Date: 23 September 2014.
Steinhatchee (and engine update)
chatting with a friend who lives aboard a 34' Mainship, we discussed helpers
who lack skill and create worse problems than they solve. Often
stopping and calling in a professional is by far the better choice
than continuing down the nickel-and-dime aisle. And that's where
I've been a time or three. Of late though, I've been blessed to not
deal with too many without the brain cells necessary to function.
There are exceptions however.
As you may
recall I was towed back into Steinhatchee by Captain Dave of
TowBoatUS. After the last time I went through a thorough diagnosis
of what went wrong. Cap'n Will of Beachcomber was a great help
in determining the probable problem. [See the
Diagnosing a Blown Bearing
Part of the
confirmation process involved pulling the injectors. When I
contacted Just Right Marine [http://justrightmarine.com] in Carrabelle, I was told in no uncertain terms to stop messing with the
motor and Jerry would fix it. Apparently my injectors are pressed in and believe me I tried to
remove 'em. No, I didn't damage the things. I was careful after
After that determination,
the next problem was finding a reliable towing company to get me
to Carrabelle where I had a network of new friends and am
comfortable with the quality of work, all done by professionals.
My initial tow-truck company choice arrived late, with a
truck/trailer combination that would not work and a driver with
the surliest attitude this side of a divorcing spouse. ARGH!
old saying about how you can have it good, cheap or fast?
Pick any two. Well, I'd opted for cheap and fast and it was
not any good at all.
So I was at a dock by a
ramp in Steinhatchee, stuck there with a motor that would not run and
definitely in the wrong place. Fortunately I'd made friends with the
folks at Ellison's Fishery and they were kind enough to tow me back
to the anchorage where I belonged.
Let me interject one thing I heard while visiting
with the gals in the office at
Ellison's. One said "we're running low on crabs" and shortly
thereafter the crab-boat was underway to pull traps. That's
how fresh their seafood is.
And the prices
certainly met my budget. If you're in Steinhatchee, visit
Steinhatchee is a wonderful place however the boating in that
community is nearly 100% outboard motors. I wanted a place where an
inboard diesel is the norm, not an oddity fixed on the side by
somebody who knows his outboards. That meant getting back to
regard I checked with Jerry who made the phone connection for me to
Marshall Marine. [Mike Marshall's website is
Arrangements were made for a large hydraulic trailer to pick Seaweed
up in Steinhatchee then bring us back to Carrabelle.
needed to hire a lift to put Seaweed on the trailer. Several phone
calls later led me to River Haven. They had the best prices and gal
on the phone quoted $23 to lift my boat onto the trailer. She also
said $1 per foot overnight for dockage -- no power, but water was
Marshall Marine was due to arrive at 0830 in the morning I wanted to
be ready, thus I'd spend the night on the dock. But first I needed
to get Seaweed to said dock. I have this basic belief that boaters
are good folks, and at a nearby pier I noticed some activity so rowed Algae over and chatted with a couple of fellows I met that
night. Matt and Chris were up for the adventure and promised to meet
me at Seaweed in an hour.
later my rescuers arrived in their 24' cuddy cabin cruiser. Chris
and Matt maneuvered beside me, and then took a line from my bow. It
was tougher than it could have been because the current was with us.
In the deep of night (it was about 2200 aka 10 p.m.) and it was dark
with nary a sliver of moon.
We even went through a bridge before getting to the place that had
quoted $23 for my lift onto the Marshall Marine trailer.
champs, the men got Skipper and I safely to the dock, and tied
Seaweed securely. Chris was captain while Matt (on the right) manned
the spotlight and made an excellent navigator. Thanks fellows. I
hope your fishing and scalloping were as successful as moving my
Seaweed. You're the best!
morning I went into the office and was delighted to be charged just
$11.50 for the haul-out. Apparently it's $1 per foot for launch and
retrieval but since I was having just one part of the procedure, half
price. With the dockage and a coffee here is my receipt:
Please note the one on the left.
The facilities are clean
and the staff nice. The coffee was okay too. There was no power
where I was. What I liked best
though is that there are hoses everywhere on that dock. I was able to
give Seaweed a bath so she'd be clean for the trailer in the
morning. It made for a late night, but I was happy to have her tidy
again. As a matter of fact, all was well in my world.
Then came haul out on the
lift. It was a rush job and as you can see, well, there was a reason I wasn't
impressed. The tilt you see is not the camera. Seaweed is crooked in
man (the owner?) told me because I was using a hydraulic trailer
rather than a regular one the fee would be higher. That was an
unexpected and unwelcome development. And the marina had me by the
hull, so I paid. Rather than the $23 (that turned into $11.50) I was
zapped for an additional $37.50. Apparently a hydraulic trailer
changes everything, including the cost of a lift. Beware.
the second charge is the receipt on the right: I'm still steamed.
