Saturday, December 29, 2012

I must go down to the sea again...

... To the lonely sea and sky.
I left my socks upon the rocks -
I do hope they are dry!

Ah, summer! Boating weather.

When your boat works, that is.

Yesterday I saw a boat called Money Pit II being towed along the road, and thought that with a name like that the owner should have learned a lesson from owning, presumably, Money Pit I.

Maybe we should rename our boat Money Pit. It's called Bootle-Bumtrinket after Gerald Durrell's childhood boat, because - well, frankly it looks like a Bootle-Bumtrinket. It's clumsy and orange and a bit of a conservative old man's boat. I call it Bootle for short. G hates the whole name and only calls it Trinket. It looks nothing like a Trinket. Trust me. Or judge for yourself:

Anyway Bootle has been out of action for a year. She was a cheap buy and twice we've had to screw the front passenger seat back down. However, the wood under the deck had rotted, so this year, with the advice of a friend, G bought some marine ply and fibreglassed it to the top of the deck. He is no handyman. Our friend, DIY-boy for want of a better name, shook his head and said we'd have to sand it back and do it again. In short, DIY-boy did it for us with G watching on to learn. After that, G and DIY-boy screwed new seats (because the old ones were buggered anyway) onto the new raised deck area.

I will mention at this point that one of the new seats is height adjustable, so I, the vertically-challenged, can lower it to drive the boat in comfort. I have a skipper's licence as does G. But, woe is me, G screwed the adjustable seat onto the passenger side. For fuck's sake!  I was bitterly disappointed but as he'd worked so hard and sworn so much over it, I had to say how fantastic the whole job was and that an adjustable passenger seat was probably a good idea anyway.

So today is 'take the boat out' day. Or it's supposed to be.

The battery was flattish yesterday, so we bought a new battery charger as the old one was broken, and charged it overnight. It hasn't retained its charge so G has headed out now to buy a new one. The battery is officially buggered.

I reminded him we'll have to top up the tank with fresh fuel as the old fuel will be too old to ignite easily. Fuel over six weeks old doesn't work as well as new fuel. I sincerely hope the tank isn't full to the brim with old fuel.

So by the time we get this show on the road today, the tide will be racing out and it'll be awful old low tide at the boat ramp, never much fun.  High tide peaked an hour ago. There's a southerly wind due and the harbour will be choppy, and the sun isn't even shining, but G is determined to get Bootle/Trinket/Money Pit out on the water. We're going to take the orange monster into the fish markets.

Chips ahoy!
Three hours later:

Well. We were puttering around for a maximum of 20 minutes including time when the motor conked out thrice and refused to restart for a while. Boats!!!

I know the poor little thing had a very cold engine so I didn't take it about 1500 rpm, but even after letting it warm up for ten minutes, it kept conking out at anything above 1500. The worst time was when I was frantically trying to restart it and G was using the paddle to move it to the side of the channel, and a speeding Rivercat was bearing down on us!

Still, she hobbled back to the boat ramp for me, and now we have to find out her problem. My bet is that it's dirt somewhere in the fuel system. Watch this space.

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