Tuesday, August 20, 2019

And seeing the boat in person.
It's 19 feet long - a bit shorter than I expected but it will serve the purpose.
The people ran the motor for a while when James was there - with a hose hooked to the motor, so that gave me a sigh of relief.
No clue whether the transmission is still good or if the hull has any leaks. But - James went under the boat, all over the thing, looking at the hull and said he couldn't find any places that were cracked.

A live well! built into the floor, very nice.  Couch needs upholstery as well as the captain's chair. 

The canopy needs replaced, I knew that, but getting frustrated at trying to find a replacement. I have the titles and everything. I'm not expert at boat parts, I'll keep looking.  Or call Hurricane tomorrow for some advice.  I'm not necessarily interested in OEM replacement since that will likely be quite expensive. 

I sent pics to an upholstery place, they're going to give me a quote tomorrow. 

The thing is dirty, needs a good cleaning. 

The motor is not the original motor.  No idea what size the old motor was, but the 150 horsies is very good for me.

The trolling motor is gone.  May or may not get another one.  Not a priority.  There is a mount for one on it at least.  Usually, most sellers include the trolling motor - but I didn't pay a fortune for this boat so I'm not going to complain. 

I have no idea how to start the boat.  Probably just as well I don't. But there is a key.  You turn it and nothing happens. Obviously must be a power switch somewhere, but I wasn't that interested in starting it without water anyway.  And besides, I had already heard from James that the motor had been run for a while and was running nicely.

The ladder is also missing.  There is a hanging ladder - you jump off the boat, you can get back in.  So I'm going to have to find something to replace that.  Kind of strange, really, that they took that off of there. 

I'm taking all the paperwork to the DMV tomorrow and see if I can get it all done - or missing something.  That is the first thing on the list.  I will go to the local marine store and see if I can buy my own water adapter so I can run the thing and change it from forward to reverse and see what happens.  That's  a lot cheaper than taking it to a shop since I now know the motor runs strong. 

But, all things considered, it will be a nice boat once I get the issues dealt with. I'm figuring another grand it will be done.  Those canopies aren't cheap but I want it.  I have no desire to spend and entire day baking in the sun when I can have some relief.  And the upholstery looks s***** so that needs done as well. 

The thing only has to run, shift from forward to reverse and into neutral and not sink to make me happy lmao. 

That's that. 

Wasted tired.  It always happen when I have to stay up too late for work.  I got about 6-1/2 hours of sleep, but it didn't do any good.  I'm running on some other energy right now.  There were 12 trucks sitting in the yard when I got back today. I expected that after a plant shut down.  Definitely not going out tomorrow, may or may not be going out the next day.  If they get that plant fired up, they'll line up as many loads as possible to get the product out to needy customers who will be hurting. 

What I do know, is that there weren't any long runs after tomorrow left.  There is only one tomorrow as it stands and I know I'm not getting that, so it's either Brownsville, Oklahoma or Cheniere.  In any of those cases, I don't need to do a bunch of precooking meals, a little but nothing like for the 4 day runs I was blessed to get for a short period of time. This plant shutdown is exactly why I would take as many long runs as I can get without saying anything.  The lean times come and go, but they definitely come. Have to be prepared.  I'd be happy to get an OK run over another Cheniere. 

My house in Phoenix is allegedly worth 50k more than I owe on it.  I would love to sell it off and make that kind of profit.  But - I would be ousting my friends.  It's paying for itself, for now anyway.  They haven't made any statements saying they are leaving anytime soon, but I feel a visit is in order. Nothing elongated, go to the valley, spend a couple of days, leave.  I've learned my lesson.  Leave out of the town next to me rather than driving to Dallas or Fort Worth.  The drive, the hotel stay, the parking fees are the same as just paying extra to fly there from the local town.   I pay nothing to park at the lot at the local airport.  It's 35 miles away. Far less hassle.  Okay, that's not always true. Sometimes the savings is worth the trip to Dallas. 

I just tried my Slimthin waffles. They were quite delicious. Pre-made, a very small amount of it for the price paid - not worth it. $4.99 for a very small baggy of them.  So next, I have ordered a box of Carbquik.  It's the mix to make your own pancakes or waffles. But, the ingenious people have already en massed a large number of other recipes made with it, including pizza dough. 

Ok. Extreme fatigue has finally caught up to me.  11:00 pm. Time to sleep. 

Alright, I'm the owner of a flat deck boat!
But I haven't seen it beyond pics yet.
At the moment, I'm stuck in Woodville, Texas, where I arrived at 3:45 am.  
Cheniere, up to their usual pranks.  First they failed to notify the plant operator that I was even there to offload.  That's security, they are supposed to call them.

Well the dude didn't.  I waited in the parking lot for over an hour and decided to call the operator myself.  It's not unusual that they don't bother to come tell you anything about what's happening, they'll just leave you sit there. But now that I have the phone number for the operations room, I won't be sitting around for hours on end without at least calling after an hour is up and finding out what's going on.

The operator knew nothing about me being there. 20 minutes later a golf cart showed up to escort me in. Once inside the plant? "Oh, well our pressure is at 100". WTH.  What is wrong with these people?  They always do this! My truck? The safety relief valves are SET at 100 MAWP.  At 100 or probably even less, those safety valves will open, releasing vapor and product all over the place!  Whatever. They brought the pressure down to 72 - which is still wayyyyyyyyyyyyy toooooooo hiiiiiigh.  I mean, seriously.  It took three hours to unload that truck because I am only allowed to take the pressure up to 85 on the truck, meaning pushing the product out against 72 pounds. 

I didn't get stopped last night until 3:45 am.  I was literally dying, well it felt that way anyway. I didn't get out of the plant until almost 2 am and then I couldn't find a spot to park anywhere.  Truckstops full, I drove almost 100 miles before finding a place.  

