Eastern/Seaway/Rosborough Owner Stories: Cloud Nine
Posted on Dec 29, 2016
Cloud Nine is a well-loved 1999 Rosborough RF-246 LSV (Low-sided Vessel). Her second owners, Craig and Tammi Goddard, kept her busy from her home port on Lake Champlain, but after Tammi passed on, Craig sold her to Bob and Wendy Louthen of Baltimore, Ohio in September, 2015. Members of the Columbus Power Squadron, the Louthens took Cloud Nine for a sea trial with Goddard on Lake Champlain and then towed her back to Senecaville Lake in northeastern Ohio to get to know her that fall.
Her power is a pair of recent Yamaha 60-hp High Thrust four-strokes, tough and efficient work motors that can push her to a top speed of 20 knots, though Bob says easy cruise is 10-12 kt., and she tracks well as slowly as 4 kt. “She’s definitely a fun boat to handle,” he reports. Craig Goddard had earlier taken out Cloud Nine’s dinette in favor of a double mattress where Bob now sleeps, with Wendy forward “in the cave.” They have a swing-up table mounted between the pilothouse bunk and the helm seat for eating, but much of the time they eat in the covered cockpit, cooking on a Weber propane grill. A Honda 2000 generator mounts on the boat’s Armstrong bracket to power air conditioning when necessary.
Over the winter, Bob—who describes himself as handy, parked her in the driveway and went to work on her navigation electronics, stereo, television, and other odds and ends. In the spring, they moored her at a marina on the Ohio River in Franklin Furnace, Ohio for the season. From there, they cruised up the Ohio and the Kanawha Rivers to Charleston, West Virginia and down to Cincinnati. Using the trailer and their Ford F250 pickup, they launched to explore the Ohio around Louisville and the length of Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. “It’s great fun to tie together places along the rivers that I visited as a boy. We see things you can see only from the water. The boat is incredibly versatile. I just love it,” Bob reports. He credits the Columbus Power Squadron for teaching great courses in river seamanship.
To get some tidal water experience, Bob and Wendy towed Cloud Nine last fall to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a two-week trip. They learned plenty about her saltwater capabilities in Perdido Pass and explored Bon Secour Bay. They are regular participants in the Rosborough RF-246 Yahoo Group, on which the Goddards were active when they owned Cloud Nine. “That’s a great group of people,” says Bob. “They are very useful, sharing all kinds of ideas about everything from cruising routes to accommodations and performance tweaks.”
What’s next? Maybe the Great Loop, and afterward, the Bahamas, Bob reports. Cloud Nine’s new family definitely has her off on a whole new set of adventures.