2/17/18 Engine problems, or, “it’s a boat, dummy!”

February 17–nearly 2 months after buying Golden, and 4 weeks after starting to be gone over with a fine toothed comb, or wrench, or whatever mechanics use. It seemed as if we’d get one item fixed, and another would pop up needing to be addressed—nothing big, but sometimes I felt like I was playing whack-a-mole. I was getting bored and hot in Stuart, and itched to ditch the van and start BOATING! So we were glad to realize that finally everything had been done that needed doing, and we’d be continuing our journey.

On the morning of the 17th, we woke up excited–we were finally starting north—and started getting ready. Then I stupidly decided to shower, and (David) noticed there was about 1/4 inch of water in the previously dry bilge (part of boat under floorboards—first place water from leaks collects) afterwards. It turns out the shower sump pump was failing, so James Power, our hero, who happened by just to get paid for all the work he’d done over the past 4 weeks, offered to replace it right away, on a Saturday morning, his day off. We let him talk us into it. Let me mention here how deeply indebted we are (in more ways than one) to this guy. He used to work for PDQ before they went out of business, and now travels back and forth from Ontario, Canada, to Stuart Florida to take care of PDQ’s in the winter time. Smart guy, eh? He’s also a kind-hearted, soft-spoken, and incredibly knowledgeable about all things PDQ—don’t know what we would’ve done without him. As we left, we asked how he and Jackie (his wife and helpmate) were going to keep up with us around the loop, and laughed. Guess he thought we were kidding.

So we finally start out at about 11 AM (no pictures taken as we cast off lines–too nervous). Fairly uneventful trip to Vero Beach, about 40 miles away. However, as we were pulling into our slip, David suddenly had no control over the movement of the left side of the boat. He managed to slide into the slip without mishap using one engine (I only yelped once, as we approached an outboard poised to spear us) and with help from the dock master. After some sleuthing “we” (David) realized that the problem was in the connection between the port engine arm and the shifters.  Bottom line—port engine non-functional. We called our hero James, and he promised he’d drive down on Monday to try to get it fixed. By the way, I realized that one day of boating equals one hour of driving; for example, his drive here will take him an hour. Will we EVER be free of gremlins? And will James continue answering our phone calls? Stay tuned….

On the positive side, things could’ve been much worse than being stuck in a slip for a few days. What if we had come in after dark? What if we’d decided to anchor in a secluded cove, or grab onto a mooring buoy instead? And so far, we’re all enjoying Vero Beach—cute little town, great weather, not many bugs, the BEST dog park nearby, clean restroom/shower facilities, bus into town on the hour, restaurants and shops within walking distance. We will try to enjoy our time here after our one day of travel, and keep trying to make lemonade. I hope I don’t get really sick of lemonade.

I’m exhausted–to bed.

7 thoughts on “2/17/18 Engine problems, or, “it’s a boat, dummy!”

  1. Hi Bonnie and David,
    This is so much fun to read, you are a great writer! Hope you keep doing this the whole year although hopefully for you the problems will be coming up less often! I just looked up to see how far you are from Delray Beach (1.45 hour drive) where we will be arriving on March 2nd and stay through the 5th. We are staying with friend whom we haven’t seen for a couple of years so I don’t promise we drive up to see you. On the other hand if we are looking for something to do one day and they would like to hear all the great stories about being a boat owner……I am curious if you are the only one reading this or if this visible to all your “followers”. You have to let more people know if there are only two!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, Bonnie, there are many more than one reading your hilarious blog. Nancy and I love your writing style and unique sense of humor. So we will be looking for more reports as you sail along on this sure-to-be event-filled escapade. Funny coincidence: Nancy and I bought our RV (we call him Harvey) about the same time you bought your boat, and have just returned from our maident adventure to Mexico with the Shumans, who are still there. Although our shakedown hasn’t been as eventful, we are learning there are a lot of things to worry about that can go wrong, just as in boating. Good luck to you and David. It’s nice to see other people living the dream! –Nigel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nigel! I’ve been lurking around Facebook and Instagram following you guys and Harvey too. It’s fun to have adventures still, isn’t it? I just hope it’s not TOO much of an adventure, right?


  3. Will enjoy the trilogy as it unfolds as we are already chuckling and look forward to all the new adventures. May the acronym “BOAT” be friendly to you as you move up stream. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

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