Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mainely Boating

Ah the joys of being on the water! 

The salt air, the fresh breeze, the carefree idle of a summer afternoon. 
Gulls, osprey, cormorants, eider ducks. 
Seals, porpoise. 
Fish, shells, beach glass if you're lucky.

  For the past 12 years, two small boats have been nesting in the garage at the Cape, forgotten and forlorn.  Being that Steadfast is "on the hard" hiding from hurricanes, our Maine experience at the end of August this year was a tiny little bit "missing something".  After a few days, Hubby began to hear those two little boats calling his name. 

On day one of their conversation, Hubs pulled the 11foot fiberglass dingy out from the wall, inspected it, gave it a good wash inside and out.

On day two, he pulled off the rotted canvas rub rail, filled the holes with epoxy and sanded down the teak rail.

On day three, we drove to Camden Harbor for lunch with friends and stopped en route at Hamilton Marine Supplies in Searsport .  Hubbs enthused, like a kid in a candy store:

What a great store! 
They cater to commercial as well as recreational boaters.  They have everything

He came away with 30 feet of what it takes to replace the old rub rail.

Day four found one dingy looking smart in new rails and one dory feeling somewhat neglected, hung up on the wall awaiting another day.  Great Grandpa Arno gave this boat to Grandpa Jerry when he was a young lad.  Sometime between Jerry's school and a stint in the Navy during the war, the boat got sold. 

Goodbye, Old Friend. 

Once Grandpa Jerry retired many, many years later, he sought out his old boat and bought it back. 

Hello again, Old Friend. 

Refurbished but seldom used, it has spent the last 2 decades as you see it here. 

Day five dawned bright and glorious.  A perfect day for a launch. 

But what about that engine?

Some of us remember those frustrating times drifting along with Captain's head in the hold, the engine cover off, the kids getting crabby, listening to the futile crank of a worn out engine.

Even though the water pump didn't seem to be completely committed to its job, the 4hp Sailmaster outboard (circa 1970) was deemed operational and lauch was a go.

Muscling that baby into the back of the pickup was a Herculean effort.  I was impressed that we were able to even manage it.  I say we, but really, it was all Hubby's doing.  I stood by, useless, guiding the hulk into position while The Man did all the heavy lifting:  into the truck by the garage, and out of the truck down the road at Sand Beach. 


We were on the water at last.    The old engine did its job grudgingly, protesting loudly its coming out of retirement.  4 to maybe 6 knots top speed.  Two seals popped their heads up to see what all the ear-grating noise was.  Back to home beach for an overnight on the rocky shore above the tide line.   Next day, we recruited  Crew (Elizabeth), bigger and stronger than First Mate (me) to assist with launch and retrieval. 

That's it for boating until the Newport Boat Show, September 16 - 19th, but we take what we can get, right?

What about you?  Did you guys get out on a boat this summer, even a small boat? 

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