Waiting to sail away

04 May 2015 | Lake Rathbun
29 April 2015 | Iowa
26 March 2015 | Galveston Bay
25 March 2015 | Galveston Bay
24 March 2015 | Galveston Bay
24 March 2015
24 March 2015
24 March 2015
24 March 2015
24 March 2015
22 March 2015 | Kansas City
16 March 2015 | Iowa....still
29 December 2014 | Butt cold Iowa
10 November 2014 | Iowa
28 July 2014 | Lake Rathbun
25 July 2014 | Lake Rathbun
28 June 2014 | Lake rathbun
06 April 2014 | Lake Rathbun
20 March 2014 | Iowa
27 February 2014 | Indianola, Iowa

Drams dont always come true

04 May 2015 | Lake Rathbun
Gene/No one knows
It’s the day of launch. The boat is polished and shines, much like I do as the boat trailer slips in the water. The key turns and the motor that Amy and I have put so much work into turns over back to life after a long winter. We motor around to our slip and enjoy a celebratory toast as the start of our sailing season has begun…….Yeah that would have been nice!

The above description was the rose colored glasses version of a dream I had the night before we launched, but reality was much different. We arrived to the lake, and people could hardly recognize the boat with its shiny hull and new bottom paint. And as we slipped in the water and turned the key the motor tried to start, tried with everything it had, but it just wouldn’t fire to life. After pulling the boat back out and a quick ride to PT storage, Howe thinks the starter is bad, and suggested that we change the starter. Problem is the motor has been out of production for 25 years and few if any parts are available. Howe’s suggestion, “put on an outboard and don’t worry about this big piece of shit!”

That being said, I’m stubborn and I find a new (used) starter. I purchase it and the marina owner who has repaired these antiquated motors comes to help. New starter in and the motor is back to turning over, but no spark. Doug and I decide let it charge for the night and test the starter voltage, the cylinode, coil packs, and the power packs in the morning. My hands greasy, I have been in the belly of our boat for the entirety of the day, and I am ready for bed. This is starting to not end up a relaxing weekend.

The next morning Doug arrives and helps me test the above mention systems with the addition of the compression chamber. We pulled the plugs and inspected them for water. Now, this motor needs water in the block, just like a car to stay cool, but if water is getting into the compression chamber than there is no chance the motor has of creating enough compression to form the fuel/oxygen mix to allow it to fire and turn the prop. The plugs look wet with water. We turn the motor over and water splatters all over the engine compartment. At this point Doug suggests, “I would buy an out board!” Well Shit! Outboards can cost up to 2500.00 for an older used one.

I decided to close the boat up and sit with my head in my hands a watch as my season comes to an end the first day my S/V is in the water. Amy on the other hand picks up the slack and won’t give up, when I am so close to giving up. She takes a walk with our friend, neighbor, and dock mate Barbie and head up to the Yacht Club. She tells members of our trials and tribulations, and two members, Mark and Merrill, offer us an option that could save our season.

Merrill has a 10 hp Mercury outboard that he isn’t using and hasn’t used for several years. He says, “use this motor, have Howe put a drop down bracket and get to sailing.” Well, that’s what we decided to do. We ordered the parts, Howe is going to install and make sure that it’s functional and esthetically pleasing, and we are going to get sailing. Hope that the next blog will have fun sailing stories involved.
Vessel Name: Clair de lune
Vessel Make/Model: 1982 25' O'Day s/v
Hailing Port: Indianola, Iowa
Crew: Amy and Gene
About: We are beginning our journey from land based people to sailors. We are starting our blog as a way to share our story (which was inspired by many other bloggers on this site) and measure our own progress.
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Clair de lune's Photos -

sailors in training

Who: Amy and Gene
Port: Indianola, Iowa