Thursday, June 03, 2010

Hmmmmm, what did we hit?

Went out for an afternoon run in the boat and ended up back in Eagle Creek, lounging in the water on the raft. The sun was super hot and I had slathered on sunscreen, but I could still feel the heat from the sun.

When it was time to leave, we pulled up the anchor and headed back down the creek at a comfortable cruise. I say creek, but we anchor in 30 feet of water and close to the convergence of Eagle Creek and the Obey River, there is 90 feet of water and it is quite wide. We could see the juncture of the two rivers at which we turn right to head back to Sunset Dock. We have been alert to any floating debris, as the lake was flooded and you did see a lot of debris prior to the holiday weekend. I think with all the boats over the weekend, much of the floating debris has been pushed to the shore by the waves.

As we drove along, we were careful to swing wide of a limb we have seen in the creek. It is stationary, which means it is attached, possibly an old tree, etc. About that time we heard a "whump" and I immediately looked back to see what we had hit. Nothing was visible and nothing came up, so it had to be submerged. The boat immediately started a vibration Terry said as he could feel it in the wheel and the floor. I didn't notice it. We slowed down briefly, but sped back up. It you knock a hole in your boat, keeping speed up normally keeps water from rushing in. I couldn't see anything amiss with the outdrive and upon inspection in the back hatch, we weren't taking on water. The engine still sounded great. We were less than a mile from the dock, so we came on in and parked in our slip. Terry had some difficulty controlling the direction of the boat which is indicative of a prop problem. We pulled the prop up, thinking we probably took a huge chunk out of it, but we couldn't see anything. We do carry an extra prop with us and changing it is easy, but we have to take it out. So we headed back to camp and picked up the trailer.

When we got back to the boat and Terry once again went to inspect the back of the boat, a rotten limb about 2 inches in diameter and 16 inches long was floating up against the back of the boat. Hmmmm. He pulled it out of the water and it appears that while old and rotted, the one end showed a newer break. We're thinking perhaps we hit that and broke it off and it may have lodged in the outdrive, loosening up and working itself free once we pulled the prop up in the slip. We did, however, pull the boat out of the water and into the parking lot where we gave it a really good going over. The shaft does not appear to be bent, the prop looks great with just a bit of paint chipped off and there were no cracks or holes in the hull. Our boat is a Wellcraft and they certainly know how to build boats. Several years ago when the engine went sour, we inquired about whether or not we should put a new engine in the boat or just spring for a new boat. The consensus among several mechanics was. . . new engine. The Wellcraft is built better than most, more fiberglas than the usual hull, and would continue to give us years of service over a more cheaply built newer boat.

Today we will be testing it. Hopefully the errant limb we found was the culprit and all will be well. But if we experience handling problems, we will pull it out and make arrangements for repairs, which I'm sure will be covered by insurance. If that happens, we will probably get the jetski out and speed around in it for a couple days.

We are leaving here Monday. It has been a great time so far. . .rain forecast every day, none fell. . . or very little. It's been in the 80's--great boating weather!

Till next time. . .


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