The Chicago Loop Cruise dates have just been announced, they are April 30th and Nov 1st.  The CLC is usually the very first major boating rally for season.  It includes a procession and cruise though the waterways and canals of downtown Chicago and also a cruise on the open water of Lake Michigan.

If you’d like more information on the cruise, please visit this forum post about the cruise.  We have several forum members that have attended the CLC in previous years and can give you helpful advice and pointers to make your CLC experience all that it can be.

The following is a message is from Don Chambers the organizer and chairperson for the long standing Chicago Loop Cruise.

“Registration for the 2010 CLC is now open. No registrations will be accepted beyond Friday, April 9. 2010.

Logistical challenges will require the event to begin Friday night April 30, 2010, with the actual cruise on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Be sure to check the details page for contingency plans.

We will not have a fancy “package” of goodies again this year due to limited budgets and time. We will, however, have yet another really cool t-shirt, and everyone must order at least one.

Please make sure you begin to keep daily tabs on this website as information will begin coming out quickly.

To get your party started, begin with the registration form.

If you would like to support this event and website in a more general way, be sure to visit the Donation page to contribute any amount that you feel reflects your appreciation of this event.

Thanks again everyone!!!

Let’s Get Looped for the 10th time!!!!!”

via Registration open for 2010 Chicago Loop Cruise – Chicago Loop Cruise.
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The Vinyl Guy in Chilton WI is the newest site sponsor for BoatingWinnebago.com

You will not find better pricing on:

Registration numbers
Transom Name Decals
Custom boating and car decals,
Business window and vehicle lettering.

No job is too big, too complex or too small for The Vinyl Guy.

Owner Ryan has been an avid boater and long time boating compadre to many of the members of the Forums Community.  Every will agree he’s a great guy.  Because of that we have exclusively partnered with “The Vinyl Guy,” to supply all our BoatingWinnebago.com decals.  (That and he’s doing them for free…lol.)

When you order, be sure to mention the website and Ryan will include a free 12″ or 18″ BoatingWinnebago.com decal in your choice of color with your order!  To see what they look like please click here.

The Vinyl Guy
Chilton, WI
(920) 464-0841

The Vinyl Guy will meet you on the water for free install or can ship to anywhere in the US for a minimal charge.



At the request of one of our forum members (Nauti Dog,) we’ve added a direct link to the US Army Corps of Engineers website of the hourly, daily, weekly and monthly water levels on the Winnebago Pool.

You can find the link on the right side of the web site in the navigation menu bar.  It’s right above the “Find us on Facebook,” logo.

The USACE updates this website in almost real time on an hourly basis.  It’s great information to have as a reference for navigation and adjustment of charts ect.  Keep in mind that the “normal navigation level,” in the summer is 3.0ft above Oshkosh Datum.  That is the level that most charts are based on, but check your chart to be sure.



The Friends of the Fox annual meeting is on April 22nd at Pullmans Restaurant in Appleton starting at 6:00 pm.  Complementary ‘hor devours and cash bar

The focus of this years meeting is taking full advantage of 3 dollars being added to each dollar that is pledged before July 31st 2010.  The added money will come from federal and state funds and turn each dollar raised into 4 dollars that can be used to complete and operate the locks on the Lower Fox.
This is the last chance for substantial government financial support. We will never have a better opportunity to help speed the reopening of the locks.

The Friends of the Fox will also present information on the many other waterway projects we are committed to supporting.

For more information please see this link.

Come and have fun.
Dave Peck



Out To Lunch Series

Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bring or buy a lunch. Come by water and enjoy lunch and music in the comfort of your own boat tied up to the public docks.

A variety of entertainment will be featured along with a restaurant vendor of the week.

No Charge.

2010 Dates

June 3
Rosetti & Wigley

June 10
Sly Joe & the Smooth Operators

June 17
Jazz Orgy

June 24
Dennis Hawk
(Native American)

July 1
Past Blue Rhythm

July 8
Neenah Ambassadors
(Swing/Big Band)

July 15
Dave Olson with the Bottom Line

July 22
UW Fox Jazz Ensemble

July 29
Erin Krebs & Jeff Johnston

August 5
D. Ruzicka Trio

August 12
Cookee Folk & Fun

August 19
Harry & the Jazz Rats

August 26
Fox Valley Symphony Quartet

September 2
Ian Olvera & The Sleepwalkers
(Folk Rock/Pop)

Watch for more announcements of our 2010 bands, restaurant vendors and sponsors coming soon!

