Well, the 2019 boating season has come and gone, for us at least. I am surprised by how many boats are still in the water. I know Will B and the service technicians at the marina spent a few days working late winterizing as many boats as they could when we got hit with that first cold snap. We got into the twenties in no time at all, seemingly overnight. I was about a month later than usual hauling and winterizing my boat. Too many things to take care of at the same time. As it happened I was able to wash the boat and the next day she was hauled out. I then winterized her and made her ready to shrink wrap which Romek and Rolando did the next day. The day after that we got hit with a nice storm! Got Keeper to bed just in time.
If you have read my stories, you know that the summer was filled with many odds and ends to take care of after pulling the engines out last winter. Some of it I consider the “domino effect”. Make a change somewhere in the boat, and it can lead to changes that need to be made elsewhere. Other items were just maintenance items that should be expected on a twenty year old boat. One, in particular, was a part that had been rebuilt that just went bad.
My port engine started giving me a hard time starting. And it would give a big puff of smoke when it did kick off that smelled of raw diesel fuel. I started to diagnose the problem and noticed that the fuel injector on the number four cylinder had what looked to be a light coating of soot on the cylinder head around it. I did have a spare fuel injector so I decided to change it.
Normally I have had no problems removing an injector from any Cummins engine I have owned over the years. But this one decided to be a bear to remove. I had to borrow a slide hammer type injector puller, and it did not budge! I went online and found another type of puller for about $25. It simply screws on and pulls out the injector. It did work, but I had to place a wrench under it to get more travel for the puller. The injector put up a fight the entire way out. I never saw anything like it. It looked like it was in the La Brea tar pits! It took another hour to clean out the bore that the injector goes into. That one is going back to the shop that rebuilt it so we can find out what happened.
For some time now my wife and I have talked about running our boat up the Hudson and making our way to Lake Ontario where her cousin has a cottage near Sackets Harbor. As we thought about it we found that we were just not able to commit to a long term cruise. Pets, house and family would keep our time away shorter than what was needed for a cruise like that. And Kathy thought there was no way we could leave the boat up there while we were home. We would be land lubbers more than not! She came to me with another idea. “Why not get a second, smaller boat”? “Something we could move around, upstate in the summer and down south in the winter near our other son”?
I took that idea and ran with it. I started looking at boats in the twenty foot range, something that my truck could pull when on the trailer. A boat we could use for pulling a water skier or a tube and be safe up on the lake. I looked at a number of used boats but never found the right combination for us. Too heavy for the truck, too many hours, poor maintenance, etc. I told Kathy the right boat would come along and we just had to be patient.
In time I still had not found the boat for us when Kathy suggested we look at a new boat. Out of the four boats we have owned, not a single one of them was new when we bought them. I started looking around for a new boat that would meet our requirements. I have owned two Pursuits, I really like the way they are made. Unfortunately, they no longer make a boat in the size range I was looking for.
To move forward, I looked backward. When I worked for the U.S. Government, we had a large fleet of Boston Whalers. They are tough boats, many of them still in service where I worked over fifteen years ago. That has to be close to twenty five years old now and still going strong. I went online and started looking for new Whaler listings. I settled on the twenty one foot Montauk. It was exactly what we wanted. However, since it was the end of the 2019 season the few Montauk models that were left had way too many options for us. Things we did not want like the teak package, 200 hp engine, etc. But they lacked the options we wanted including a tow bar for tubing or a canvas top instead of a hard top. I looked at the factory website and found I could order a 2020 exactly as we wanted it. After spending hours looking at different options we settled on the boat for us. I contacted a local dealer and sent him our specification sheet. One day we took a cruise over to his marina and went over the details. When we left there after lunch we had ordered our new boat!
We were told it would start building in mid-December. After about a month I sent our dealer an e-mail about going down to Florida to the Boston Whaler factory to see our boat in the build process. In a few days, I heard back and got a picture also. It seems as though she got built a little sooner than expected. The picture shows the boat already built and going to the detail area before being loaded up to ship north! It should be sitting on a trailer in our yard when you read this.