Sunday, May 9, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

For all you mothers who may be reading this - Happy Mothers Day! For those of you who aren't mothers, I hope you have a good day too. I had a rather interesting situation happen today. Fortunately it's not very common place, but I start to wonder if I'm not suffering from Brother Gary Syndrome. He's the fellow on the farm who had the most unfortunate luck when it came to boats. As I mentioned in the book, one time I came out to the point and his skiff was perched squarely on top of a reef. Another time he ran his boat up onto a log raft. His misadventures at the farm were legendary. We awoke every day wondering what new mishap he would be involved in. In all fairness to myself, I have to say that what happened today was totally out of my hands. Those of you who know me know that I was in a plane accident in 2000 involving crashing into the water. I had nothing to do with that either. As I mentioned in the last blog, I had the boat hauled out of the water to do routine maintanence- changing the zincs, painting the bottom ect. Well, I went down this morning to launch it back into the water. Keep in mind, this isn't something I can just attatch a trailer to my truck and back it down the ramp. The Bonnie J weighed 20,000 pounds when it was first built, back before all the extra stuff was added- gurdies, leads, hayracks, stove, electronics and of course all the junk it takes just to go fishing. Add to that the added weight of water soaked wood and we can add an extra few tons I suppose. As a result it has to be hauled out using a hydraulic trailer built for that purpose and a loader or other piece of heavy equipment to move the whole mess around. Getting hauled out is always a nerve wracking situation to me, so I'm always happy when the work is all done and I'm back in the water. Well, today things didn't go so well. While Gregg, the driver of the loader, was driving the trailer down the ramp, the engine on the loader quit. With no power there were no brakes, so the ten plus ton boat, the trailer it was sitting on and the loader all went careening down the ramp and into the water. The boat smacked the float and knocked it several feet into the air and as you can see, the loader didn't stop until the cab was almost submerged. Fortunately no one was hurt, but the loader is going to take some time to fix, and the Bonnie J sustained some damage on the lower starboard side near the stern. Hopefully I can get it fixed without too much hassle and get out fishing this week. I never paid a whole lot of attention in Science class when I was in school, and I was certainly never smart enough to take a physics class, but undeniably, the laws of physics are at play here. A wooden boat floats much better than a steel loader. Even if it had a propeller on the rear and trolling poles it wouldn't float well. I guess that's why the marine architetcs don't design boats that even remotely resemble loaders.


  1. OMG dad I can't believe that happened, I hope you don't end up getting the brother Botts syndrome :) Thank God nothing more serious happened to you guys or the boat.

  2. Bummer, Tom! Sorry you sustained boat damage, but glad no one was hurt!