More information is available via Future Neenah Inc > Shattuck Park Events.

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Evening Concert Series at Shattuck park in Neenah which is where the public docks are.  Cruise on up and tie up and enjoy the music from the comfort of your own boat!

Wednesday evening concerts on the multi use concert lawn at Shattuck Park from 6 – 8 p.m. Bring your blanket or lawn chair.

Boating Winnebago will add each of these individually to our calendar of events.

No Charge.

2010 Dates

June 16
Boogie & the Yo-Yoz

June 30

July 14
The Blue Olives

July 28
The Britins
(Beatles Tribute)

August 11
Greg Waters & the Broad Street Boogie

August 25
Big Mouth & the Power Tool Horns

Watch for more announcements of our 2010 bands and sponsors coming soon!

More information is available via Future Neenah Inc > Shattuck Park Events.

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Here is a quick recap of the meeting notes taken by BoatingWinnebago.com while attending today’s ACoE Winnebago Fill Up conference call.

John Allis of the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Detroit district wast he presenter for today’s meeting.

He started with a roll call, present were members of the various government agencies that have an interest in the water levels as well as representatives of local industry, waterway users and land owners.  When the full meeting notes are released we’ll get as many of the names as possible, but it went so fast that it was very hard to keep up.

John started by giving the conditions that were experienced from the last meeting which was the Fall Draw Down meeting.  They are:  During January and February the water level was targeted to be at 1.68 ft below Oshkosh Datum.  That goal was reached on February 18th, of 2010 which was 2 weeks ahead of schedule.  The annual snowfall for the winter (snow pack,) was 32 inches, most of which fell during the storm in December and was below the average of 42″ of snow.

The levels were maintained about 1.68 ft above Oshkosh datum but dropped down to 1.61 ft above Oshkosh Datum due to a very dry early march.  In March there was 1.5″ less of precipitation and temps were about 7 degrees above normal with several days in the upper 70’s and lower 80’s towards the end of the month which lead to about a month early ice out on lake Winnebago.  That date being March 29th.   Because of this the ACoE started capturing water and enacted their refill strategy about a month early, while still being cautious and prepared for any heavy spring rains.

Starting April first there was only one gate open at most of the down stream dams, normally there are 10 or more.  On April 6-8th there was a period of rain that prompted 5 gates to be opened which is where it remains today.

Today the water levels on lake Winnebago are at 2.56 ft above Oshkosh datum.  There have only been 3 years in John’s records that were at similar levels this early, and he stated that most of them were due to early spring rains.

The goal is to hold the basin at 2.8ft and raise it up to 3.0ft above Oshkosh datum in early June where it will be maintained for the remainder of the summer.

Items of note that was mentioned in the Q&A section of the meeting.  There is ample funding for dredging on the basin right now, as long as it is on public channels and would benefit the general public.  The WI DNR representative said that permits and funding are more likely to be approved right now due to the amount of funding.  This was in regards to a question about the dredging of boat launches and the channels that lead up to them where 5″ in change to the levels of the water can make certain launches inaccessible to some larger boats.  For more information on these permits, contact the WI DNR Oshkosh office.

The launch at Asylum Bay has a dredging project planned for early this navigation season.

John Allis the ACoA representative that lead the meeting is close to having a booklet published that details the ups and downs (pun intended,) of the Winnebago refill and draw down strategies.  Several on the call though this would be a great help to concerned parties to better understand all the different factors and user groups who’s needs must be balanced in regards to the water levels on lake Winnebago.

For more information you can contact John Allis via email or phone.  His contact info is available at the ACoA web site located here under “Hydrology Subcommittee”: Contact Info



The lake Winnebago waterway is comprised of very large lakes connected by narrow rivers and channels.  They are also shallow and traffic consists of small hand powered fishing vessels and kayaks, to 40ft + power boats.  There are many complicated and dangerous situations that can arise do to this.

open source video, video platform, open source video editor

Thank you to DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist Kendall Kamke of the Oshkosh service center we are able to provide you with this boating safety video that the DNR produced.  It’s about 12 min. long but is very well worth the viewing.  It’s only an introduction to being a safe and responsible boater on our waterways.  We highly recommend you view the video with anyone that will be on your vessel or may be required to possibly pilot your vessel at any time.

We also highly recommend that even experianced adult boaters take a WI DNR boaters safety class.  Not only is it good information for you to have, but you can also reduce the cost of the insurance on your boat when you recive your certificate of completion!

There are two ways to receive your boaters safety class.  In person or on line.

