Sunday, August 16, 2015

I think our boats hate us

  Way back in 1990, I had the genius idea that if I had a bigger boat, I would catch more fish, which for any fisherman, is the ultimate goal. I still had a bunch of kids at home at the time, and could only afford a wooden boat, which I knew would be a lot of work. However, the Bonnie J had a fairly new Isuzu diesel engine in it, and the boat looked sound enough, and the price was right, so I procured a loan and low and behold, I was the owner of a wooden troller. Twenty five years later, I hate to think of the money I've poured into the old gal. Just recently I was hauled out of the water for four months getting some planks replaced on the port side. Lord knows how much that's going to cost. I haven't gotten the bill for the labor yet, and I'm kind of afraid to see it. By the time I finally launched the boat (for the second time) the king salmon season was over. Cohos hadn't really started in yet, and the only thing biting was humpies, which were worth only 25 cents a pound. At least they didn't have to be cleaned. With all the competition for the halibut now, I thought I had better go get my quota before it got too much later in the year. They start to move into deeper water as the season progresses, and the weather only gets worse as fall nears. I took a couple of friends out with me to fish for the halibut. We went up into the bay and had just started to make the first set. We put out about thirty hooks of the 150 or so we were going to set when the hydraulic motor started leaking. I couldn't continue on like that, so we cut the set short and ran back in to town, about an hour and a half away. Seven hundred and some dollars later, I had a new motor. I saw my friend Jeff from the F/V Bifrost and told him about the motor. He got a disgusted look on his face and swore. Then he said, "I think our boats hate us Tom!" He might be on to something there. He spent the last fall having his engine rebuilt, as well as having planks, deck work and I don't know what all else done. It was an enormous amount of money to spend on the boat though, and when it comes time to sell, he'll most certainly only receive a fraction of what he spent for it. The thing is, he'll probably be like most boat owners and gladly take what is offered. Like the saying goes, the two happiest days of your life are the day you buy your boat and the day you sell it.  Lord knows I've had more than my share of boat fun this year. First it was the hydraulic motor. Then the chain that controls the long line drum had to be replaced. Then the engine overheated on the way in from halibut fishing. The thermostat that I just replaced a year or two before gave up  the ghost. Then the other day I was on my way out to pick another halibut set. It was foggy, so I figured I'd turn on the radar. Well, it wouldn't come on. No power. SOOOOOO.... I replaced the fuse. Now I had power, but there was a message on the radar screen that said - no heading pulse, no bearing pulse. I got out the manual that came with the radar and did what it said to do when that happened, but to no avail, so I guess I'll contact the fix it shop tomorrow and go from there. I'm going to have to get another job just to afford my fishing habit. I'm beginning to think that Jeff may have been right- our boats do hate us; and after all we've done for them too. Go figure.


  1. Sorry your still having troubles on the boat dad, just glad to hear its not still out of the water. Hang in there. Love you

  2. Thanks Camille- it's always something. Boats have so many systems, electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, to say nothing of the boats themselves. With so many operating systems, there's always something going wrong. Oh well- what else would I spend my time and money on?