Doug Rutherford

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A little job?

August 2014
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Did you ever start one of those little jobs that seem to multiply into big ones? That’s how my Sunday has gone.

I ordered a part for the inflatable boat, a Mercury HD, in the spring. The drain vent, which has a sliding handle that is used for draining the inside of the boat, had to be replaced. The handle broke off mine last year, and I had to order one since there were none in stock.It seemed to take forever to come in. Apparently it did in June, but no one called me to say it had until I called in late July. And, with the road trip, I didn’t get a chance to put it in until today.

The handle is a necessity, since you can drain the boat simply by running up to speed in the water and lifting the handle. The water runs out of the boat but the valve prevents new water from entering if you’re running. Without it, you have to take the boat out of the water to drain it. Given the amount of rain we’ve had this year, the ability to drain it is handy.

Here’s the issue. To remove two of the three screws in the vent to take the old one off, and to put the new one on, you have to take off the outboard and remove the floorboards. Anyone who has helped me do this before is probably gnashing their teeth and rending their clothing as they read the last sentence.

The floorboards are a bone of contention with the boat. When I first bought it four years ago, the salesman said, “Until the fabric stretches a bit, you may find getting the floorboards in a bit difficult.” If that was difficult, what is a hardship to the guy? The first time took four of us 4½ hours and my grandson wouldn’t talk to me for a week.

That being said, I did get the job done, after about two hours. Actually, it’s almost done since I have to go out in a few minutes and drop the motor back on it. It was “a bit” frustrating replacing the floorboards, but since I only took one piece of the five out, it was easier than it could have been. I also had another job to do. Since they haven’t been out of the boat in two years, cleaning underneath them seemed an important thing to do. Blech.

So, once again, the little fish killer, which Clara named, “Ruatha,” is ready to go back to work. This is important, because I’m developing a craving for smoked trout as I sit here…


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