For more details on these two methods, please see the WI DNR website on Boaters Safety classes accessible by clicking on this link



A federal jury Monday found a boat manufacturer partially liable for a 2005 incident on Lake Austin in which a teen’s leg was severed by a propeller. Jurors ordered the company to pay $3.8 million in medical expenses and damages.

After deliberating for about seven hours, jurors found that the Brunswick Corp. shared more than half of the blame for the accident that severely injured Jacob Brochtrup, who was then 18.

Brunswick officials said in a statement after the verdict that they “stand behind our products, which are used safely and properly by boaters around the world.”

Jurors found that Brochtrup also was responsible, as was the driver of the boat.

“I think they made a well thought-out, informed decision, and I think it was the right decision,” said Brochtrup, now 22. “Based on the evidence that was presented, I think the case was proven pretty well.”

Brochtrup sued Sea Ray Boats Inc. and Mercury Marine — Brunswick is their parent company — in 2007, saying they were liable for his injury.

He had been celebrating the July Fourth weekend wakeboarding with three friends at Emma Long Metropolitan Park when the accident happened. Brochtrup had just finished his turn on the wakeboard when a tow rope popped off the back of the white Sea Ray ski boat.

Brochtrup jumped out of the boat to grab the line. Unaware that Brochtrup was in the water behind him, 18-year-old driver Patrick Houston put his family’s boat in reverse.

The propeller caught the top of Brochtrup’s right leg and twisted it around, chopping deep into flesh, muscle and bone.

The suit said that the wound to Brochtrup’s leg was so large that he had lost most of his blood and that it caused his heart to stop. He had been in cardiac arrest for at least 45 minutes, and a STAR Flight helicopter delivered him to the emergency room clinically dead.

Some doctors called him a “one-in-a-million survivor.”

According to the suit, the manufacturer of the boat and motor did not have safety devices, including guards or covers, to prevent Brochtrup from becoming entangled or stuck.

“While we at Brunswick remain sympathetic to the plaintiff for this unfortunate accident, we are nevertheless disappointed with today’s verdict,” Brunswick officials said in the statement Monday. “We will evaluate our options in this matter going forward, including a possible appeal.”

Austin attorney Robby Alden, who represented Brochtrup, said the decision marks the first successful case against the boating industry by a person injured by a motor. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2002 allowed such cases to go forward.

Boat makers prevailed in two similar suits nationally that involved older-model boats, he said. And jurors in two previous trials of Brochtrup’s case deadlocked, resulting in mistrials.

During the latest trial, which began last week, Alden said he sought to show jurors that manufacturers could make boats and motors safer by installing guards on propellers and placing a shield over the back. The concept for a device was created years ago, he said, but the industry has resisted adopting it.

Before the verdict, Brunswick attorney Woody Norwood of New Orleans would only say: “We are very sorry about his injury. It was a very unfortunate accident.”

According to Monday’s decision, Brunswick was 66 percent responsible for the accident, and Brochtrup and the boat’s driver each were 17 percent liable. The driver wasn’t part of the suit and will pay no damages.

Most of the damages were for Brochtrup’s past and future medical expenses. However, he also received $100,000 for his disfigurement and $264,000 for physical pain.

“I think the amounts for the award were fair,” Alden said. “I’m happy about it. Hopefully, they will start making a change to protect people.”

Brochtrup attended the trial and was in court for the verdict. Since his accident, he said, he has learned to live with one leg, but he hopes to receive a prosthesis soon. In recent months, he has been studying to become an audio engineer, and he plans to work in the recording industry.

“It’s not what I would have wanted, but I’m just trying to enjoy life,” he said.

via: http://www.statesman.com



A Vessel Safety Check is a courtesy examination of your boat (Vessel) to verify the presence and condition of certain Safety Equipment required by State and the Federal regulations. The Vessel Examiner is a trained specialist and is a member of the United States Power Squadrons or the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. They will also make certain recommendations and discuss certain safety issues that will make you a safer boater.

The program is sponsored by The US Coast Guard and the United States Power Squadrons.

The check is not a law enforcement matter.  No citations will be issued.

Thanks to forum member GB-Boater we are able to provide you with a “Virtual,” Vessel Safety check list that you can go over yourself before you schedule your in person check.

Please download the document by clicking here

If you would like to have a Vessel Safety Check performed on your boat after going over the check list, you can contact the National Department of Vessel Safety Checks by clicking on the logo below.


