Let’s Talk About Bottoms

We’ve all got bottoms, and sometimes we all treat our bottoms in a rough manner. We grind our bottoms, we slap our bottoms, and on occasion we’ve even been known to penetrate our bottoms. Yes, boat bottoms can be problematic. Lucky for all of us bottom abusers, Todd Gregory and the boys over at Towee Marine has come up with the solution for all those abused bottoms out there. Total bottom makeovers are not just a dream anymore, I’ll let Todd explain…

Towee Boats and Towee Marine and Industrial LLC have released their new “T2 River Armor” coating for your drift boat or jet sled. Developed in conjunction with a major coatings company, T2 River Armor is the first coating developed specifically for adding significant protection for river craft that operate in rocky, harsh service environments.

Towee owner Todd Gregory explains that, like most great ideas,  T2 River Armor was born from a great need.  “Owners of drift boats and jet sleds, whether they are fiberglass or aluminum, have always faced the same issues.” “First, the hulls themselves can only take so much abuse due to the nature of both the materials themselves and the construction techniques – this had been the state of the art so to speak for a long, long time”. “After a few years of service, the owners are usually forced to bring the boats in for a bottom service or to have tears welded on an aluminum hull” . “The problem here is that not only is this expensive and inconvenient, It only brings the boat back to “original condition” at best and will need attention again in a few seasons. At Towee, we chose to address this issue by developing our proprietary hull material lamination schedule that produces a far tougher and lighter hull” .  “However, we routinely receive requests to repair great boats built by other builders that just weren’t quite so resilient. The second part of the problem, according to Gregory, is that there just weren’t any good options available. Builders and owners have tried most everything conceivable from heavy HDMW sheets to epoxy mixed with various fillers to bedliner sprays, air boat bottom coatings and the like. Each have their own issues and none have adequately addressed the needs of the hard core river angler.

Over the past year, Towee has worked directly with one of the worlds largest industrial coatings manufacturer’s Research and Development departments to develop the first coating designed specifically to greatly improve the protection and performance of boat bottoms in harsh service applications. “From the beginning, we didn’t want an off the shelf solution, we wanted something specifically formulated for what our clients do” said Gregory. “We had to have it meet all four of the basic criteria: Extreme impact resistance, abrasion resistance, light weight and low drag coefficient (slickness)”.  The team at our partner supplier really knocked it out of the park on all four criteria and provided us with a proprietary product that will change what is possible with river craft .”  “We have actually had a sheet of simple 1/8′ fiberglass in the shop all winter that was treated with an early variant of T2 and I’ve been just wailing on it with a 2 lb hammer for visiting Pro Staffers and collaborators.” ” It has had to taken at least 500 hammer strikes and I finally got a small crack with an 18 inch pipe wrench the other day – the crack was in the fiberglass, not the coating.”

After a winter’s worth of R and D and Spring testing, Towee is ready to add performance and reliability to your drift boat or jet sled and add years to its life. For traditional fiberglass drift boats and sleds, Towee will repair existing damage, build up the chines with additional layers of material and coat the bottom and chines of the boat to provide the owners with  super tough hull protection system for little more than a traditional “rebottom” service from one of the major boat builders.   In addition to improved service life, the slickness of the coating combined with the reduced surface area achieved by the glass smooth crinkle finish result in a hull that not only takes the abuse of a rocky river but slides over rocks and logs with ease without reducing motoring performance.

Available only from Towee, T2 River armor is applied in a two coats, a base coat and a top coat then baked at a specific temperature to ensure a proper cure. Gregory can be reached directly with questions and inquires at todd@toweeboats.com.

I’ve already had my bottom T2 armored, and I’m loving’ every minute of it. Don’t you owe your bottom the best? Give Todd a call and let him work out your bottom problems.

