If you haven’t had the pleasure of starting this story from the beginning, please Read Part 1 first.
Captain’s Log; Year 3, Day 1
Put boat in water. CHECK. Drive boat over to our hoist. CHECK. Load boys and wife for fun in the sun. CHECK.
11 mother f&%cking minutes into our ride…At the deepest part of a 10 miles by 3 miles lake. Motor completely dies. Call the marina, nope it’s Sunday, no answer. Fix the boat? I am sure it looked like I was giving it the old college try to my wife and kids, but no progress was being made.
Time once again for that Law of the Sea. A boater in distress must be helped. It might be you that needs the help next time.
I saw him first and I knew he was trying not to see me.
He had a beautiful fishing boat and had no less than EIGHT lines all set and in the water. But there was no one else around and after all, boaters have a code.
I watch helplessly as he reeled in each and every line. It probably took him an hour to get all those lines right where he wanted them this morning. I threw him the rope and he dutifully towed me back to my port.
We were nowhere close to home, by the way. The worst part of the tow at sea is the most you can do after it is all over is shout ‘thanks’ and give him a salute. Now that his perfect fishing morning was gone, he sailed off while I regrouped.
This was no mere flesh wound my friends, the boat had been mortally wounded.
To summarize, a ball bearing had come loose, got chewed up by the gears in the upper housing and spread little shitty pieces of shredded metal all the way through the lower as well. Also got another bearing hopelessly jammed into gears and broke a few gear teeth.
There was no coming back from this one, at least for the rest of that 2 week vacation.
Total fun time: 11 minutes
Cost; wait for it – continued below
After much consulting with an uncle who actually is a boat guy, I decided to fix the outdrive.
Truth is, my outdrive was a monster compared to the wimpy Mercruiser the boat should have come with. And apparently, once you rebuild the outdrive, it SHOULD last longer than you.
So we dug deep and paid…..$ 2,000 for a complete rebuild, upper & lower.
Now the boat was not $3,800, but more like $5,800. Luckily for me the Kelly BlueBook of Boats, called NADA Guides, still had the value of my boat right around there.
Instead of a good deal on a boat, I just had a boat that I have paid money for.
Captain’s Log; Year 3, Day 2
Now dear reader, we skip ahead to September. The boat has been fixed and I still have one last weekend to bring the kids ‘up north‘ and run the heck out of that new engine to put the boat through its paces before we shut it down for another season.
The weather is gorgeous. The wife is beautiful. The kids are excited.
Slowly backing boat out of launch. CHECK. Good battery with good connections. CHECK.
I waive the wife goodbye and she takes the trailer from the launch, back to our house so she can meet me at the hoist.
Full speed ahead good sir!
Alas we seem to be riding a little rough, not getting ‘up on plane‘. The engine stalls. I look back and see we seem to be riding a little low in the water back there. Let’s have a look in the engine compartment.
She’s about halfway flooded, we are taking on water. I take a slow motion look back to the steering wheel and I see it. Right there, sitting next to the stereo. That’s right boating fans, you’ve guessed it… It’s the DRAIN PLUG. Only it’s currently not plugging jack shit.
I peel my shirt off, dive off the back of the boat and preform some underwater surgery.
BTW, the bilge pump is a pitiful trickle and obviously not working like it should.
I probably would have lost the engine in another 5 minutes. (We’d of made Whitefish Bay, if I’d put 5 more miles behind me).
Once again I am adrift with my wits. I start bailing with assorted cup holders and wrung out T-shirts. Getting just enough water out to run the engine without stalling.
I stand as far forward as I can and still steer in order to balance out the water. Limping into the hoist with family looking on. A now all too familiar look on their faces. Close your eyes, try to see the look.
I clear the bilge pump of its nasty blockage and take the drain plug out. That boat drains full board for 10 minutes. I must have had 50 gallons of water in there.
A salty tale for sure for this freshwater sea dog.
After that we did get to run the new rebuilt outboard for awhile, 1 full day. However, the boat started stalling again in between idle and drive. I am hoping it is just in need of a carburetor adjustment before next boating season.
Tune in then kids for the next chapter in our Boat Saga. You know how pagans are with their Sagas 🙂
Here’s one horror scenario we have not experienced yet; Maybe in the cards for 2019?
Current Cumulative Fun times; 11 days
Total cost into Boat; $ 6,400
Time until cost/fun balance; 14 more days *
- Technically our relatives did use the boat for 7 days after we left last year. Adjusting for that, the extended family is only 7 days away from breaking even.
Maybe the problem is that we have never been able to stick with a name for the boat. It has been through several permutations, such as;
The Costa Concordia
The Edwards Fitzsimmons
The Heavenly Tinkle
The Flaccid Curse
P.S. Here is a fun game to play with your friends. You get a free nice boat. The only rule is that the name of the boat can not be changed and must be prominently displayed. Is there ANY name that is simply too horrible that you would NOT accept and use the free nice boat. Here is where you will find the true character of your friends. Use your imagination and be deplorable, it’s more fun that way. I for one would proudly pull into harbor in the MeatHammer, but just could not pull up in the Lusts for Little Boys.
Latest Installment; Part 3 – At Peace with My Boat