With the impending winter storm closing in on the Pacific Northwest last weekend, we decided to hit the road a few days early to ensure we would make it to Amelia Island, Florida in time to report on the big RM Amelia Island Auction – and also attend the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance this weekend. Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service in Mound, Minnesota will be presenting “Edward II” a spectacular 1930 – 30′ Hacker Craft at the RM Auction on Saturday.
The winter storm extended deep into the northern midwest, so in an attempt to steer clear of the storm, we first traveled south through Montana & Idaho to northern Utah, then east through Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and finally arrived in Florida yesterday.
So the first question you are probably thinking is “Why drive and not fly?” Good question… The answer is easy – Winters are tough when you like to ride a motorcycle, and any excuse to ride in March is worth serious consideration (it’s a biker thing). When we attended the 2009 Sunnyland Wooden Boat Festival in Tavares (where we met Matt Smith for the first time in person) we flew directly in to Tampa and took a taxi to the Harley-Davidson dealership in Tampa and rented a bike for the week… An expensive option when you include the mandatory insurance, etc – but it was worth it vs a rental car… And the opportunity to tour around Florida in late March was fantastic. So good that we thought we would do it again, only this time without the high cost of a bike rental.
But this year, we have decided to stay in Florida for 3 weeks so we can take in the RM Amelia Island Auction & Concours, Daytona Bike Week the following week and then the Sunnyland Wooden Boat Festival the week after that. Spending 3 weeks in Florida stuck in a rental car was not something we were looking forward to, so this year we thought it would be nice to have a motorcycle to get around Florida. So we loaded up the old Harley in her enclosed trailer (sorry Jim Staib – he hates bike trailers) and headed south.
The journey across the country is not for the faint of heart, but the windshield time always feels good. If you are thinking about making the trip at a somewhat leisurely pace, we were able to do it in Four-Twelve Hour Days of steady 75 MPH driving. Stops for fuel only, no doddling and no mid day restauraunt dining. A total of 48 Hours of freeway driving.
I kept track of the daily mileage and fuel costs in case anyone asked. Total mileage was 2,862 miles, and the fuel costs added up to $902.40 which works out to approximately $18.80 per running hour @ 48 hours or approximately 257 gallons of gas @ $3.50 gal or around 11 miles per gallon. Not the greatest fuel mileage but a chipped 350HP V-8 at an average cruising speed of 75 MPH towing a trailer that has the aerodynamic’s of a Santa-Fe Boxcar can be rough on fuel. The winter storm to the north also created some very high winds from the south which definitely had an impact to fuel mileage.
But we are here in Florida now and looking forward to spending some time at Amelia Island and also the RM Auction on Saturday. Dave Bortner and his crew have the big Hacker set up at the Ritz Carleton Hotel where the RM Auction will be held.
And tomorrow we will post some information on how you can view a live video stream from the RM Auction on Saturday, and what time the 1930 Hacker will cross the block. You can also bid on the Hacker either by phone or internet if you contact RM Auctions in advance by Clicking Here.
Dave also posted a great video on his Freedom Boat Service Facebook page of them firing up & testing the vintage 1930 250hp Sterling Petrel six cylinder in “Edward II” prior to leaving for Florida. Check it our on Facebook by Clicking Here.
Stay tuned to Woody Boater for more updates from Amelia Island and Florida over the next few weeks. We have lots of cool stuff planned.