Looking Back

Published in the February 2011 Issue February 2011 Ask The Expert Brandon Barrus

The May/June issue of Houseboat back in 1993 started off on a strangely familiar note. A guest editorial by Peggy Hall, president of Peal Products, wrote about how the 1980's were a time of excess, when people abused the concept of credit "to put a Rolex on every wrist, a BMW in every garage and just about every fool in America into some kind of boat." In contrast, according to Hall, the 90's were a time of "conservation and conservatism," which led to new marine laws that may have been enacted a little hastily.

The focal point of the May/June issue was a Top Ten list of luxury boats. Some of the familiar names found in this feature were Stardust, Sumerset and SkipperLiner. While the majority of the magazine is in black and white (with some blue sprinkled in), a few of the feature photos are in full color, a real advantage when it came to making your houseboat stand out from the crowd. The image of a Sunsations boat floating on the lake at night, with a soft, warm glow coming out the windows and the reflection of the boat visible in the water just invites a closer look.

Next up was a feature on vacationing at Lake Powell, from contributor Jim Knight. Two full-color photos really stand out here: one of boat anchored at a beach campsite, and the other of an enthusiastic jetskier heading straight for the camera operator. Knight wrote extensively on the ins and outs of touring Lake Powell on personal watercraft.

"The small size, easy handling and quickness of a personal watercraft give it real potential as a touring craft, but only under ideal conditions," Knight wrote.

A feature from writer Bob Terry Epstien covered the sights of houseboating on the Missouri River. Epstien thoroughly covered the history of the Missouri, from the Mandan and Hidatsa Native American tribes who originally inhabited the environment to the travels of Lewis and Clark, who used the river to navigate around and chart the surrounding area. Epstien's sense of and respect for history are evident in his writing.

"Barbara and I wished to somehow get a feel for what it must have been like on the trail of Lewis and Clark, before the dam that inextricably changed the wild Missouri, tamed it and set the stage for today's modern North Dakota," he wrote.

Wrapping up the issue was storyteller Bob Guist, who regaled his (remote) audience with a tale of an uncatchable bass named "Ol' Hog Jowls" and the attempts of a set of twins to make a name for themselves by outsmarting the crafty fish.

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