Tuesday, September 17, 2019

It's Sunday night.
I haven't worked since I got back Thursday.  I assume I have nothing until Tuesday.
Although I know we're slow, we are never that slow.
I have, however, decided that the time off is good and so I am just going with the flow.

Monday morning, however, I'll be be contacting my manager for work on Tuesday. No way I should have to sit 5 days unless we just went dead broke dead on work.

Well anyway.
The dude showed up - james and taylor's friend - today with the family actually.  Wife and son.  I came to the understanding quickly he didn't have any knowledge about boat motors. Not a problem, I found someone anyway this morning to come over.  They came over to party lol. The kid with their kids and them with all of us.

Well, after I got to that understanding I went ahead and had the mobile mechanic come out.  I found him on Facebook in an ATV/off road local group and away we go.

When he got there, he started chuckling. "I know this boat".  That didn't sound good.  Oh, how's that?  I worked on this thing for a guy not long ago.  2 + 2 still equals 4. I immediately deduced he was the guy that sold the boat to James and was the middle man. He confirmed my conclusions.  Yup, the guy that owned it wanted rid of it.  I had rebuilt the carbs, but we needed to get the boat into a body of water to adjust them.

When we got out there, he continued, he told the man that he had to adjust all 3 carbs on it and that it would take a bit to do it. The man who owned the boat got mad and said f*** this, I just want to get rid of this boat!  He wouldn't allow him to finish the work and they left, sold the boat - to me but through James and that was that.

Umm, so we were at the same place he left off. "Do you have a 55 gallon drum or something we can put the engine in? Cause' the only way to properly adjust the carbs is with the boat in water and having that back-pressure".  Um, no, I'm not sticking the thing into my Koi pond.  "well when we're going to have to go to a lake to finish this".

I wanted to visit with these folks, not go to a lake. I mean, yes i want to go to the lake with the boat but in running condition and with everything that needs to be done - done.  We ain't there yet. Getting much closer, but not there yet.  I did not, however, verbalize those sentiments. I immediately said yes! let's go!  In fact, we weren't even going to float the boat, we were going to back the thing into the water far enough to get the lower unit in the water so the impeller can pump water to cool the engine.

This prospect wasn't as terrifying as actually attempting to launch the boat...until we got there.  A "primitive" site, the ramp was very steep and no pier. In fact, it was just a dirt lot and this ramp going at a maybe 35 degree angle? Whatever it was, it was more than I wanted to deal with the first time backing a boat trailer into the water. But we were there, no turning back. Not to mention the place was less than a 15 minute drive from the house.

Well, I backed the thing down into the water until he told me to stop. Then, we got it going - eventually - but it was running erratic.  Not smooth at all and kept dying out.  A single ramp, two other vehicles parked with boats already in the water, didn't really expect to see a bunch of people showing up there. I mean, this place is dirt, weeds a cement ramp and nothing else.  We were blocking the ramp for a while until a family floated a ski boat in.  They started asking questions. We'll move out of the way.  No, we're not ready yet, they had just floated the boat up to the shore to get the truck and do whatever they were doing.

Well let us know when you want to use the ramp and we'll move.  20 minutes later - we'd like to load our boat. So, this mechanic was taking the engine apart anyway.  I told him I want the thing working properly, I don't want anything half assed and I want the motor to purr like a kitten. Or as close to it as possible.  It was then I found out he had done a compression check on the cylinders previously and found them all at 125 excepting one at 123. Perfect.  The amount of compression in each cylinder isn't as important as the compression being within 10 pounds of pressure of each other.  That made me very happy to hear.

After pulling it out of the water,  he began researching online, calling people and making discoveries. The fuel pump needs rebuilt and there is a vacuum leak.  He got the thing running as smooth as possible with those deficiencies, but a vacuum leak will cause the engine to run bad and so will a fuel pump problem.  Bad bladder.  We put the thing back into the water after all of that so he could adjust the carbs, regardless of those problems, he said, he could get the carbs set and we wouldn't have to go back there to test again.  No matter to me, I had no idea that reservoir was that close.

We were there a long time and I observed people launching boats and retrieving them back onto the trailers. They were all much smaller, tho, I had my doubts about it going so smoothly with this bigger thing, but it's all the same principle.  I also watched a lot of jet skis being put out into the water, including a group of people that had brought two of them.  After they had launched, pretty simple thing after watching it for such a small thing, they had to sit there and jump start from one to the other one of them. Then, the thing took a while to get going. And after a while of this - they took off out of sight.

