Bill on the Duckworks mailing list points us to this book… sounds interesting. Certainly shows how you don’t need a real gold-plater to do significant cruising… of course for this small, you have to be willing to rough it a bit.

Bill writes:

I read an interesting book last night "Old Man River and Me" written by Mark Knudsen. Mark made a 18′ plywood Jon Boat and traveled from down the Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans, and on to the Gulf of Mexico.

Not very much detail about the boat’s construction other than it was a flat-bottom high-sided plywood boat with scrap oak frame held together with 1,800 screws driven into place with a Yankee spiral-drive screwdriver!


From Library Journal In the fall of 1993, Knudsen set off on a trip down the Mississippi River in an 18′ flat-bottom johnboat he built for the purpose. His story is part adventure, part history, part politics, and part popular culture. The trip turned into more of an adventure than he had planned owing to the extensive flooding earlier in 1993. Not only did that postpone Knudsen’s departure, but as he motored down the river he found extensive damage, washed-out marinas, and docks and even islands covered by high water. The people he met are a big part of the story. While Old Man River is no Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or Blue Highways, it is an enjoyable read. The writing is engaging enough to leave the reader wishing for a more in-depth treatment. Recommended for large public libraries.

AThomas K. Fry, Penrose Lib.,
Univ. of Denver
Copyright 1999
Reed Business Information, Inc.