Sunday, July 12, 2009

I should listen to my girlfriend more

especially when she turns down a pleasant river cruise in the skiff because she 'doesn't feel safe in that boat'.

Half way across the river I started wondering why the angle on the outboard motor didn't look right. On closer inspection, it became obvious that the half baked repair my cousin did to the motor mount 'pad' on the transom, before I took over custodialship of the boat, was failing rapidly. What was left was the thin aluminum transom that was flexing quite badly under the weight and thrust of the motor. And then on the return trip, the little plastic gear that engages the crankshaft when the pull start cord is pulled, decided to shatter half its teeth off. What was left was not enough to turn the motor fast enough to get it running. The fix was to cut the starter cord and wind it manually around the cranshaft. Honda is nice enough to put a fitting up there for just such a situation. The funny thing is that my last Honda 5hp motor, did the exact same thing. Both motors had about 20 hours of total service on them. Much too early to be failing. Nobody that reads this blog cares about outboards so I won't go into more details.

No pictures today. I forgot the camera at home.

Not much to report anyway.

The first thing I noticed when I got to the boat was a burned spot on my new deck paint from the remnants of the fireworks last week. I am not at all happy about that. A 3 inch black scar on the sidedeck. If I thought someone who would care I would file a complaint.

I did some cleaning. I drilled and filled holes for the mid position stanchions. I made a list of things to order/bring next week. I put a coat of varnish on the toerails and a few spots that looked in dire need of coverage. Its going to be tough keeping up on the varnish this summer when I only started with four coats before launching.

And speaking of tough, projecting forward I am seeing a slim and fading possibility of sailing this boat this summer. Sailing is going to require a serious push, dedication, and a functioning credit card. Frankly, I did my best this spring and I am not sure I want to put in that kind of energy all summer too. If working at the boatyard takes twice as long then working on the mooring is easily four times as long. Maintaining the tools I need at home, at work, and on the boat at the same time is a huge chore. With my skiff on the fritz that is going to add another wrinkle to the problem.. My credit card has about had it and I am tired of running with no economic safety margin. The solution to my dinghy issue is to buy a boat. I just don't want to spend the money or take the time for the all day registration process. I ran my finances into the ground getting the boat launched and there just isn't any left to continue working aggresively on the mooring.

Boats on moorings is kind of a new thing for me too. I have always done the trailering route and when I last had Jenny in the water I was only on the mooring for a week before I took off cruising. I can see now that maintaining a boat on a mooring requires an investment in dinghy transportation that I hadn't fully anticipated. A real boat and a real motor. I was hoping my great grandfather's skiff would pull through just one more season but without some work I don't think that is going to happen. Even with the skiff working, with all this rain and my being away all work week, the skiff would probably have sunk at the dinghy dock. Its just not the right boat for my current situation. And I hate investing to better my current situation because I think in the long turn its not really workable. I am hating being on the floating dock and having the spring lines chafe the new teak toerails all day long. I am hating the boat banging against the fenders all day long with the wakes of big power boats going by. (I really need some custom cast bronze chocks that fit into the toerail to pass the lines through- Lessons learned.) I hate the bird poop. I hate the broken dock fittings. I hate the hassle of launching the dinghy and having to cross a steep chop with a strong current. I am hating the slow progress of working on the mooring. I really look forward to having the boat back at the boatyard where I can protect it (like from stupid fireworks burning my decks) and work on it until it is really 'ready'. I am glad I launched the boat. The deadline made a lot of things come together. There is also a lot still to do.

I am thinking of using Jenny strickly as a picnic boat. That is, go out on a sunny weekend and have a picnic on board. That would be nice...

Just a frustrating bad day.

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