Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jep is Wet!!

Merry Launchmas!  I took the day off to launch the boat.  The weather was less than perfect; foggy, low 50s and cloudy.  Luckily there wasn't a whole lot of wind (one isn't a fan of wind when your boat is hanging in a crane).  I had an 11 A.M. launch scheduled.  Everything went off without issue.

My biggest concern was my new upper stays.  I had new side stays made as the old ones were too short and did not allow me to properly tune my spar (long story as to why they were too short).  Needless to say, the new stays fit perfectly!

This year was especially easy since my new slip is a couple hundred yards away from where I get dropped in (as opposed to the 20 minute motor to the river slip).  Not only that, when there is no current to battle, docking solo (like I did today) was a snap!

Once I got Jep tucked into the slip, I finished rigging the boom, hooked up the battery, got the cushions in place below deck, installed the porta potty, re-taped all sharp objects, had a beer and then gave the deck a wash.

After cleaning up my tools and toys, I hung around to relax a bit.  That's when I noticed a power boat on N dock was sinking.  Yes, sinking.  Slowly.

While buttoning up Jep, I saw a couple guys on a small power boat (Four Winns Horizon 200) move into their slip.  As they were covering the boat, I heard the sound of running water.  It was the boats bilge pump.  At first I didn't think anything of it since the two gentlemen were right there and most new boats have an automatic or float switch on the bilge pump.  It also rained pretty hard Sunday evening so there was no cause for concern.

I milled around Jep for maybe 10 minutes and noticed the guys had left.  The bilge was still running.  I went to see if the boat was hooked to shore power.  No shore power.  The bilge bump was running at full capacity.  I picked a spot on the out-drive of the boat to see if it sank further into the water.  Slowly but surely, it was getting lower in the water.  Ten more minutes passed.  The bilge was still running and the out-drive was still sinking.  I hailed the McKinley dock master for help.  Nothing.

Five more minutes passed and I began to seriously consider towing the boat to the launch.  Amazingly, one of the guys forgot his cell phone on the boat and had come back to get it.  I quickly alerted him that his boat was sinking.  It was his buddies boat and the poor guy was pretty clueless.  I explained to him what was happening; bilge pump running and the stern was sinking.  My initial thought was they forgot the stern plug.

I was right.  The guy opened the engine compartment and water was everywhere.  I helped him untie and get out of the slip and told him to haul ass to the boat launch where his buddy was waiting with the trailer!

How's that for a start to a season!?  I still need to post about the BIG new addition!  Details to follow...

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