Adventures Of Old Retired Guys….
Frequent readers of this
usually useless blog know that a couple years ago Wendy and I bought a used pontoon boat. However, when we bought the boat, it didn’t have a trailer.
That was not a big issue because we didn’t intend to tow it anywhere and I concocted a plan of bringing it in and out of the water using big old spruce tree logs as rollers and ingenuity….well the rollers sort of worked, but the ingenuity…well that is another story.
Enter my old buddy, Lonesome Larry. Well Lonesome is a ‘get-er-done-what-are-ya-waiting for?” kinda guy. He couldn’t really understand how we could have a pontoon boat without a trailer, and…when it fell of the roller last year and punched a hole in one of the pontoons, or “toons” or “tubes” as we “pontooners” call them…well Larry had enough.
He knew something had to be done and it was quite clear I didn’t have a plan.
Using a flatbed trailer he had apparently kicking around, he devised a plan to convert it to a pontoon boat trailer suitable for getting the pontoon boat in and out of the water without using old spruce trees as rollers.
A few weeks ago we set to work using some lumber
from one of the new cottages being built and converted the trailer into a pontoon boat trailer. We filed the serial numbers off the trailer to make it slip into the water easier, at least that is what Lonesome told me was why we did it. Made sense to me….
However….up until today I hadn’t put the trailer in the water or tried to pull the boat up on it. To tell the truth, I was quite happy with the trailer sitting there by the boat launch, secure in the knowledge it was there if I needed it, but scared to try it lest I end up in one of my usual predicaments like the boat half off the trailer or the van upside down in the lake.
So after we spent some time fooling around with the gear shifter and making some repairs so the boat would actually shift into gear, Larry figured the time had come for us, in his words, “get that %#@%$&-%$%$# trailer in the water and try it out.”
We called upon our other cottage compatriot and contributer to The Cottage Chronicles, Alleghany Al McNeil, who has a manly Dodge Ram Truck with all the bells and whistles for trailer towing, especially pontoon boat trailer towing and as a guy with a well honed and lubricated sense of adventure, Al realized he wasn’t missing this for the world.
Yup…you know this is gonna be fun when the boys get together on a hot summer afternoon….
It didn’t take them anytime to hook the trailer onto Al’s truck and back it into the water as I readied the pontoon boat, making some circles in the lake to build up some speed for the run up onto the trailer.
Don’t try this at home folks…
After a couple of attempts, missed a couple times, only half hit the trailer a couple more, tried to run Larry over three times, I finally managed to get the boat three quarters of the way up on the trailer bunks, which, unfortunately was not quite far enough to pull it out of the water.
It was on the trailer but not on the trailer if you know what I mean.
So, again we applied some cottage country retired guy ingenuity and using a come-along, some rope and some pretty serious pre-cardiac arrest grunting, quite a bit of grunting actually…we got her hooked up and pulled up on the trailer.
Al revved up the engine in that big Dodge truck and with a flourish of water and rocks Al, the truck, the trailer and the pontoon boat were out of the water !!
Having the boat up on the trailer on dry land gave us an opportunity to fine tune the design of the trailer, and figure out where I need to add a few guide bars given my obvious poor steering ability.
We basked in the afternoon summer sunshine and enjoyed the feeling of success. Obviously avoiding the inevitable, which was, we had to put the boat back in the water. If getting it on the trailer was tough, getting it off just might be tougher.
However, that’s where ol’Lonesome Larry ingenuity sprang into action again and using the come-along and the rope, some more grunting and groaning, we reversed things. Al backed the trailer and truck down into the water and then climbed out to help with the grunting and groaning. The boat started going back toward the water.
What had pulled the pontoon boat on to the trailer on the way in ol’Lonesome explained, was going to pull it off the trailer on the way back into the lake. “A matter of science.” he explained, “Science and levers and pulleys and centrifugal force and gravity, you fellars wouldn’t understand that, but trust me, I know something of science.”
At least I think that is what he said, I couldn’t hear him over the grunting and groaning Al and I were doing as we pulled, pushed, wiggled and shoved on the boat.
Actually, the boat went back in quite easily slipping off the trailer and into the water….After that…well things got a little…ummm…”sketchy”. What can I say? Things happen fast at the cottage….
We’re pretty sure they didn’t go far, but the water is kind of murky…and it was getting late in the day, pretty late for old retired guys to be working.
We talked it over, fortunately Al said the windows were rolled up on the truck. That should help keep the seats dry. We decided that tomorrow is another day, we can look for it in the morning. Al remembered that I had some beer in the fridge in the shed and suggested we go make a plan, besides, he said his feet were getting cold.
Lonesome suggested we hire a couple SCUBA divers to find the boat and truck for us. He figures that with a little more ingenuity, some science, levers and maybe a couple pulleys, the come-along and some rope we’ll have them back up in no time !!!
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