BoatingWinnebago.com is currently working with the USCG Aux. located in Neenah to set up a group check day at a location yet to be determined in May or June.  If you are interested in participating in such an event please send an email to Webmaster@BoatingWinnebago.com or see this forum thread

Free Vessel Safety Check

Click Here For Free
Vessel Safety Check



The Saint James Lounge, located directly across the street from the Neenah public docks has joined BoatingWinnebago.com as a site sponsor.

They have given a very generous coupon good for 20% off your entire bar tab when you come by boat (excluding happy hour.)

Please click here to download the coupon.

(Captains, please remember to drink and boat responsibly, you are responsible for the safety and legal operation of your vessel.)

The Saint James Story

“Cue the Dean Martin music, dim the lights and conjure up notions of James Bond with a martini in hand.

Now, with four locations, Fox Valley night life is all grown up, and classier than ever!

There’s something for everyone on the martini menu; the Double Vision, Candy Cane, and Twisted Chocolate martinis, just to name a few of the 105 varieties. And if a martini isn’t your libation of choice, The Saint James also has a full service bar. Try a champagne cocktail, a selection off of our wine or choice-scotch list, a mixed drink or even a beer.

The atmosphere at The Saint James is different than your typical bar. At The Saint James you will find good conversation in an atmosphere of ambient lighting, good music and comfortable seating, even sofas nestled into a corner nook of the lounge.”

This is a non-smoking environment

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Saturday 3:30 – close
Sunday 4:00 – close

Happy Hours

Open – 6:00pm
$2.00 off regular size martini’s
$1.00 off all other drinks and pizza

The Saint James Neenah
211 E Wisconsin Ave
Neenah, WI 54956
(920) 727-1362

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Welcome aboard to the crew at Marine Tops Unlimited located in Omro, WI.

They have very generously given a coupon for 5% off any work done. This coupon can be used in addition to any specials they are running at the time or offering on their facebook fan page!

Please Click here for the Coupon

About Marine Tops Unlimited:

You can ask the members of our forum about the quality of work that Marine Tops does.  They are well known for top of the line quality and friendly service.

Marine Tops Unlimited, Inc. has been serving the needs of Wisconsin boaters from its Omro location since 1982. With 3 locations to serve you, Marine Tops Unlimited is Wisconsin’s LARGEST and most experienced custom canvas manufacturer. At Marine Tops we specialize in custom fabrication of cockpit and mooring covers, enclosures, upholstery, carpeting, draperies and bedding.

All Marine Tops locations are owned and operated independently, with over 55 years of combined experience to serve you. Weather it’s Carl in Omro, or Steve in Madison our professional staff will meet your needs.

Our professional designers can serve you at any of our locations or they will come to your boat. They will assist you in selecting colors and options for your canvas or interior projects. Our professionals will pattern and install your canvas or interior projects at your slip or winter storage location. We also repair canvas products. From restiching and patching, to glass replacement, we do it all!

All Marine Tops Unlimited canvas products have a 5 year warranty. No other fabricator in Wisconsin offers a warranty this good.

When it comes to custom designing and fabricating of your canvas or interior projects let the experience of the professionals at Marine Tops go to work for you. Our attention to quality and details will please even the most discriminating yacht owner.”

Marine Tops Unlimited has two locations to serve you:

Marine Tops Unlimited, Inc
1005 East Main Street
Omro, WI 54963
Phone: 920-685-5000
Fax: 920-685-6621

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Marine Tops Unlimited, Madison
3225 East Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: 608-246-3979
Fax: 608-246-3905
Email: steve@marinetops.com

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Knot Anchor Inn is the best kept secret on Lake Poygan in Tustin, WI.  Located just a walk across the street from the docks / landing on Parks St. in downtown Tustin.

They have provided the following coupon for 10% off your entire Food purchase when you come by water!

Click this link to get the printable coupon

Steve & Lynn have owned the business for 14 years, and Lynn (God bless her heart,) does 95% of the home cooking herself. They have homemade soups, and rumor is that you’ll have to come in to check out their low prices, it will be worth the trip.

They’re open everyday at 11:00AM closed on Tuesdays

Monday Special

Wednesday Special
Cook’s Choice

Thursday Special
Italian Beef or Deep-Fried Slipper Lobster

Friday Specials
Seafood Plater, Perch, Deep-fried Haddock, All-U-Can-Eat Pollack,Baked Parmesan Grouper, Baked Haddock

Saturday Special
14oz. Choice T-Bone

Knot Anchor Inn
W230 County Rd. H
Tustin, WI
(920) 446-2414

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