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Old 07-25-2007, 12:55 AM
Shipyard Sam Shipyard Sam is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rabbit Hash, KY and Decatur, Al Shipyards
Posts: 1,160
Default Captain Clifford Dean

The BAYER ISLAND was built in 1976 by Capt. Clifford Dean as his answer for a sternwheeler that could beat the P. A. DENNY at the Charleston (WV) Sternwheel Regatta. It never happened. The BI was far slower than the PAD and appeared "overbuilt" and overweight for its size and never lived up to its expectations-- a great disappointment to Captain Dean.

Captain Dean was a respected gentleman and boatman of the highest order on the Great Kanawha River, and it was rumored that his ability to afford such indulgences as this experimental sternwheel racer was due to residuals from various patents he possessed for inventions relating to the coal industry. In his youth Clifford Dean operated a hand-rowed ferry on the lower reaches on the Kanawha. He as a magnificent oarsman who changed my life forever when, while watching me row the DENNY's skiff, laughed and told me that I “didn't know how to row a boat,” though I fancied myself to be rather adapt with a pair of ash blades. Suppressing my anger I challenged Captain Dean to show me a better way to row a skiff; so he stepped into the boat took the oars in hand and taught me what I have since dubbed The Kanawha Crawl, the smoothest and most efficient method of rowing yet devised.

During the 1978 Sternwheel Regatta, using his style of handling the oars and with The Fish steering, both of Cappy Lawson Hamilton’s 1941 speed records for a rowed sixteen-foot, wooden Weaver Skiff from the Capitol Street Bridge to Port Amherst and back (a distance of five miles each way) fell to our fleet FLYING FISH. Both "new" speed records still stand.

Last edited by Shipyard Sam; 07-25-2007 at 08:28 AM.
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