A Happy Boat Story!

A Happy Boat Story!

When it comes to boats, there are very few victories when it comes to mechanical issues.  The old acronym, B.O.A.T., “Break Out Another Thousand” has never been truer than with today’s highly sophisticated engines and computer operating systems.  Fortunately….or not, like our cars, our boats are of the same old vintage; classic, simple and temperamental.  Our classic Boston Whaler has literally sat on the trailer and hasn’t been cranked or run for two years.  I look at it in the yard with a sense of dread.  Knowing that when I have to pull the cover back, I will have to run the snakes out from under the console and figure out what to do with the old gas and the catastrophic consequences ethanol can have on an engine.  
 
Will just got home from finishing up his freshman year at Sewanee where the weather can be beautiful, but also dreary most of the time.  He was well overdue from being in the sun and saltwater and wanted to use the boat that had been sitting these last several years…sigh.  “Ok, here we go”, I said under my breath, “pull it down the hill and let see how bad it really is.” When we removed the cover I was pleasantly surprised everything was in order!  Yes, there was some mildew, but the mahogany and chrome was still shining, didn’t find any snakes, and the trailer still had two tires that held air. Things were looking up!  
 
But the most amazing thing was the engine.  We put a small charge on the battery, hooked the hose up to the foot and water pump and turned the key…click click.  Sigh… Gave the starter a small tap with a hammer and she began to turn and turn and turn and then BAM! the old 2 stroke Johnson came to life in a thundering roar and wonderful fragrance of outboard exhaust.  That smell and sound immediately took me back to some of the best times of my life; days skiing out on the lake and fishing down at the coast always in the presence of the smell of boat exhaust. When I snapped out of my daydream, I found the old engine was still running and running well!  Amazing!  Will and his friend took it out on the lake and it still ran perfectly.  How is this possible? This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to me when it comes to boats, so that’s why I thought I would share this small victory with you.  She may crap out on me tomorrow, but for now, the old girl still has some soul and that’s why I love her so.

 

Will and Margaret inside Dog Island back in the day.

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