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ContinuousWave: Trips and Rendezvous
And the learning continues...life in the newbie lane.
|Author||Topic: And the learning continues...life in the newbie lane.|
posted 06-06-2015 10:26 AM ET (US)
Things that we learn when we get our first boat... I recently returned from a trip to Colorado and two weeks of fishing and boating on some high mountain reservoirs:
1. Always check EVERY nut and bolt connection after traveling on washboard roads. While driving down the road after my first trip, I looked out at the trailer from the driver's sideview mirror to see that the side bumper rail had become disattached from the supporting standard. Stopped the car to inspect and found that the three attachment screws were gone...duct taped it up and continued. Got home, 1.5 hours away, and replaced with hex screws. Tightened and was pleased with my repair.
2. Next day...same thing: passenger's side. Remedy: duct taped all remaining attachments and upon returning home, installed hex screws on ALL attachment points for the bumpers. Again feeling pretty pleased with my repairs, a major accomplishment for one who has zero mechanical skills.
3. Third day...after backing the trailer into water and launching my 15' Sport, I pulled it out and heard a rubbing sound from the trailer's driver's side that said something wasn't right. Stopped the car, jumped out and inspected the tire/fender and found that one of the bolts was missing and the fender was lying flat on the tire. Parked the trailer, walked back to the boat, and started to figure out what to do AFTER fishing. Got back after fishing and catching nothing, and determined the only remedy was to remove the other bolt and repair it when I got home. Of course, it was not as simple as planned and a couple of skinned knuckles and colorful language outbursts later, it was removed.
4. Fourth day...went to the hardware store and got the necessary bolts, washers, lock washers, and nuts to repair. Installed and checked EVERY bolt/nut connection on the trailer for tightness and tightened as needed.
5. Fifth and last day...met a college buddy and on our way to a lake, a fella pulled up next to us and told us that the passenger side trailer wheel was wobbling badly. We turned the corner, stopped and inspected the wheel to find that two lug nuts were missing and the others were loose. Strange because prior to starting this trip, I had new tires installed on each side. So...we scratched our heads, tightened what we had, and found an auto parts store to buy replacement lug nuts and a 4-way lug nut wrench to accommodate our new variety of different lug nut sizes. Checked the driver's side, and sure enough, many were also loose. Tightened all as needed and went on to spend a great day boating.
Morals of the story for newbies:
1. When you get a new boat and trailer, remember the boat and trailer are a team that work together and inspect each carefully and regularly.
2. Have extra parts in a tool kit with appropriate tools for repairs.
3. ALWAYS have good duct tape.
4. Never assume those that you paid to do a job, actually did it and check the work if possible.
5. Don't beat yourself up for not thinking of everything. It's a learning experience every time you are out...
Craig in windy Kansas a little wiser from his recent exploits in Colorado
posted 06-09-2015 09:37 AM ET (US)
Sounds like quite an adventure. Welcome to boating.
posted 06-10-2015 11:55 AM ET (US)
Well, any adventure that involves trailer boating over those kinds of roads deserves a thread all it's own with descriptions, photos, etc. Sounds great!
Welcome to the club. Remember to pack tools on every trip (but carefully select which tools to bring based on the sizes you will need for your rig to save weight).
The following rules apply:
Everybody has these little cognitive learning experiences. Part of the adventure and color of really living.
posted 06-10-2015 11:10 PM ET (US)
Thanks, fellas; I'm having the time of my life with my 15...everything and more than I expected.
Craig in windy Kansas learning something every time out
posted 06-11-2015 03:00 PM ET (US)
So I've been using Boston Whalers for 30+ years. Launched our 2001 Ventura 210 the other week, and played on the lake where we just moved. Stopped in the water to open a Coke and saw the bilge pump discharge. "Hmmpphhh", I said to myself, "why is that running?" You guessed it -- drain plug. This is the first Whaler I've had that actually NEEDS a drain plug. Never to old to learn. Now the extra drain plug is attached to the winch stand right by the ratchet flipper thing.
posted 06-16-2015 02:49 PM ET (US)
I had not yet fixed our electric bilge pump on one of our first outings. We ran out to near Graves Light in Boston harbor and stopped to anchor for lunch. Having extensive experience with Whalers in nasty weather and other adverse conditions I was disturbed, but not overly alarmed, to see the back of the boat starting to fill up with water.
When I pulled away the cooler I could see the lovely green of the sun penetrating the ocean through the aft drain hole.
I wish I had realized that motion was pulling water out of the boat, as it would have saved me a lengthy manual pumping session to just blast around for a few minutes to empty it out before reinserting the drain plug. Live and learn!
posted 06-16-2015 09:44 PM ET (US)
On my first launching of my 170 Montauk I planned everything out and it was my first time launching it alone. I get a rope ready to tie up the boat after it is in the water and back into the water. This is when I realize that the key to the boat is at my house and the boat was already off the trailer and in the water at a public ramp. I had to beg my girlfriend to drive the key to where I was. Learned a good lesson that evening but the ride made up for everything.
posted 06-16-2015 09:57 PM ET (US)
Ace, could have saved you the trouble discovering that one...had it happen to me once on Doctor's Lake.
The plug is an acrylic screw in with a slot, not the traditional garboard brass plug that you twist to tighten in the hole. Needless to say I got wet plugging the hole from the outside after running the boat at speed to temporarily drain!
Now I always keep it in the aft cup holder in the quarter seats as a visual before I go down the boat ramp to launch <lol>
posted 06-20-2015 09:35 AM ET (US)
One day departing our slip in Anacortes, Washington, we saw a 32 ft. Bayliner being towed in to the marina. A couple was sitting on the flybridge, smiling and waving to the many curious onlookers.
On the transom of the towed boat was the name "Always Somethin' "
posted 06-24-2015 05:52 PM ET (US)
Whoever put those wheels on forgot to tighten the lug nuts. What a jerk.
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