I got her in late December of 2013. The boat was in Indiantown, FL, and I was in Richmond, VA. Indiantown is in South Florida, just east of Lake Okeechobee – about 1200 miles from Richmond.
The former owner and his son were driving from Titusville, FL, to check on the boat. The boat had not been checked in “a few years…”. The former owner briefly mentioned to his son that he thought there may be a “small” rainwater leak in the boat… I suppose it doesn’t have to be a big leak to cause big problems over the course of a “few years” (6?). The bad news is that the boat had 3, or so, feet of water INSIDE it. The good news is, I suppose, that means the boat’s hull is watertight.
My friend Ned was with the father/son pair when the, uh, issue was discovered. He wisely drilled a couple of holes into the hull to drain her. May as well allow gravity to do all the work.
(*note to self, repair those holes before re-launching)
Fast forward a few weeks. My boyfriend and I are trying to figure out the least expensive way to bring the boat up to St. Augustine, FL (North Florida, 30 mins south of Jacksonville.) Adam lives in St. Augustine. The boat was originally given to him, but I desperately wanted to fix her up and get her cruising. I have more time for a job like this than he does. So he passed her on to me. The marina/boatyard seemed to be out to make a buck any way they could. To be honest, I thought the marina should have been happy to work with us financially since we were saving them money in disposing of the boat. As it turned out, the marina would not allow us to do ANYTHING to the boat without first paying them to move it to the “work yard”, then paying by the day AND renting their tools. We just wanted to put an outboard bracket on the back so that we could move the boat up the ICW to St. Augustine and power wash the inside. Meanwhile, we’re paying $300/mo for storage. The marina forbids us to stay overnight on the boat (wasn’t exactly appealing anyway.) The closest hotel is 30 mins away and not great, and we are driving 7 hrs round trip from St. Augustine to get to the boat. The boat was a very generous free gift but it definitely cost us overall.
I did the math. The ridiculous marina costs involved in mounting a bracket and launching the boat, plus the cost of fuel to motor the 200 or so miles. Not to mention that it was pretty cold at night. I would have to find someone to help me as Adam couldn’t take the time off work. Then, there were the logistics of cars and rides, etc. And living on a moldy disgusting boat… Then what? she would need to be hauled again ($$$) once we got to St. Augustine so that I could work on her properly.
This is the lovely head, actually a cool composting toilet, looks like an Airhead brand.
Some seriously spectacular mold. I guess cans of Great Stuff can explode if left on a boat in the Florida heat.
And then there’s the motor. A previous owner had replaced the Atomic 4 with a diesel Yanmar. Guess what, after being completely submerged, for unknown years, IT TURNED OVER!!! yes. It turned over, easily actually. YAHOO! Knowing the former owner, it’s not surprising that he pickled the engine properly before leaving the boat.
It would seem the engine is salvageable. Adam managed to figure out the nut to turn and it turned with no problem! Adam then pumped everything out of the entire engine, cylinders too. Then he filled EVERY orifice with diesel fuel. Hopefully, this will keep it viable til we can really work on it. Not allowed to do ANYTHING here in Indiantown. I’m sure they would have charged us had they known we turned the engine over.