Weather permitting, I will be again launching in New London on Friday August 11th before noon and making the trip. This year's boat will be a 1967 Evinrude Sportman 120. Everyone is welcome, plenty of dock space & tent camping. No charge for docking or tent camping. Food is available Friday evening and Saturday except for breakfast. Restaurants in downtown Berlin with good docking or about a 1 mile walk.
I have been giving this some serious consideration. Not sure my 50 year old rig would be ready for that big of a test yet (summer testing will tell). Would a more modern 30 year old rig be welcome? If I go, I just might throw my 20hp merc on board as my spare tire. Sure sounds like fun, but just don't want to cramp anyone's style. I need to get some mapping and certainly need to follow an experienced guide leader. Maybe I should also get a gps and learn how to use it. I also should read that old post a few times. Hope a few others would join too!
Berlin Boat club is 60 or so years old now. Everyone is welcome regardless if they arrive by car/truck or boat. You will see all ages, sizes & types of boats. Come to think of it, you will also see all ages of people. We (I'm not actually a boat club member) just want to rebuild the event to its past glory & size. This event provides lots of funding for the club to continue to operate the lock & place the buoys in the river. From what I understand, the boat club provided lots of the money for the city to develop the park over the years.
This is a copy from part of last year's post: The Eureka Lock was closed from 1951 until 1958 when the Berlin Boat Club negotiated a lease & reopened it. It operated until about 2003 and then was closed until 2012. They managed to rebuild it in 1976 & again in 2010-2011 with cash donations lots of volunteer labor.
Prior to the lock closing in 2003 or so, hundreds of boats would attend (or I should say that in the 90's when I was attending regularly). It is my understanding that after the re-opening of the locks attendance never took off. Maybe old boaters left the sport, new ones have no local knowledge & stay away? Don't have a firm answer.
The Wolf is the most temperamental upstream (north) of Frement. The Fox at the mouth in Butte Des Morts and one short stretch upstream of the lock. I've run a 23 SeaRay with a 454 MerCruiser many times in the past without event & that boat took 38" water with the drive down. That isn't to say local knowledge isn't helpful.
If the entire trip sounds like too much, you can launch in Fremont & shave off about 1 & 1/2 hour or Winneconne and shave off 2 & 1/2 hours. For me I am looking for a trip & not just a boat ride. Also, since I drive from the north, New London is the closest place by truck.
The overall big adventure is why I want to consider this. The 30 year old rig has power trim to help idle through sketchy areas and the draft may be under 30" and maybe around 18" trimmed up at idle. 50 year old rig has no trim or tilt. It would be great to see more glassics and see if the added attraction would get other boaters interested again. After all, it seems a lot of heart and soul and blood, sweat, and tears went into the effort to bring this lock back into operation. I should start my packing list now. I do not have a rain top, so hope it will be sunny.
Thanks. All tips for my cargo list is helpful. Just blew up the motor in one of the cars, so it may have to sit a year so we can try this trip. Health is more important than a motor...however, both are pricey to stay healthy.
I will check that other ramp location as well - thanks. Not sure if I would be a bother or cramp to your style, but I would feel much more comfortable following an experienced boater the first round so I wouldn't get lost. If that wouldn't work, I would study up more and take a gps.
Bumping to get back into everyone's mind. Just 11 days to go!
It's been a wet spring & summer so water levels were running high. As of yesterday, I'd say near normal, maybe up a few inches near New London but certainly not low. So the bottom isn't too near the surface this year.
Here is an update on 2 trips I've taken this month with my Evinrude.
On July 11 & 12 I took an extended trip: (Water was up a good 18" from normal on upper reaches of Wolf, normal on lakes & up a bit on Fox)
Launched in Lew London, WI & ran down the Wolf River to & across Lakes Poygan (via mouth of river & returned via Boom Bay cut) & Winneconne into Lake Butte Des Morts then turned & headed up the Fox River to Eureka, WI where I spent the night at the county park. Slept in the boat & fed the mosquitos but had fun. Walked around Main St Omro & read historic signs on buildings then stopped again in Winneconne to walk around including over the old bridge (1934) that is being replaced. Total distance round trip was in the 100 - 110 mile range.
