Summer is technically over, snowbirds are preparing their flight plans and permanent residents are reminiscing about the previous summer with friends and family. While Summer may be “technically” over for boaters we can look forward to a few more months of warm weather that presents additional opportunity to craft memories.
I have a few house keeping items to mention. The first is to remind you that making reservations on overly busy nights like Friday night is encouraged. Reservations help staff plan accordingly to ensure your experience is the best it can be. The second item is for you to remember that our staff is very accommodating when you make requests. If you don’t see something on the menu just ask. Chances are you will be able to have something prepared just the way you want.
My boating experience has continued with the painting of the bottom of my boat. Yes, I did actually perform the physical labor of this task. Pam did help me, making the experience less painful. Nonetheless it was a challenge. We took our boat to Seven Seas Marina where my vessel was removed from its trailer and placed upon jacks. I commenced to cleaning and sanding the bottom to ensure a proper foundation for what was surely the world’s most expensive paint.
Let me stop here and tell you that when you are new to boating there is no shortage of boaters willing to offer you advice. An honorable mention goes to Mike and Judy Clower who convinced Pam and me over drinks at the Tiki Bar that painting the boat ourselves was “easy”. “They do it every year”. I discovered one should be sober when accepting advice.
My thanks go to two of our newest members and owners of Seven Seas Marina, Tom and Calvin. Calvin taught me more about painting boats than any one man should know. Both Tom and Calvin were very helpful to a novice such as me. Calvin even took the time to come out and help me adjust my tape lines so they were straight. His many years of experience must have triggered his “novice” alarm as he periodically walked by my area inspecting my progress.
It took two days to paint the bottom. Except for the pencil thin mustache Pam managed to acquire on her face, the inevitable smears of paint on her arms and small specks on her glasses most of the paint actually ended up on the boat.
We painted the boat over the Labor Day weekend so by Monday we were excited to get the boat back in the water. We had loaded all of our boating supplies and equipment into the truck that morning. Arriving at Seven Seas around 8:30 or so the crew launched my boat back into the water. Pam brought most of the stuff from the truck to the boat as I prepared to start the boat.
Finding the keys, priming the gas I turned her over. She started without hesitation then died. Twice more I did this and on the fourth try, nothing. It was as if the batteries completely died. Suspecting a fuse or breaker I search high and low, check all fuses and breakers and determined that this was not the cause of our delay.
One of the marina crew came over to help. We both thought that maybe it was dead batteries even though both batteries were brand new and I did have lights, pumps, etc. He brought over one of those portable jumpers and we tried again without success. Stumped I looked at the motor as if it would be intimidated into starting. That did not work either. The guy from the marina brought over one of those heavy duty chargers and told me to connect it and wait two minutes. I did as instructed, tried to start the motor. It started then died. Waiting another few minutes I tried and it did nothing. Waiting even longer made no difference in the outcome.
About to admit defeat I told Pam we were going to have to trailer it home. Using logic which apparently had left me that morning she suggested purchasing a new battery to see if that was the problem. I agreed, purchased the battery and spent about 20 minutes trying to get the cables off the old batteries. Finally cabling the new battery I told Pam try and start it. The darn motor did not turn over.
It did not make sense. I then tried to use the switches to raise and lower the motor and it did nothing. At this point I removed the motor cover looking for an obvious culprit but found nothing. I pushed and tugged and nothing. Then I tried the motor trim switch again and it worked. Aha! Ghost in the machine! Told Pam to try and start the motor and it started then died. “Try again”, I said. The motor didn’t even try to run over but I did hear a click this time. The removal of the cover must have made this discovery of a clue possible.
My keenly honed troubleshooting skills now in full force told me, “loose wire”. Again I pushed tugged and even disconnected cables and put them back. Pushing the trim switch caused the motor to rise. I tried starting the motor. This time it started and stayed started. Wishing to try my luck I turned it off and tried it again. It started! Again! Yahoo!
Fearing our getting stuck at Disappearing Island with no tow insurance we opted to take the boat back to the club. I spent some more time that day spending more money at West Marine cleaning connections.
Goes to show you just how fragile boating can be. Again we chalk this up to earning our boating badge. I went with everyone’s advice and purchased my tow insurance, “just in case”.
Hope you have a wonderful October!