Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Failure to Launch

Sun, wind, weekend.  The boat cover came off and the sails were bent on.  The boat even made it into the water.  This should have been a sailing story.  But it was not to be.

It was a cold, cold day.  I arrived at the boat launch, paid my fees, and set about raising the mast.  Solitude III's tabernacle has always been a fairly tight fit, but with the added cold no reasonable amount of force could get the bottom of the mast to seat all the way into the tabernacle.  I pushed, shoved, kicked and pulled.  Nothing doing.

So, I gave up. Well, all was not lost. I could still drop the boat in the water and have a motorboat adventure. Except the motor wouldn't start..the starter cord would pull through. No reasonable amount of force could get the motor to turn over. As best as I can figure, despite being laid down on the proper side, some oil had made it's way into the cylinder and gave it a bad case of hydrolock.

It was so cold, there were icicles on the rubrails
I once went to a kayaking class where one guy said he had a three strike rule.  If any three things went wrong on the way to a kayaking trip...malfunctions, forgotten items, weather...he'd turn around and go home the trip.  I only had two strikes, but since they were propulsion-related, I decided to call it off.

Sparless in Seattle
I loaded up the boat and took her home.  When I got home, I took a deep breath and decided that the time had finally come to start working on my winter to-do list.  So, I stripped her of her sails and spars and prepared to start a varnish-a-thon.  We're in the middle of a cold snap right now, so the varnish hasn't started flowing yet.

I also pulled the spark plug on the motor, and eventually was able to get the oil cleaned out from the cylinder, so that is good news.

On the bright side, after all this nonsense, I happened to have a crockpot full of jambalaya waiting for me in the kitchen.  Back into construction mode!

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