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    #16
    Sigh: Ted, I don't reckon I'll ever be a steamboater...I was with you, in spirit at least,all the way to the roof of the pilot house! MISSIE don't have no roof on the pilot house! Wow! Really?...the roof of the pilot house and goin' alla the way up there without a corkscrew? Cap'n Walnut. ps: Cap, I do carry a corkscrew!

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      #17
      If you have to plead the 5th to many of the questions this thread has brought up.

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        #18
        Or if you wouldn't trade the memories of those days for anything but another chance to do 'em one more time.

        YMBAS if you can recognize a packetboat landing on the Ohio River shore though it's been at least 75 years since a steamboat landed there.

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          #19
          YMBAS if you look at a nice large rock and think "That'd make a really nice B.F.R."

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            #20
            That B.F.R. !

            Greetings From New Orleans ,
            Mel , thanks for reminding me of the B.F.R. ! I remember coining that expression when Capt. Wagner asked me to go grab a rock and place it right at the water line and so I went and looked for the Biggest F. Rock I could find and I guess the expression just became one more unique steamboat term ! Go Figure !
            Smooth Sailing !
            Ted




            Originally posted by mel hartsough View Post
            YMBAS if you look at a nice large rock and think "That'd make a really nice B.F.R."

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              #21
              the BFR

              Originally posted by mel hartsough View Post
              YMBAS if you look at a nice large rock and think "That'd make a really nice B.F.R."
              Here is a picture of the DQ's BFR in Dover, Tennessee. You have to look closely, as the fastrising Cumberland has covered all but a tip of it. This was on the St. Louis to Nashville trip in 2002 and Franz, Carmen, Leonie and I knew it was going to become the St. Louis to Clarksville trip very soon, due to the BFR's calculations. There have been times when this highly accurate gauge would have saved some groundings if they hadn't relied on technology instead on the big sisters-simple but tried and true...
              How many times did you guys have to go out and redo the lines during the night because of the BFR's indications?
              Attached Files

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                #22
                Yes Ted you started a DQSC tradition as well as a very important tool. I remember getting chewed out for forgetting to bring in the BFR and once we actually pulled back in and had a deckhand jump off and grab the BFR lol! after that we found and painted a back-up.

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                  #23
                  what exactly is the importance of a BFR?

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                    #24
                    Matt,

                    The BFR will tell the First Mate and the rest of the Navigation Staff some very important information as to how much work there will be during their watch.

                    They can watch the BFR to see change or a rise or fall of the river.

                    If it is going down (the BFR is getting dryer) they have to let the lines out.

                    If it is going up (The BFR is getting wetter) they have to pull the lines in.

                    If it isn't changing (The BFR is just sittin there with nothing changing around it, perhaps there is a lizard, snake, or turtle sunning on it) they get to sit still and relax (or perhaps an industrious Mate will break out the paint cans and the crew will pray for rain or the upstream dam to let out a bunch of water quickly)!

                    ~Travis~

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                      #25
                      Mathew: I'll stick my neck out and say that if you sit at the feet of Alan Bates you might call it a BAR. Matt, it is simply any rock that you can pick out of a lineup...painted or not. Placed at the very edge of the water, over time, it will indicate a rising or falling river or one that simply has not changed. When you are deeply concerned with passing under a low bridge or doing other things where the stage of the river has any meaning for your plans, it can convey information with a degree of reliability that meteroligists only dream about. It can be meaningfully "read" if no miscreant has moved it in the night! The meaningful terms of these BFR and BAR acronyms are the words "BIG" and "ROCK". I'll let you supply the middle term to suit yourself. I think that Alan credited the BAR term to the Greene Line back in the old daze! Matt, don't feel bad, you mostly lurk at a lake where the information is not all that critical and you mostly tie up where you have fixed landmarks or gauges to go by. Cap'n Walnut

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                        #26
                        YMBASB if you knew what BFR stood for before it was explained on this forum. And, no prompting, I think I got what the variation BAR stands for, too. What an incredibly simple device to tell ya what's happin'. Same thing for the term FRN, which we all knows means Friendly River Neighbors, he he hee.

                        BFRs/BAR's do apply on lakes! I have watched my floating/other end on dry land dock try its damnest to head south to the overflow after a huge rain. Hey, ya got heavy rain, the lake is gonna rise. What I need is a BFR!

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                          #27
                          Sinker or Floater?

                          How do you all calibrate your BFR/BAR? Do you "float it" or "sink it"? I'm a floater, that is, I put mine so the bottom is just touching the water like it's afloat. But I got my britches chewed once for doing that way, as the old shantyboatman, Walter Hoffmeier, who first taught, me said he wanted a sinker. Walt said the only way to cow-ler-brate one right is to place it in the river so's the top of the device is barely wet. His method doesn't always work for me, especially when the clarity of the water is questionable, or if it is unknown if the river is coming up or headed the other way.

                          Once however, when you establish you're on a falling river, a sinker may be better to use, and a floater allows the degree of rise on a raising river to be closely observed as a sinker would already be beneath the surface and out of sight.


                          Willie and Buster's Whirlwind Tour of the World
                          Attached Files

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                            #28
                            we never used a BFR on the Natchez when I was there, but I guess we had many BFR's if you count the levee by the boat. Thanks for the explanations everyone!

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                              #29
                              Matt,

                              The BFR is usually used at a sloping bank landing, where the head of the boat is likely sitting on ground. Thus it is important to know, within inches sometimes, whether the river is rising or falling and how fast.

                              At the Toulouse St. Wharf, it would make more sense to have a gauge bolted to one of the vertical pilings on the wharf to gauge rising/falling water. It is also not as critical to know this at the wharf, as where the boat sits is a deep water situation.

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                                #30
                                Painted BFR's

                                Captain Don ,
                                Thanks once again for you input concerning the nature , history , and origine of the BFR's and correct me if I am wrong but when we worked for Captain Wagner , didn't we use to paint them , letter them and actually carry them with us on the boat ? In fact , I remember painting them red with white letters ( BFR ) . I also remember getting caught off guard one time when I was actually asked by a passenger as to just what the BFR meant and what it was for. Well , without hesitation I told him , BFR obvisouly stands for ,
                                BIG FINE ROCK !! and its what the pilots aim for when they come into the landing . What else ??
                                Smooth Sailing !
                                Ted Davisson



                                Originally posted by Shipyard Sam View Post
                                How do you all calibrate your BFR/BAR? Do you "float it" or "sink it"? I'm a floater, that is, I put mine so the bottom is just touching the water like it's afloat. But I got my britches chewed once for doing that way, as the old shantyboatman, Walter Hoffmeier, who first taught, me said he wanted a sinker. Walt said the only way to cow-ler-brate one right is to place it in the river so's the top of the device is barely wet. His method doesn't always work for me, especially when the clarity of the water is questionable, or if it is unknown if the river is coming up or headed the other way.

                                Once however, when you establish you're on a falling river, a sinker may be better to use, and a floater allows the degree of rise on a raising river to be closely observed as a sinker would already be beneath the surface and out of sight.


                                Willie and Buster's Whirlwind Tour of the World

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