop

Graham and Ryan clamping the side of Pram #2.

Instructor Larry Winegar assist students with Pram #2.

Instructor Mike Cherry calls for more clamps.

Lining up the side panel of Pram #1.

This Saturday students fastened the side panels to the two prams. The panels were held in place with clamps and then fastened to the gunnel and chine with stainless steel screws. Next week we will put the bottom panels in place.

New SawStop Table Saw Installed at ISEA Boat Shop

Fred Unloads the new SawStop

The ISEA Boat Shop's new SawStop table saw was delivered this week. This saw will raise the level of operator safety many fold over the previous saw. While no students are allowed to use power cutting tools in our shop, this saw is used by Boat Shop instructors and ISEA ship's crew. The new saw is able to sense contact of the blade with a human hand and stop the saw before injury. Amazing. Thanks to Fred Rehak for helping with the order and delivery, to Chuck Dickerson for coordinating the project, and to our anonomous donor for funds for the new saw.

-Tom Kelly

Friday, March 5, 2010

This Weekend with Inland Seas: MSU & Quantum Sails

This will be a busy weekend for Inland Seas, with displays at the Quiet Waters Symposium in East Lansing and the Quantum Sails loft in Traverse City. The Quiet Waters Symposium is March 5 & 6 at MSU's Pavilion for Livestock and Agriculture Education (Farm Lane, south of Mt Hope). The Symposium is an annual event for those who share a love of outdoor, non-motorized recreation.

ISEA's Boat Building Instructor Chuck Dickerson will have one of our student-built cedar strip canoes and the building jig set up for the next boat. Also at the Symposium will be ISEA board member and Volunteer Instructor Larry Garber with the ISEA table top display and Schoolship literature.

This Saturday evening at the Quantum Sail loft in Traverse City (1576 International Drive Traverse City, MI 49686) there will be an open house with displays, food, and workshops lead by Suttons Bay's Captain Jack Klang. ISEA's Tom Kelly will be there with models of our vessels and Schoolship materials. See you there.
-Tom Kelly

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Good Bye LORAN-C

On February 8, 2010, the U. S. Coast Guard discontinued its LORAN-C navigation system for most areas of the U.S. , including the Great Lakes. Today I went aboard Inland Seas and removed our trusty Ross Loran Navigator which has been a part of our navigation suite since the boat was launched in 1994. Although we rely on GPS as our primary electonic navigation system (we have 3 aboard), we used the LORAN-C as a back-up, and we checked the LORAN against the GPS each morning. Every navigator likes to have as many assets as possible, so we will miss the LORAN, even though it was not relied upon for our everyday navigation. Inland Seas' Ross LORAN-C (top) and Raytheon GPS.
Tuesday, March 2 view of Manitou from the Centre Point building in Travese City. Note the lack of ice in the harbor and on the West Bay.

-Capt. Tom Kelly

Little Ice on the Bay This Winter

Winter isn't over yet, but everyone at ISEA is thinking spring. The recent mild temperatures and sunny skys have helped! This winter (so far) there has been very little ice cover on Grand Traverse Bay and adjacent Lake Michigan. There was ice cover late in the season last year (early March) when nighttime temperatures dropped to -9 degrees F. Lately it has been in the mid-20's at night and above freezing every afternoon.

A look at the ice cover data for Grand Traverse Bay shows a recent trend toward more ice-free winters. Fortunately records were kept by the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce beginning in 1851. A plot of this data by decade shows that after the 1980's there has been a marked shift in ice cover. Thanks to Jim Nugent of Suttons Bay for this plot.

-Capt. Tom K.