I've since been told that some places (though not all) charge extra
depending upon the type of trailer your boat is lifted onto. Just be
aware that things can change mid-lift, as it did for me at River
Haven Marina in Steinhatchee. Be smarter than I was.
I wanted out of that place
and was glad to be gone. Seaweed was properly set on the trailer and
I was relieved to be heading back into familiar territory where
prices quoted are the final price paid. What a concept, eh?!?
driver) and his son were
wonderful. It was Arthur's hydraulic trailer, and gosh, it could
have handled a much larger vessel than mine. Seaweed looked so tiny
all the way at the back of the trailer.
When I asked Arthur if he ever
rented his trailer the answer was a definitive "No".
You see, I had considered buying a trailer for Seaweed to move
her long distances and to new venues. In the meantime, renting the
trailer when I wasn't in need of it. Apparently that's a
wonderful idea if you like getting your stuff back broken as
folks simply do not take care of other's expensive equipment.
Arthur clued me in and so I pass along the information here for others
considering a similar plan.
wish I had a dollar for every good idea I have had that turned
out to be a very bad idea! Still, I appreciated hearing a bit
of insider talk about moving boats. It truly is a fascinating
his son, Skipper and I) left Steinhatchee and drove for perhaps ten minutes
when they pulled off to the side of the road. The two gentlemen
walked around my home, checking that the straps were tight and all
was well. That
sure looked like a professional move to me. They represent well
Marshall Marine [http://boattransport.net] and for the first time since the additional $37.50
fee charged at lift out, I felt safe.
I was glad
Arthur had no objections to my Skipper being in his big dual axle
truck. She's a good rider and spent most of the trip in the front
seat making friends with Arthur's son.
A few hours later and we
were back in Carrabelle at Dockside... At Dockside
[http://msdockside.com] prices have remained
intact. When Shiloh or Eric (the owners) say it will be X-number of dollars for a
lift and launch, that's what it is. I like that in a company.
Seaweed on arrival:
From left to right, Vernon, driver Arthur and
Eric at Dockside Boatyard and Marina.
was interesting. The fenders above the tires are actually rubber so
they not only prevent road rocks from damaging my boat, they also
are flexible. Pretty nifty things, they are.
on a trailer and getting her off are two entirely different things.
Vernon helped guide the lift driver with hand signals. The closed
fist is I suspect universal for Stop. With the thumb up, turn in
After removal from the
trailer I was placed on a stand at the boatyard, awaiting launch
scheduled for the next day. This is a good thing as I'll be
able to scrape off the growth on Seaweed's bottom. The waters in the
Gulf of Mexico are fertile and my bottom paint is old.
The observant will note my swim ladder
on the aft starboard of my swim platform. Not only does it allow me easily
to board the boat from the water there is an added benefit. At the
boatyard, I can simply walk up the steps and get in my boat with relative
A tuna door would facilitate easier entrance to the
cockpit, but that's another project for another year. In the meantime I'm
glad to be back in Carrabelle and look forward to the next stage of engine
replacement. But that's another article, and soon.
regarding my new engine:
I have been blessed by new friends and old. An old friend,
Harold, introduced me to Dennis who has made this engine
fiasco not nearly so worrisome. Dennis owns Yanmar Tractor
Parts and has gifted me with a brand new (to me) Kubota 18hp
diesel. She's small, light weight and the perfect horsepower
for my Seaweed.
Yanmar Tractor Parts: http://yanmartractorparts.net
Truly, I am blessed.
Isn't the motor pretty?
Side Note: All too often
boats get ever larger motors so they can go faster. Well speed
equals more fuel used, and in a displacement hull that's a
losing battle. Besides, I can get into far less trouble at
five knots than ten. And my fuel economy should run between 15
and 20 miles to the gallon: not too shabby for a trawler.
With a lot of help from
the Jerry at Just Right Marine parts are being gathered to marinize
this sweet gem. The bell housing and flex plate are
being manufactured and due for shipment in mid-October.
And earlier this week my
new high-pressure water pump arrived. Check out the size of
the inlets, and the key is included too. Isn't she beautiful?
Soon Seaweed will be mobile again and that's a good
Have you ever had a price changed in the middle of the
How did you handle it?
Soloist Dinner Dilemmas ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Doing Our Thing
First Mate's Gallery
now open ~
Crew photos welcome via