Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Launching of the Boat

It is finally that time of year again. Time to peal the winter away and bring our 22 foot Aqua Patio pontoon boat back to life.
I rose early for a Saturday and began checking off a mental list of things to do in preparation to launching the boat. I knew the boat battery would be dead so I had charged up the backup unit. I also new the trailer had two flat tires so I had obtained an extra air bubble in addition to the small portable air compressor. I had unloaded the truck camper Friday night and still needed to install the truck tailgate to ensure these items remained in place during the trip. I spent the better part of an hour loading up for the day. Nephew Woodie arrived mid morning and we piled into the pickup truck and headed towards Hillsdale Lake.

We stopped at Lake-n-Dale and ate Pancakes and Sausage until we were bloated. Then we pushed on to the lake. The boat had survived the outdoor storage none the worse for wear. The first order of business was to check for power and ultimately installing the backup battery. With power assured I turned to the two flat tires. The first took air and rose to the occasion. The second was not so cooperative. The ten year old tire had given up the ghost. The sidewalls were cracked clean through, the air escaped as fast as it went in. A new tire was going to be required.

Debbie got on the phone and started calling around looking for a tire. Walmart and Tractor Supply were no help. Big O tires in Gardner saved the day and came through with a new tire. We headed to town. They were fast and friendly, our experience was great. I must recommend them. We will be buying three more tires later in the summer as they all are 10 years old.

Returning to the lake we had the tire on in short order. Woodie assisted by installing the lug nuts. I tightened them up. We removed and stowed the boat cover, hooked up and headed for the boat ramp.
We rent a slip at the marina boat docks year around. The cold icy winter months find our boat in open storage behind lock and key, the summer enjoying the warm summer waves. The weather was a bit cool so the first trip around the lake was cut short but warmer days will show up shortly.
We can’t wait to bring the truck camper down and spend some time. Fishing, floating and relaxing during the days, camping and enjoying the day’s catch in the evening is in our future. The camper is self contained enough we can boondock from the parking lot next to the docks.
Stormy weather the next week and busy days will keep us from the camper. I have made arrangements to pick up two new Trojan brand Group 27 Deep cycle AGM batteries for the camper next weekend. I have a sneaky suspicion I have a slight gas leak somewhere to track down. The gas alarm goes off when the unit is locked up and the windows closed for any length of time. It quickly resets when I open the door and let fresh air blow in. I have made arrangements to get it into the shop on the 20th for an operational inspection. In the meantime, I will keep fixing things that I can. 

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