Yesterday, I launched in New London again & headed down stream to Lake Poygan again (via Boom Bay cut & returned via mouth of river). Rafted up with a friend at the "weed bed" then headed back. Total about 75 miles round trip.
Planning a trip again on the 11th & 12th, this time going up river thru the Eureka Lock to Berlin for their Berlin Boat Club weekend.
My son may make this next trip with me. If that happens we will most likely take his Switzer instead of the Evinrude.
I once was very excited about this trip...but now that both of my motors are in for repair, I have to wait until next year. In the picture is my 30 year old 200 getting new oil sensor and getting the carbs pulled and gone through. When the sensor cap cracked, it soaked the powerhead in an oil bath and ran very erratic back to dock. The 52 year old Merc 100 block is on the bench behind it with a bad piston getting fixed. The new old stock was dated 1995. I will be taking a non powered boat to the Sturgeon bay show on that weekend now to join some other fiberglassic members. Thanks for the update and enjoy your big cruise. Something to try to make next year. Picture also shows why reverse would not hold. That is already fixed with new parts! Reverse can be helpful...especially on river systems .
Went on my trip as advertised except my kid came along so we took his Switzer 183B. Yes, a MerCruiser powered boat. Last time he boated the Winnebago pool he was 7 years old.
He couldn't get away as early as I could, so I left later than usual, launching in New London at 1:30 Friday. Ran to Winneconne (about 40 miles), arriving at 4:02. He met me at Bigger's Supper Club about 5PM. I verified the Eureka lock schedule so we wouldn't get trapped - they operated until 8PM, so no problem. Ate dinner, left his car in town & hit the water again, arriving in Berlin about 7:30.
Next morning after breakfast we took off back downstream heading to Oshkosh via the Fox to the main channel along the north shore of L Butte Des Morts then turning east. Out a few miles into Lake Winnebago so he could look both north & south being just able to see the horizon either way. Then returned 1st by idling into Pioneer Harbor via the SE entrance, thru the marina & out under the bridge in the NW corner. Truly a shame to see the Resort/Hotel out of business. I remember the old billboards that said "21 miles to smiles"! After leaving Oshkosh we followed the south shore of L Butte Des Morts way back into the bay where the Spring Brook flows in then turned around, looping past the Terrell Island restoration area, cutting across the middle of the lake & catching the channel back into the Fox. Back to Berlin we go. Only casualty is that my phone is on the bottom of the lock chamber - don't ask how or why.
Saturday evening I borrowed a car and drove to Haase's Supper Club in Borth. Hadn't been there in many years.
Unfortunately, boater turnout was low - at least for boats spending the night. I was gone all afternoon so I can't tell you about visitors while I was gone. I did pass some of the same boats returning that I passed going the other way earlier. Don't know the number of boats passing thru the lock. On the bright side of low boater turnout, It is no problem to leave on Saturday & return to find parking. 20 years ago, you would be out of luck by mid day Saturday.
Sunday we took off for the trip back to New London, stopping at Hidden Harbor (west of Winneconne) to visit some old friends. Across L Poygan into the Boom Bay cut then forked right to idle thru Boom Bay Heights and enter the river that way. Stopped at Anchor Point Marina (was Party Doll Fleet) for some fuel, then stopped at the Fremont Hotel for lunch. After lunch it was non stop back to New London. All in all, I/we ran the boat somewhere between 190 & 200 miles. Kid's car was in Winneconne, so we had to backtrack by road to get him to his car.
Wow - now that is doing some serious inland boating. I couldn't have gone this year even if I wanted, since I have 2 motors in for repairs. Wish this event and Sturgeon bay event were on different weekends. Took a restoration project with no motor instead. Your trip is quite an amazing adventure!