I saw them over an hour and a half later.  Both of them had died on the water and they were swimming, pulling them back.  A girl had swum ahead of them proclaiming to us that they had just spent the last hour pulling them back by swimming.  It's a wonder to me that the other boats that had launched didn't see them and help them, but the main portion of the lake/reservoir is out of site of that ramp so I just assumed no one saw them.

A family of 5 in this small boat also came floating into view. I couldn't imagine having that many people on a boat that size - but they seemed perfectly content.

Well, after the carbs were set I headed home. He said he would get the parts and come back tomorrow and finish the job. Fine by me.  He also sold me his "transom saver" - its a bar that attaches to the lower unit of the motor and rests against the trailer. It keeps the engine from bumping around and eventually breaking the transom.  I have seen them, it's a bar with rubber covered protrusions on each end.  I have also read you should have one. Yup, well I hadn't gotten that far, so I bought his after he offered to sell it to me.


Monday.  I expect today to be the last day of the "vacation" that isn't really a vacation.  I haven't even contacted my manager yet about the 4 days off, whether it was intended or an oversight.  The boat repair guy is supposed to come back today and finish the job, I did just contact him and awaiting a reply.  He showed me nicks in the hull, well, pointedly where the boat has been captured back on the trailer that needed addressing, gave me a tube of Marine JB weld and said that would definitely do the trick for such small holes.  They aren't holes per se, not all the way into the hull.  They're deep scrapes where he said water would probably seep through.

Thankfully, the bilge pump works lol. Anyway, I just got done from climbing all the way underneath the boat and applying the weld to about 7 places. only 2 of them were deep enough to really warrant the stuff but since I was under there, might as well.  Upon closer inspection of the transom at the bottom, there is some minor hull damage right a the corner about 4 inches long It's obviously they ran it into something because it's all chipped off there.  I applied a goodly amount of the weld there and hoping that will solve the problem. If it doesn't, I wouldn't expect a huge repair bill from the shop that specializes in fixing such things.  But I will see if the JB weld does the trick first, ie: take the thing out on to the lake and see if there is still water entering in through the bottom.

Also going to ask about various openings in the sides of the water craft, what they're for and are they potentially letting water in?  The only one I know of for sure that would let water in is a plug at the bottom of the thing that you are supposed to pull off after every outing.  Any water build up in there will just flow out of that plug opening.  And contrarily, leaving that plug out would sink the boat, lol.

It's nice to be home alone.  Yesterday was a consortium of people over and screaming kids.  A little solitude - with the dogs of course but they aren't a bother - is very nice.  I'll have to attempt to get my mind functioning in work mode, a thing I always find difficult to do after I've had some time off.  But it's time to go back to work and make some money.


Boat back at the other house, light fixture exchanged at Lowe's, food picked up for dinner - if I don't cook there may not be dinner, laundry, etc etc etc.  Normal household chore stuff.  And word back that the mechanic won't be back until Wednesday or Thursday 🙁🙁🙁🙁🙁🙁🙁🙁🙁

Oh well.  Nothing I can do about it.  I still have that list of stuff that you are required to have on the boat to buy.  Just not buying anything else until the motor is dialed in.  I just thought it a bit disconcerting he told me he was coming back today and now backing it off by 3 or 4 days.  However, the only thing over that I paid him yesterday was for the fuel pump kit, so to "lose" that money would be losing $23.  But, even tho he's changed the date, I don't think he's a ripoff.

And now, confirmation. The big account that was going to shut down for a month and a half - has  shut down.  It's at least 10 loads a week gone.  Some drivers have been "sent out of the system". By their own choice, they get to some other division temporarily until work picks back up.  If I can't get anything more than one load every 4 days, I'm going to have to do that as well.  One load every 4 days is just that load per paycheck. Might be close to okay, might be shit.

What I got? Shit.  The worst, lowest paid run we have to El Dorado.  It's a day trip almost always, a 14 hour day, but a day trip never-the-less.  When I asked her about what's going on, she simply replied that she could send me out into the system.  She gets defensive too easily, too quickly. I didn't even say anything offensive or abrasive, I was just inquiring as to what was causing the slowdown, not complaining about the run.

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...