A while back the very talented Elizabeth Mackey, who creates all of my book covers, made decals for my Bennington pontoon boat. But health issues and life got in the way, and they got put aside. We have spent the last two days getting the boat ready for the water, and yesterday Terry put the decals on, one on each side at the front and one on the back. I named her Mysterry because I always refer to Terry as Miss Terry, and my mystery books paid for the boat. I think they look great on there.
As I’ve said before, our garage door is too low to let the boat clear when on a regular pontoon boat trailer, so I had to buy a special scissor trailer that cranks up and down so I can get it low enough to get in the garage. Then, once it’s in the garage, we put four heavy-duty dollies under the pontoons, and I crank the boat trailer down all the way onto them and pull the trailer out to make more room, then we push the boat over into the corner out of the way.
In the past, Terry and I have been able to move it around by ourselves with some effort, but with my back issues, we didn’t want to try that this time around. So I enlisted the help of my neighbor, Jesse Bolton, from across the street. Jesse is a great guy and always willing to lend a hand when we need something. With his help, it was no problem to move the boat out into the center of the garage and toward the front. Then we pushed the scissor trailer under it, cranked it up just enough to remove the dollies, then I connected the trailer to my pickup truck, and pulled the boat out.
When I was at West Point, we spent a lot of time in the spring, summer, and fall training cadets, National Guard, and Army Reserve units. But during the winter, we had to find a job, or else the Army found one for us. And it was always things like shoveling snow. No thanks! That doesn’t sound like fun at all. So I used to sign up for every Army school I could go to, as long as they were someplace warm where I could escape the cold New York winters. I went to the MP school, demolition school, jungle warfare school, photography school, the NCO Academy, and several others, among them a truck driving school. By the time I got out of there, I could drive an 18-wheeler with no problem and back it and a trailer through a serpentine course of 55 gallon drums with ease.
That being said, I’ve never had much luck trying to back up something short like a pickup truck and trailer or boat, which is why we had a motorhome instead of a trailer in all the years that we were fulltime RVers. But with Terry and Jesse guiding me, I managed to park the boat exactly where I wanted it on the big concrete apron next to our garage. Then we put the dollies back under the pontoons, and I cranked it down enough that the boat was sitting on them for extra stability.
The last time the boat was used was in October of 2019 when my kids came to visit for my birthday. When we put it back in the garage, I put fuel stabilizer in the tank, but after all that time, I wasn’t sure if it would start up or not, and I wanted to find out before I took it down to the water.
The boat has two batteries connected by a battery isolator switch, and it can be run off of either one. On Sunday, when I checked them, one battery was at 12.8 volts but the other was only at 10.7 volts. I connected a charger to it and let it run for several hours, and when I disconnected it, it was at 12.9 volts. Once we had the boat parked yesterday, I hooked a set of boat earmuffs to the water intake on the four stroke Yamaha outboard motor, connected a hose to them, and turned it on. Then I got on the boat and turned the key, and I got was a click, click, click. Well, that’s not good! So I turned the switch to the other battery, and when I hit the key this time, it started right up with no hesitation whatsoever. How cool is that?
The sun’s ultraviolet rays can destroy a car or a boat’s upholstery in no time at all, which is why I keep the boat in the garage when we’re not going to be using it. It came with a large cover to protect it from the sun, so once I was done testing the motor, Terry put the cover on and snapped it into place. She’d only done that once before, right after we bought the boat, so it took her a few moments to remember how, but when she did, it was no problem.
So now the boat is ready for the water, and so am I! Thanks for all your help, Jesse and Terry. I appreciate both of you.
Thought For The Day – You are the result of 3.8 billion years of evolutionary success. Act like it.