Monday, August 04, 2008

Adventures in Boating

Clyde and I went down to Lake Anna today with the general notion to attempt to put my boat in the water and try some wine at Lake Anna Vineyard. There were several details not worked out before hand such as:

1) Where my boat actually was.
2) The status of my boat.
3) Where the mechanic was located to whom I owed money.
4) Where I was going to keep the boat, assuming I could find it.
5) The tasteing hours at Lake Anna Vineyard.

In addition, we didn't even get started on the 2 hour drive down until about 2 o'clock. As you can see, this was a well planned operation.

I had in a call to the fella that had been taken care of things for me, let's call him W. He usually takes a few days to get back in touch with me so I wasn't too surprised that I didn't hear from him. So the first order of business was to figure out where the mechanic was located and visit him. The idea here was that 1) I owed him money 2) he may still have my boat and 3) he may have another number or a different way to contact W. All I knew about his location was from W that he was 'just down the road'. So we drove down the road near where W lived. Low and behold, shocker of shockers, no mechanic.

Failing to find the mechanic from the excellent directions, we decided that the gas station and *gasp* asking for directions was the next step. Then I recalled that W is part owner in the Lake Anna vineyard so plans were quickly changed to do a wine tasteing and see if we could locate him there. Turns out, they are closed on Mondays. All I have left to go on is my memory that it was called something like Hank's Engine Repair or some crap like that. I checked my phone and, look at that, I found the number to Larry's Boat and Motor Repair. I gave them a call and we were on our way.

Got to Larry's, which turns out to be a dude's house and he works out in the garage. Paid them for the work they did and asked if the boat was there. It was not and W had it. I thanked him and we headed out.

We hit a couple of marinas near Larry's because I wanted to see about storing my boat at a different location. Found one that had both field and water slips available, so I told the lady I'd be back if I could find my boat. She kinda looked at me weird but on we went.

The next stop was to just go to W's house. I managed to remember how to get there and I saw my boat sitting in his yard. Went up to the door and his daughter and son-in-law came out along with about 100 dogs. I asked when they expected W home and they said 6 ish. I didn't feel like waiting and she offered to call him at the office. I said to go ahead and call and let him know I was taking my boat and to give me a call later. We hooked the boat up and headed out.

We drove over to the marina that had the water slip available and I purchased slip #44. The boat was full of water because the plug was left in so we had to let it drain. That took a good 30 minutes or so. Once that was done I backed the boat into the water and tried to fire it up. To make a long story short, it took a jump pack (because the battery was dieing) and a long time but finally got the thing fired up. However, it wouldn't idle smoothly and would keep cutting out unless it was up around 3000 rpms (should idle under 1000). Decided to take it out anyway and pushed the bow around so it faced the water. I slammed the throttle out of neutral and then full open as fast as possible to keep the engine from cutting out and off we went. At full open the thing maybe went 15 mph. Obviously something was wrong.

We made it maybe 200 yards before the engine crapped out again. After dicking with it and not being able to get it in gear w/o cutting out we started to paddle back. I knew there was dirty fuel in the tank so I figured we just needed to get it to dock and I could contact their repair office the next day to have them clean the tank and fuel system out. It took us about 45 minutes or so to get the boat back and parked. I was able to get the engine in gear and drive it most of the way in.

So we docked the boat, tied it up, and headed home. So close but yet so far.

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