The Ditchboat Gets a Name and Onto The Water.

The internet is a glorious thing. Besides cat videos, one thing you can locate there are various boat naming ceremonies. Well, we took one, and we named her. Meet Fiskeørn, the Osprey.

champagne naming



We’ve had her on the two biggest lakes in Madison, with great success, and the weekend before the wedding, Matt took her on Lake Michigan for a trial salmon fishing run, and a trip to the canal bars in Milwaukee. As the video says, with just the two of us in the boat, we clock about 37mph according to the GPS. When Matt took out my dad, brother-in-law, and one of his Marine buddies, they only hit about 32. She floats and she runs. We have a salmon boat.

Improvements for next year include a new carburetor (we can’t go quite slow enough to really troll- the carburetor’s jets are worn, and it won’t idle that low),  better planer boards, and a stenciled nameplate. Also, a kit so that we can reverse with the big engine, a small kicker motor, and a new interrupter switch. Possibly a new alternator.

Ditch Boat News

Saturday was the USMC Ball for RS Milwaukee. So we didn’t plan on doing a whole lot this weekend. However, one (or more) of the neighbors on our block was taking issue with us and a handful of other residents’ activities on their respective properties. This person called the city building inspector. Who then issued several citations. So we went from black tie formal attire Saturday night to Carhartt bibs on Sunday. Continue reading

Rubber Backing and Carpet Glue

We had a wedding to go to on Saturday, so we didn’t do a whole bunch besides more boatwork. Not that fishing would have been productive- it’s been hovering near 90F the last week or so, but with humidity well over 70%, you could swim about as easily as you could walk. However, I’m not complaining. I was desperately trying to remember this weather last winter, to give myself hope and a reason to keep going. At least my feet are warm and sweaty, and I can feel my extremities burning in the sun. Continue reading

We Had A Foam Party By Ourselves

Starting last week, we poured buoyancy foam under the deck of the ditch boat. We also learned a valuable lesson- mix it well. It expands by about 200% within 5 minutes of being combined, but only if it’s stirred very well before you pour it in. We took a two gallon kit to do one corner of the boat, and were disappointed. We then got a 4 gallon kit to do the entire rest of the probably 18 foot length of the deck, except for one small area near the front.  The force of the expanding and then hardening foam lifted the deck in a few places which then had to be screwed down. We also found cracks and leaks pretty easily, given the hot, catalyzed foam gushing out.

With the buoyancy foam in the floor, Matt can lay fiberglass over the plugs where we poured the foam in, and then lay carpet on the floor. Last weekend, we left the carburetor with his uncle the mechanic. Turns out it’s a Holly. We’ll be renting a small trailer to get the engine pressure tested at his recommendation. From there, Matt just wants to build on bins into the walls for storage, we need to get the toilet and tank back in, and the plate for the lower unit of the engine needs replaced. The list of things the boat needs is getting shorter and shorter.

Another Entry in the Epic of the Ditch Boat

So, for a long time, the ditch boat has looked like a hollow, dusty shell. Matt’s been slowly laying fiberglass to repair holes and cracks to make her float again. Well, a few weeks ago, the last bit of fiberglass was laid on the inside of the hull, and construction of the floor began.


It’s looking like we’ll need to replace the motors for the windshield wipers- they’re fried. It may need a new foghorn as well. The anchor lights all work, and the new bilge pump is wired in correctly as well. Over the weekend, we also pulled the engine out the corner it was sitting in and began cleaning it up a bit.



So far, we’ve gotten the fuel filter and the carburetor off of it. The carburetor is in dire need of a cleaning and some replacement parts. There’s still oil in the engine, it’s clean and there’s plenty of it. The connections and surfaces on and under the distributor cap all look like new. The sparkplugs are rusted and will definitely be replaced. We’re going to buy new hoses and replace the fan belt on the front, in case any of those rubber parts are dry rotted. Then we’ll try getting it started, in the hopes that it won’t need too much further work.

A Lazy Solstice Weekend

Saturday was the Summer Solstice. It was light around here until about 9pm. We should have been using the extra daylight to go fishing or something. What actually happened was a lot of sleeping. A late Friday night bedtime, plus a 6am wake up on Saturday, plus poor quality sleep all week (gnarly thunderstorms almost every night keeping us up), I was bushed. I ended up crashing for “just a little nap” around 3 or 4pm. Matt woke me up just before 8pm, and then I went back to be at 10 or so, and slept until 9 the next morning. I felt a lot better, but we didn’t do a whole hell of a lot.

What did get done, though, was the very beginnings of laying the floor in the boat. While I was at work on Saturday, Matt laid some of the supports around where the engine will go, and cut some for the rest of the floor. We’re waiting to put the gas tank in place to do the rest of the floor, since it would be awfully silly to not leave room for it, or something like that.


We did go out Sunday afternoon to cast for muskie, but we didn’t have any luck. We got rained on, and then eventually ended up throwing frogs over some weed beds, but still nothing. We are hoping to go check out a new fishing boat sometime this week- the little wooden jon is definitely on her last legs.