Sunday, June 03, 2012

A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day at work. . .

What about a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD day at the lake? Like THIS bad of a day?

Yesterday morning at 7:30 a.m. the phone rang. It was the marina asking if we had rented the A-69 slip and did we have a boat in there? Yeeeees? Well, the back end is under water and the entire boat is about to sink. WHAT????????

Terry's first thought was that one of our lake friends was pulling a prank, but we quickly ruled that out.  It was not a pretty site. Terry is diligent about checking everything out on the boat before we ever put it in the water and we have had service done by mechanics as well. We didn't have a clue as to what caused the problem.

My biggest regret is that Brandon and Megan are here and they planned to spend time on the lake with us. But they rented a pontoon yesterday and we went out and swam, etc. Today we are renting a power boat and will take Megan all the places we have been promising her all weekend. It has been unusually cold here this week which has made being on the lake close to miserable, but today promises to be in the 80's, so we are going to give it a go. The jetski is running, too, so that will be fun.

Back to the boat. We were instantly swarmed with deck hands and in an hour's time, they had the boat up and on the trailer. They got two pumps working on it and since we had the full canvas on it, they were able to pump faster than the canvas allowed the water in. Once they pulled it up far enough, they plugged the breathers and she floated quickly. They pulled her around to the trailer and I pulled her out. She still had a lot of water in her and pretty much flattened the tires, so we pulled the plug and started the bilge and emptied her out. Surprisingly, even with having been under water, the battery still operated the trim/tilt and the bilge. Humphf! Since oil was floating in the boat, Brandon climbed over the nose and opened the cuddy. The jumpstart was retrieved and was still dry. My swimsuit and our lifejackets were a little damp, but in good shape. We took the registration, etc., out and left everything else for the time being.

We had already called the mechanic who will check it out and he wanted the boat asap. I guess once pulled from the watery grave, they must be drained out and immediately oiled up to prevent engine damage. Keith said he would try to get her started that afternoon and if he could, that generally meant it was salvageable. But later in talking with us, he was not very optimistic. He said the electronics are never the same and we would likely not be able to trust it on the water. On a small lake where you can flag anyone down, that would not be a problem. On Dale Hollow, you could be stranded for days with no cell service and no help. Not a good option. And we don't need/want a boat that Terry has to work on every year just to keep it going.

 More pix. . .

So right now we will wait to see what the insurance company says. We had it completely insured, but we won't be able to get an adjuster here till next week.

We could use the money we spend on the boat and the storage to rent a houseboat every couple years or rent a pontoon or power boat for a day. The last few years we have felt we had to come here and run the boat just to justify keeping  it.

So today is the kids' last day here. We will take out the power boat and play on the water all day with Brandon and Megan. It will be a fun day, even though it won't be in OUR boat. But it will still be a GOOD day at the lake.

On Edit. . . we would like to put in a plug for the staff and hands at Sunset Dock. Five guys plus the manager were there on site and worked until they got the job done. They asked us to keep out of the way and let them work. At one point, I told one man. . . whatever you do, don't anyone get hurt. After all, it is JUST a boat. He turned to me and said, "Yes, but it is a really beautiful boat." And while it may look like she was sitting on the bottom, she was in about 12 feet of water and the only thing holding her up were the "well tied" ropes we had put on the night before. . . that and the well-built dock here at Sunset. The well choreographed event meant our boat was underwater a minimal time. Thanks guys!

Till next time. . .



Erik's RV Blog * said...

Oh man sory to hear about your boat. I used to have a 32ft Wellcraft aft-cabin and miss it a lot! I love those boats.

Good luck getting it repaired, hopefully the engine and lectronics and be saved.


Dale said...

It was a great boat, Erik. We have owned it since it was a year old. . . 24 years. But it only looked about 5 years old because we took care of it and kept it under cover. Planned on running it till we couldn't boat anymore. Don't know what we will do as the mechanic said it is a total loss. It was insured, so we will see what happens next.