I passed out in the sleeper and slept 4 hours before waking up - only to go back to sleep again.  Anyway, it just ruins my day when I am up that late.  It takes a day to recover - for me anyway - after staying up so late. It wasn't by choice, but since the plant was down, I didn't get started until late.  I mean, I knew yesterday was going to be a long day. 

So now, I'm tired, grumpy but couldn't sleep any longer and stuck here for another hour.  142 miles to go before arriving at the yard.  

Anyway, the boat is parked at Maria's, there's no room for it at our place. Well there is but I don't want those damned trees dumping large branches, small branches, leaves, twigs, acorns and gumballs all over the thing.  Maria did a survey of it.  Captain's chair needs reupholstered and the bimimi cover needs replaced. She showed a pic of wires all rolled up, but after asking James, he said that was for a fish sonar, everything else works on the boat, he made sure of that. If I want a fish finder, I'll have to have one installed.  

Not a priority.  I want the bimimi cover replaced and definitely reupholster the captain's chair.  But what I really want to do is take it for a test drive on the nearest lake and make sure it doesn't sink and it does work.  James had him run the motor for a minute to make sure it would fire up.  But out of the water and without a hose adapter hooked to the motor, you aren't supposed to run them at all...the water from the lake cools the engine.  I guess a minute or two isn't going to heat it up enough to damage it.  

But before I can do anything, I have to take the paperwork in to the MVD and hope and pray that it's all proper and correct and that they will issue me title and registration without any problems. I tried my best to make sure all the necessary paperwork was included for the transaction and that the areas the seller needed to sign were signed off on.  

Meanwhile, I also am watching videos of how to launch and capture the boat. I've never actually done that.  We had a sailboat when I was a kid, but it was not that big and easy to deal with. This boat is much larger and much heavier.  I'm a bit uneasy about that part of it, because I've seen videos of pickups being pulled right into the water with the boat.  Or taking too much time at the launch ramp and upsetting others waiting.  But, that's the breaks, everyone has to start somewhere. If they don't like it, they can come and help and offer pointers : )  I mean, if I were an experienced boater and I saw someone having trouble, I'd at least offer to help them.  If they didn't want the help, fine, sit back and watch the show, maybe make a video of it lol.  

I will invest in the top and the chair, but it's more important to me to find out if the thing runs properly and has no leaking issues.  I'm excited tho.  Whatever it needs I'll deal with it. Already a bunch of people want to go.  And that's cool, too. But honestly? On weekdays when I have a day off? Hook that sucker up to the SUV, get the dogs in the back, go to the lake and have some fun, solo time.  Well, I dunno about the dogs.  If they'll get on the boat lol.  That might take some serious coaxing. Take some beef treats with me to lure them on there.  

Oh and the rumor about having to have a boating license was only partially true. That's only for those born after some date in 1993.  I'm much older than that lmao, not that I don't want to learn everything, but I don't have to have some sort of license.  I may take the course anyway just to get the basics down tho.  I'm really a stark, shiny, brand new boater, green as all get out, as far as owning one goes. My experience from 40 plus years ago are just memories.  Rules have changed and it's a completely different type of boat. 

What I'm stoked about is not having to sit around the house all the time.  That gets old.  Taylor and James are all over this too, they want to get their fishing stuff together and get out there as well.  They've been wanting to.  But, I wasn't going to buy some trashy looking old boat for an over inflated price. That's what's available in the up to 5k range.  "Boat runs but needs some TLC". Pics of a thing that has been hit, dented, the side rails are broken, the flooring is trash, etc etc. And they want 4 to 5 thousand dollars for that junk!  "Boat has been sitting for 4 years, ran before we parked it, $4,500".  Unbelievable.  Or the boats that have no titles.  And the always lovely ones that all the upholstery is totally trashed. So you're looking at at least a grand more than their already inflated price to get it looking decent.

Right up front, the boat was listed at $2,550 and I knew I wanted it as long as the motor worked.  Well, no way to tell if it has any holes until getting it into the lake.  Hopefully not. There is a boat shop 40 miles away that specifically specializes in repairing hull problems including fiberglass, but let's hope that isn't even in the picture.  I figured for that price, even if I had to dump another grand into it, I would be coming out ahead.  They had originally listed the boat as non-running and no one wanted it.  It needed a battery, the motor needed the carbs cleaned out and other work done to it.  They replaced the battery, the stereo, got the motor running and put new tires on the trailer.  I did buy this thing "sight unseen". Sure there were pics, but real life looking at a thing shows much more than pics may. 

But I will give James credit.  He went and got the thing, I was busy with work yesterday.  He made the guy fire up the motor and show that all the lights and electrical stuff works.  he inspected it carefully - I trust him in that - he did the best look at it he could do.  He doesn't have any experience with boats, either, as far as I know, but there is at least a medium of common sense that can be used to look at one and know whether you have a keeper or walk away from it.  None of these older boats have good upholstery on them unless the owner has either A: kept the boat covered or B: has had the upholstery replaced.  

This one has a couch on the side, the captain's chair and 2 fishing chairs on the front. The rear couch is gone. Which is fine, it's intended to be a fishing boat, we don't need a bunch of couches, one is enough.  If I really get into it, I will have a live well installed where the rear couch is missing.  Just a holding unit to keep fish alive until you are ready to clean them.  I think they pump water into them continuously and  it drains out as it comes in to keep it fresh and the fish alive, but don't quote me on that. 

Well I'll pick this up later. Like after I get back to Maria's and get a chance to look at it in person. I've got 5 minutes before I can get on the clock and get the Hercules out of here.


Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...