Return of the Bilgemaster...


As some of you older hands may have noticed, the Bilgemaster's been on a bit of decade-long "Amphi-hiatus," as my poor Old Buoy, which had always had patches on her patches since I've owned her, just got more and more decrepit, until I finally had to sideline her until such time as sufficient funds allowed for her resurrection. Largely fueled initially by my surprise winnings on a speculative long shot investment in some goofy marijuana penny stock, which amazingly panned out far beyond any reasonable expectations, a couple-few years ago Old Buoy finally made that trailered pilgrimage to Billy Syx' East Coast Amphicar, where she's been getting her long-overdue full makeover in lurches and lulls as fortune, or rather lack thereof, permitted. Still, I am proud to announce at long last that I drove her home to Virginia under her own steam from New Jersey on Saturday, with her first splash into the mighty Potomac River in well nigh a decade the following day. Marvelous!

I can tell you that Billy did a hell of a good job tarting the old girl up given the narrow confines of my wallet. The big takeaway from all this is that I can once again unreservedly recommend East Coast Amphicar. If you have your own "light fixer upper" (read: "the howling nightmare that is your bad vehicular conscience") moldering away in your backyard, slumped in your shed or serving as a rusty flat-tired resin-streaked storage bin in that opium den in your cellar, then call Billy and he will come and make it all better. Whether your Amphi needs a "Complete Rustoration" or perhaps a more selective "Big Fixin' Up" like mine, though requiring a real proven skill set quite beyond the hamfisted wrenchings I can manage in my driveway, with decent robust leak-free metalwork, paintwork that doesn't look like it was maybe done by volunteers from the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, or other expert and workmanlike repairs, then don't put it off another season. Look at these pictures, and just call Billy:

As you can imagine, without a watering Amphicar, I just couldn't bear hanging out on this Forum any longer, and some may have noticed that the site I ride herd on has been similarly neglected, even going dark for a time awhile back when its old hosting service got "wεird" all of a sudden. Rest assured though, that I have long since parked that domain, fossilized relic of a bygone era though it may be, on a reasonably stable and ad-free server so that the still perfectly useful stuff crammed into its nooks and crannies won't just evaporate into the æther. Of course, now that I'm once again a webtoed motorist in good standing, I suppose I am likely to renew my random blatherings in this Forum, and perhaps even blow some of the dust off that website, which has been pretty much frozen in amber like some Jurassic bug since the first Baby Bush administration, or thereabouts.

I wonder how the IAOC is doing nowadays? It all seemed to be getting bit strained and fussy with many tempers running high when I was making for the exits quite a while back--kinda like me struggling to get into my high school gym shorts. I do hope things have settled down.

See you out there!



Hey, Bilgy! Good to see (read) you active again.
We still recall the exciting drive around the 'loop' from the Park to see you & family, but well worth it due to the swim and hospitality on the othe end.

Enjoy the new, Old Buoy

--Larry, Nancy (& Amphi)


Amphicar Expert & Former IAOC President
Good to have you back! I certainly have missed reading your posts.

For those who are not familiar with the Bilgemaster, you might enjoy taking a stroll through the archives of his posts - just be sure to use caution, as you never know what you may stumble upon.



Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Welcome back Bilgey. Indeed, the forums have not been the same without your witty banter.

The old bouy looks great. Last I saw her she was looking neither seaworthy or roadworthy. Kudos to Billy on the restoration work.

As for the IAOC, seems like waters have definitely calmed following the choppy seas of a few years ago. It has been years since I was at Celina but "Wheels and Waves" is top notch these days.

And for you tadpoles, yes, Bilgey has been part of these forums since the original listbox days.

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
Hello Bilgy. Great to have you back. Sure miss your old ramblings. Looking forward to some new ones. Old Buoy is looking great. Nice work Billy.

Jon March

Absolutely hilarious!! A brilliant pen.

And I can concur - Ive had wonderful visits and talks with Gord & Ron, Dave, Gordons, John B, Larry, JFreeze..
....and Billy could not have been more generous and helpful in my recent visit there!



