Little boat teaches a lesson

Anyone who spends time on the lake has an occasional brawl with a malfunctioning boat.
But not too many people sleep peacefully in bed as their vessel glugs, spits, and gurgles its way down under.
Yes, it happened to us.
It was a bit of a shocker. Just as I started to breathe in some fresh morning air, it caught my attention that an empty spot occupied where there’s usually a skiff.
Or, to be more precise, there were a couple of measly ropes and the outline of the boat submerged below.
“Get out of bed! The boat’s sinking!” I yelled to my husband.
Upon arrival at the dock, the scene remained dismal. Our mode of transportation, which included a brand new 20 h.p. motor, was taking a swim.
The incident taught us a few lessons, though. Mainly, when you trip home late in the dark from the neighbours during a heavy bout of rain, take the time to bail the boat with the leaky plug before going to bed.
I guess it’s apparent: we’re not the sporty types when it comes to watercraft.
?In fact, we don’t think too much about them until it’s time to get somewhere, or haul something. Otherwise, our two small boats carry a quiet kind of dignity, which is what happens when you live non-road access.
But our sunken mutineer was worth saving. The vessel itself was given to us by my uncle who was upgrading. He knew we would appreciate its rugged qualities. It’s tough as nails.
The only problem is that it had a leaky plug . . . and lazy new owners.
So, in a rare stroke of genius, I suggested we loop the cable of a winch high over a tree limb and that we reel the boat up—just high enough so it was possible to bail.
Once the boat was where it belonged (on top of water), we turned our attention to the motor.
My husband removed the spark plugs and cranked the engine over—enough to get all the water out of the cylinders. Next, he changed the oil a few times until it no longer was milky white from water intrusion.
With these jobs complete, we closed everything up and were able to start the motor with no problems at all.
To be safe, we did bring it in for service, where they changed the oil once or twice again and dried out the starter and other internal bits.
All the boat really wanted was a little bit of respect.
And at risk of sounding boastful (if that’s possible for someone who mainly drives a 20 h.p.), I think the boat outshines its peers. It beams with pride since we removed all its chipped paint, patched the leaky plug, and installed an automatic bilge.
And if we decide to take things even further, we understand there’s another product out there—a small solar panel which trickle-charges a battery.
This would ensure the battery stays charged during long absences.
Sweet! We might never need to bail a boat again.

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