Swing Set

Aug 14, 201201:55 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

A Good Day at Aqua Yacht Harbor

We took Swing Set over to Aqua Yacht Harbor on Monday night, courtesy of the service department there, and plugged in at the transient dock. It was a cool, breezy night, and the air conditioning wasn't needed so much, but it was nice to use the cable for a couple of hours.

We pulled over to the travel lift in the morning, and Tony was waiting for us. Two of his crew had to switch to longer straps for the lift, so Swing Set could be hauled up and checked out.

By 8:30 a.m., they had Swing Set out of the water and were already working on her. There wasn't too much growth on the hull, but there was some due to the fact that our bottom paint requires some friction from the water to sheath off the algae growth, and we weren't producing much friction at 8 miles per hour.

The bottom paint under our swim platform, and a spot on the transom, had flaked off, so we decided to power wash just the back of the boat and under the swim platform to remove any more loose paint and to touch up the bare spots. I had a quart of Interlux Micron Extra left over from the paint job back in St. Louis, so Jason at Aqua Yacht used it, saving us some money.

While the hull was drying, so it could be painted, the mechanics got to work pulling off the props. We could tell that both props were damaged, but only one blade on each had a slight bend. They had to use a torch to heat things up to get the props to pop off. I can't see doing this myself underwater, I don't even have a pipe wrench big enough to take off the prop nuts.

My main concern was the shafts, and when they blocked the boat and put the dial gauge on each shaft, I was watching the needle as Jason turned each shaft with a wrench. "These shafts couldn't be more straight," we were told, and that was a relief.

To save us even more money, Rosie and I took the props ourselves over to Iuka, Miss., to Hoyt Peden, the local prop shop owner. We were promised a two-day turnaround on our prop repair, which is going to work out great, as we have to wait for our new chartplotter to arrive at Aqua Yacht on Thursday or Friday, being shipped from New York.

Next door to the prop shop is a Mom and Pop hardware store, and I cannot resist these kind of places. There were three employees in the small store, and we were asked if we could be helped, to which I replied that I knew there was something in the store I wanted to buy, but I didn't know what it was just yet. They got a kick out of that, and we looked around, with Rosie carrying Holly in her arms. I found a crescent wrench that I needed but couldn't find anything else, so we bought that at least.

We drove the courtesy truck back to the shop, and Tony said that he'd like to wait until at least 1 p.m. before putting the boat back into the water, so the paint could dry some. He invited us to take the truck and go sightseeing and have lunch, so we did.

We wound up over in Counce, Tenn., at R&B BBQ, recommended by the fellas over at Aqua Yacht. They had a few tables outside, and we seemed to be the only customers when we sat down at 11 a.m. Holly got her own chair and a bowl of water, too. Here she is looking pretty as a picture. I mean Rosie.

By noon, the place was packed; car after car kept pulling up with two, three or four people at a time going into this little restaurant. Rosie had a Reuben sandwich, and I got a tried-and-true cheeseburger. The place was just like the Duck Club Yacht Club restaurant, but only for one reason: They serve tater tots with their sandwiches. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

With us dealing directly with the prop shop, we were able to settle up our bill with Aqua Yacht when we got back there. The bill was very reasonable, even with the unexpected cost of touching up the bottom paint. The prop repair shouldn't be too much, so all told, our run-in with the tree stumps on the Tellico River will cost us about half as much as our insurance deductible is. This makes for happy campers.

When the mechanics got back from lunch, Swing Set was lowered back into the water and we idled away, as slowly as possible to avoid washing off any more paint than we had to. We're back in Zippy Cove for a couple of days. We'll do some more waxing while we wait for our props to get repaired, and I have a sump to clean out.

Our gray water accumulates in a "box" in the bilge from all of the sinks and the showers, then gets pumped overboard. Soap scum builds up around the float switch for the pump that is inside the box, and eventually makes the float switch stick and the pump stays on. Cleaning out this box was usually an annual event, but with us using the boat on a continued basis, I expected the box to need cleaning out more frequently, so here we are. It's not a hard job, just a nasty one. A requirement for the job is a good wet vac, and we have one. I'll plan this chore for in the morning.

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