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SCOF: Good Books

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I’m nearing the end of Douglas Brinkley’s The Wilderness Warrior, and I feel compelled to share this one with you for a number of reasons. Before I get into that, however, I feel as though you should be forewarned. Coming in just short of a thousand pages, this one might take you a while. Chronicling the conservation work of Teddy Roosevelt through both the formative upbringing and the implementation itself, I’ve come away with a new appreciation for our twenty-sixth president. It’s long, but it’s worth your time.

The Wilderness Warrior seems especially important in our current environment. After the wildlife decimation of the nineteenth century, it was TR, along with men like Pinchot and Burroughs, who laid the foundation for the good old days of wildlife that many of us were born into. While so many are begging to undo the work that TR helped start, I can’t help but think that reading this book will allow all of us understand what it is we are fighting for and why it is so important that even small concessions must not be allowed.

It might be hard for non-hunters to understand the mindset of a man like TR, and I can see the seeming contradictions. The truth at the time, and still today, is that sportsmen are the greatest defenders of wildlife. We are the greatest force for conservation that exists. Roosevelt had a hand in creating over two hundred million acres of public land, and many today seem intent on undoing his accomplishments. While reading a book of this size might seem like a TR-sized task itself, I can’t recommend it enough.

Read it, and continue to fight the good fight.

-Christian

#publiclandowner

 

 

Sunglasses: A PSA

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If you talk with any shop rats distinguished fly shop employees, they’ll tell you how often people ask about sunglasses. Are they polarized? What color should I buy? Why the hell do they cost so much?!?!?!

Head over to Midcurrent for a primer on sunglasses. The author only mentions Smiths in the article, but there are many good options out there. Regardless of what you choose (Costa and Smith for me), learn a bit more about what you need and invest in a good pair. You’ll be glad you did.

They’re Here

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A few weeks ago, Louis at Gink & Gasoline fired off an appetizer on this year’s plague. Now, I’m seeing the results in pictures all over Instagram.

The cicadas are here.

Of course, work and other responsibilities have kept me from getting after it so far, but I’ll be out later this week in search of hungry, surface-eating carp.

Who’s found ’em so far?

I Wonder What Will Happen

“She was driven to distraction – said I wonder what will happen when they find out they’re mistaken, and the land is too changed to ever change.”

-Josh Ritter – Wings

The previous administrations efforts to stop the proposed Pebble Mine have been reversed in recent weeks. Under Scott Pruitt’s leadership, the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that it’s mission is, in fact, nothing of the sort. Filmmaker Mark Titus, in 2014, created a feature-length documentary on the topic, The Breach, and he has been generous enough to make the film available without charge for the next five days. You’ll find that film on Vimeo here.

We have had a few wins over the last couple of months. First, the coordinated efforts of sportsmen of all striped led to the withdrawal of HB621. More recently, the Florida legislature made large steps toward fixing the problems in the Everglades. Now, it’s time to pick our pitchforks up once more and demand that those in power do what is right.

Scott Pruitt – 202.564.4700

On Survival

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Sort of.

We’ve all seen the shows. One or two seemingly normal people, dropped into the Madagascar jungle or the Sahara Desert, are forced to survive with nothing but their wits, a machete, and an extensive production team that ensures drama is never lacking. There are also the prepper shows, but, as the kids say, I can’t even.

Of course, it’s bullshit. I have been thinking about backcountry preparedness a little more lately, though, and I’m finally getting around to putting together a well-designed kit instead of the small first aid kit and other odds and ends I always carry. I have my list of basic, but I’m curious to hear what y’all have found useful.

Any necessities that might be easy to overlook?

Talk Strange To Me

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Illustration by Zane Porter

The last issue of the magazine featured an article by my friend Matt Smythe (fishingpoet.com) about a not-so-accidental encounter with a Mexican crocodile. I want to hear about your experiences with what we will call non-target species. Birds and bats are the easy answer, of course, but I want to hear about the more exotic types. Dolphins? Manatees? Humans? They are the most dangerous game, of course.

Whatcha got?