Active Member
Hi Bilgey,

I too missed you witty posts and wondered what happened to you. It is sad when such a regular and amusing poster disappears. I'm certainly glad that Billy at East Coast Amphi got you back on the water and back on the forum. You have been missed.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red


Thanx to all hands for the very warm welcome back! As you can imagine, owning but then again not having a working Amphicar for a decade or so will give a fellow a case of the "nautical blueballs" that'd make a honey badger wince. In a bid to partially alleviate this inadequacy and discomfort, I seem to have acquired a couple of sailboats along the way, three if you count that old Ten Cate windsurfer in the shed. The first, a Macgregor 26X, is actually a sort of hybrid: part sailboat/part motorboat, with a WAY beefier than normal for sailboats outboard dangling off her stern. So, there's a Amphicar owner drawn to a hybrid "powersailor." Who'da thunk? Now, as it happens, shortly after acquiring that Macgregor and plopping her on her trailer into the ultra-convenient nearby state park boat lot, from where I can just roll her on down to the launch ramps mast-up, I started noticing a very pretty but rather forlorn and sorely neglected little sailboat also there in the lot being gradually engulfed by muck, weeds and creeping vines. Still cute as hell under all that grime, but a real mess and clearly all-but-abandoned for at least a decade, judging from the long-expired registration sticker and her broken and missing companionway hatch wide open to the elements with her sails just strewn willy-nilly through the cockpit. So, using the expired registration number I contacted the owner, offering to either roll up her sails, seal up the hatch, hack back the vines and basically button her back down on his behalf to avoid further needless deterioration, or to take her of his hands for some token amount, if he indeed no longer really wanted her. So, that's how you get a lovely little pocket cruising sailboat for a buck, which turns out to have been a fully tricked-out Com-Pac 16. Turns out, she's just the ticket to learn to sail really well on. If you're at all interested, the whole tale of getting her from weeds to water in a year begins here and carries on to her triumphant return to the waves about a year later here, after a total outlay of precisely $571.60, including boat and trailer registration and a fresh little Mercury kicker outboard. Here she is in the drink, just come back from her first sail since maybe the Clinton Administration in April:


Thing is, in the course of rehabbing two sailboats on a wafer-thin budget, I seem to have become something of an aficionado of cheapo Chinese tools and other bargain gimcracks that fellow Amphicar owners might also enjoy. I've been writing these up for the most part on the Macgregor Sailors and Com-Pac Yacht Owners Association forums. So, from time to time I might lob a link here to some interesting doodad that might improve your web-toed motoring lives as well.

Just as a teaser, how much would you pay for a swell little handheld marine transceiver and NOAA weather radio? A hundred bucks? What if I told you you could use that same radio to listen to broadcast FM radio stations too? Two hundred bucks, maybe? Now, what if I told you you could use that same radio to monitor Marine Radio Channel 16, the way you're supposed to, but actually be listening to Car Talk the whole time, with that Channel 16 only breaking in if needed? Three hundred bucks, you say? Well, how about less than $30?

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Hey Bilgey!

Your Amphi certainly deserved such a nice freshening up given the unique historical nature of it, and Billy's work and your prose has not slipped even a little in the time you were away.
We all have things in our lives that pull us in different directions, and for me it was having 3 girls. The baby in the picture from 1999 on my page is now going off to college! You are getting old (me too I am afraid).

Good to have you back!



I was going to really be impressed if she had a gaff - but the point, after all, is to point.

Yours is a doll! And the money? ive paid that just in shipping charges for amphi parts this year!!@! Jealous!

Sweet little catboat you got there! But gaff-rigged? Really? What're we chasing after Henry Hudson in a skiff hoping to get some of those precious precious pig iron nails of his to barter to the savages for beaver pelts? Still, as it happens, I am no stranger to the gaff or moreover the spritsail, as you can see for yourself in this predictably water-damaged shot of yours truly from long long ago:

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