Developing Leaders Through the Lessons Life Gives Us

The good ship Liberty – Pt 1

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Stray Voltage | 0 comments

Buying a boat is somewhere between the nuisance of buying a car and the irredeemable pain in the ass of buying a house. And that’s just the paperwork.

We closed on the good ship Liberty on 10 June. It is a 44 foot DeFever trawler, slow as Christmas to an eight year old but reliable and sturdily built.  Most importantly, it has lots of storage, and my beautiful bride the beauty queen needs every bit of it. The inspection of the boat went well, no real issues, and we were ready to take possession on 11 June.

Then that whole “reality” thing . . . . The morning of 11 June the starboard motor wouldn’t start. We tried to boost it with the generator, which started first try. That didn’t work, so we shut down the generator. Using jumper cables from the trunk of my car, we jumped the starboard engine from the port engine, and finally both were running! Except the damn generator wouldn’t start back up; we had shut it down just because it was loud, now it wouldn’t even tick over. Clearly there was a reset button somewhere in  need of attention, but damned if I could find it. I was desperate to see both engines and the generator all running at the same time before I let the broker completely off the hook, and to some extent I succeeded.  I mean, all three engines ran till we turned them off.  Then that stinkin’ starboard engine still didn’t want to start. And by the way, the center bilge pump quit working, we had nasty bilge water deck deep in the engine room. The survey (a fancy nautical term for inspection) said the fore and aft bilge pumps were questionable.  Be damned if they don’t both work perfectly, it’s the center one that’s fried!

Day two of boat ownership involved several hours of bilge pump replacement, switch trouble shooting, bilge switch replacing, cursing and alcohol consumption, more switch trouble shooting, breaker replacement, another freakin’ bilge pump replaced, a couple hours trying to figure out why there are two switches for one bilge pump, more cursing, a lot more alcohol, and finally, against all logic and common sense, the damn thing started working. Yea verily, the angels were singing.

There was a day three of boat ownership, but the after effects of day two render it un-rememberable.

There was a day four of boat ownership as well, but we’re not gonna talk about that. Not now.  Not ever. Just . . . don’t ask. Ever.

Day five through ten of boat ownership was strangely reflective of day one. Too much water in the bilge, electrical systems not working, moving stuff onboard, cleaning the deck, moving more stuff onboard, moving more stuff into storage. This is so much more fun than worrying about lawn sprinkler systems, watering the garden, mowing the grass, and maintaining the pool.  I’m really gonna enjoy living on a boat.


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