Raft-Up Know How
The Lake Norman "V": You've heard the saying: It's not a party until something gets broken. That something need not be your gel coat. After seven years, Lake Norman organizers have figured out the best way to tie-off. The first step is to submerge concrete mooring blocks and then connect them with a floating line. The shape of most coves will dictate that you drop the cement anchors in a V-formation. Every third boat ties a bow line onto the floating raft-up lines, and everyone else ties up to them. Two fenders per boat is mandatory, as are two dock lines. Now kick back and enjoy. - D.L.
A Good Party, But No Record: It was a no-brainer for the Lake St. Clair, Michigan, raft-up organizers. After all, they'd been doing it for years. This summer looked good, too, with enough volunteers to blow the previous 944-boat record out of the water. The only bit that needed to be figured out was how to tie the boats together. Therein lies the rub.
In contrast to the Lake Norman raft-up, which was set up in V-formation, Lake St. Clair boaters rafted up in two parallel lines and formed a 30'-wide alley between boats. This resulted in a giant playground, dubbed the Gauntlet, with a sandy bottom in four feet of water. Fun, but to ensure a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, all the boats needed to be tied in one continuous line-like dancers in a conga. With an estimated 2,000 boats present, adding a few at either end would have done the trick and snagged them the record. Too bad the St. Clair crowd was out of step. However, Lake Norman should be warned: It won't happen again next year.