During the winter and spring of
2004 Butch designed and built his 6th Lewis and Clark expedition
boat, and named it “Best Friend” after his bride of 37 years
Catherine. She became famous even before she was launched. The
plans called for a 6 month building program and a $30,000.00
investment in materials. It turned out to be a 90 day build with
a $42,000.00 investment. The building time change came about
when Butch was asked to have “Best Friend” at the Camp River
Dubois Signature event in Hartford Illinois. Working 7 days a
week and an average of 13 hours per day accomplished this. When
she went to Hartford on a trailer, she was an empty shell, but
looked good on the outside. After returning , another month was
required for “fitting out”. The increase in cost was due to
the ridiculously escalating price of materials due to
(supposedly) hurricanes and such. This is a picture trip through
“Best Friends” life & career to date.
Click on a image to enlarge.
“Best Friend” began its life upside down as an empty
shell of timbers and plywood.
Finished hull ready for turn over.
Hull just coming up.
Half way there. Notice keel and bilge keels.
Son in law and grand kids watched turnover process, a
big day for all of us.
Mike Butler helped with the turn over process. Here she
is almost down.
Safely over and down. Now she is ready for her cedar
Planking on outside of hull installed.
Foredeck completed and gunnel plates installed.
Another angle on foredeck completion.
Cabin framing taking shape.
Interior nearing completion.
DONE! Ready for loading. Left to right: Dan Corcran
Butch Bouvier Carleton Flynn
Custom built trailer being readied to accept “Best
Friend” for the first time.
Ready to sit her on the trailer. Notice bilge keels
which help with lateral control when sailing.