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Crownline 2017 Boating

July 15, 2017

I got a notice that I have 59k points with IHG (Holiday Inn hotels) that will expire in October, We agreed to take a vacation to the Erie Canal. I can't believe it's finally happening.

July 21, 2017

First trip out and wouldn't you know it we have engine trouble.

We were rather rushed because we had planned to go on Saturday and I was working toward being ready on Saturday, but we decided the risk of rain was too great for Saturday and we should go this evening.

We had to stop and get gas in the truck on the way and I discovered that I didn't have my wallet. I wondered if a park ranger did and inspection (we'd heard they have a full time ranger now at Pleasant Hill Reservoir) if I would have to have my ID. I wasn't going back home to get it. I'd take my chances.

So we rushed around and got down to the lake. The park ranger was sitting in her SUV right there watching the ramp. I asked Connie if she intended to overload the boat with eight people (Laura's family plus the two of us make eight - the boat capacity is seven). She said we were under the 1000 pound rating. I said but we're over the capacity of seven people, and you can't exceed either. She said that wasn't her understanding of the limits. I said, "Go ask the ranger." She decided not to.

We got the boat ready and backed it into the water. I jumped in, started it up (it started very easily), unhooked the strap and backed it out into the channel and then ran it over to the dock area. A kid came over and helped pull it over to the dock, as I was clearly struggling to get lined up for the dock. I told him it was the first time with this boat. He said, "Nice boat."

I got out of the boat to hold the boat against the doc (we had no dock lines - I'm still working on them) and then I realized that I had no life jacket. I figured the warden would be walking up any minute and I looked up to see what she if she was watching and she was gone.

Connie and Laura's gang showed up with life jackets and climbed aboard. I reminded Connie that we didn't get the tube out of the truck, so she had to walk back to the truck and bring the tube. At the same time, Carter informed us that he had to go to the bathroom (usually it's Christian). So Connie and Carter walked back to the truck and the porta-potties. After about 10 minutes they came back. The rest of us were sitting in the boat melting from the heat.

Finally, we're set. I start the engine, Connie jumps in and I back out of the slip. Once in the channel, I shift into forward and the engine dies. I restart it, shift into forward and again it dies. So I start it up again and let it run a bit, revving it just a bit,shift into forward and the engine dies.

We have a problem! I declare the boating over and start trying to get the boat to run enough to get us back to the slip. Eventually, I make it back to the slip. Everyone piles out and Connie holds the boat while I go get the truck and trailer.

We use a bow rope to work the boat back out of the slip and onto the trailer. That actually went fairly well.

Back on the hard, I realize that I had forgotten to unhook the lights, but when I checked them they had survived. These are sealed lights and so the withstand being submerged even while on. The next time I will try to remember to unhook them though. No point in pressing my luck.

I made a lot of mistakes getting into the water. I realy need to create a checklist and use it. Even though the process is simple compared to putting a sailboat into the water, there are mistakes that can be made!

Here are some photos when we pulled it out of the water.

 Here's the hour meter after the brief time on the lake.

August 3, 2017

We finally made our first trip on the water.

August 5, 2017

We got Laura's whole gang out for a couple of hours today.
Here's the hour meter afterward. We've run a total of 2.3 hours.

August 26, 2017

We spend the afternoon touring Portage Lakes near Akron, Ohio with my dad. We had a goof up on docking and I was reminded of how I should dock. I forgot to raise the lower unit before we pulled up the ramp. Ouch! I was backed too far in the water when we put the boat on, and it ended up on top of the left guide bar, so we had to go back in the water and straighten it out. I noticed afterward that the screws in the guide bar are loose. So here is the list of repairs that are needed:

  • Surge brake master cylinder is rusty and not working. I'm expect the wheel cylinders are the same.
  • Brake lines are rusty. Might as well replace those when I'm working on the brakes.
  • Whale tale is chipped. Replace or repair, or ignore
  • Rub/guide bars screws are loose.

188.5 - 185.7 = 2.8 hours operating on August 16, 2017. The fuel guage is at 3/4.

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