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May 6, 2005

I was supposed to be doing
the east coast thing this spring. Suddenly I find myself driving, well
Kristine is driving at the moment, to Reno. Check the map and you’ll
see that it is on the California border, and that is west by my standards.
We were going to fly to Reno, but we figured that we could bust a move
and still make it fast enough to make it worth bringing the RV. The past
week has been getting boats molded, Rocker, Hero, and Super Hero, and
Ricochet finished up. The Ricochet is about done too! I left town without
completed boats for myself. Well, you know what they say, “the cobbler
often goes without shoes”. I have a Hero and Super Hero on the roof
for the upcoming races, but they don’t have the bulkhead in them.
I’ll get some shipped to me soon enough.

We are in Illinois, just outside of St. Louis right
now, and will be at exit 114 where they have a model log home made of
oak logs.
. We are trying to get to that exit before they close so we can stop and
see it again. We have been drooling over this home for three years. The
design we want is made by Heritage, but we want the oak logs if possible.

Kristine’s mom Lorraine, and John and Carman
Ratliff are holding down the fort at Rock Island. We have put together
a team that is so good I can’t even begin to tell you. Carman has
taken customer service to a new level, while John is becoming the expert
on just about every part of the manufacture of kayaks, and Lorraine is
the gate keeper taking care of the office, cash, and accessories. Under
John is and awesome production team with Don Klein leading assembly, John
Dean taking care of purchasing, and inventory, and Goat takes care of
shipping and receiving. Under them is an awesome production crew making
the best boats out there. David Knight stays busy from DC with a variety
of design challenges that I put on his plate. Right now he is working
with our composites guy to get a great slalom boat manufactured in the
USA. (we will be the only USA made slalom boats on the market. The USA
manufacturers all went for other jobs.

If I don’t get in my slalom boat soon I think
I’ll have a stroke. I mentally prepared myself for the idea that
I would be in one in April, but won’t be for another week or so.
I just want to first see if we achieved our design goals (make a boat
way ahead of the competition) Yes, it will be way different, but will
it be better? I am 98% confident that we got it right, but the proof is
in the performance on the water and I am ready to paddle it!

Can you please do me a favor and weigh your creekboats
for me? I want to know what all creek boats weigh on the market today.
The Rocker weighs 42 pounds.

Milton Mann said he weighed his creeker in at 60 pounds.
It is time to see what the deal is.

Signing off,

EJ 🙂