Transom & Battens
Long Beam & Keel
Sole & Decking
Engine & Electrical
Getting on the Trailer
Other Cabin Skiffs
It is May 31, 2002. I choose Lake Lopez, although it is 3 hours away, because a friend of mine was going there with his Wave-runner. I figured that if I got in trouble, he would be there to help. Boy, did I figure right. I arrived at the campground around dinner time and I made some last minute installations like installing the running light and fender holders. As I was making a campfire I noticed that the 3/4's of the tread on both trailer tires had fallen off on the way up. I will have to go and get new tires in the morning. I decided to sleep in the Seaputter cabin instead of pitching a tent. It was quite comfortable.
June 1, 2002. Launch Day!
It was a chilly overcast day. I went to a tire store about 20 minutes away and got new tires on the trailer. I came back and waited for my friend for a while.
Finally I put the Seaputter in the water and started the engine and it seemed that everything was going well until... I tried to steer the boat. I realized that I had the steering cable backwards in the helm. I would turn right and the boat would go left and vice-versa. I should have realized this before but I didn't. So, I stopped the engine in the middle of the lake and proceeded to change the steering cable. Not a big deal. It took 5 minutes.
Then I go to start the engine again and It wasn't happening. It was not getting fuel. I could manually prime the engine and it would start for 1 or 2 seconds but not longer. Needless to say I was pissed. I floated without control until I reached the shoreline on the opposite side of the lake. I waited there until my friend launched his wave runner. Oh yea, he hadn't planned on riding because it was so cold. (Thanks John) He towed me back to the launch area. That sucked!
It's Monday and we figured out that I had installed the fuel line to the vent hole on the gas tank. I kind of feel stupid but then again, they weren't marked and the guy that installed the engine should have noticed something wrong.
I know that technically it was the first launch, but, I am not counting that misadventure as the official launch.
Feeling confident that I had all of the bugs
worked out I was determined to get the Seaputter on the water. With no lakes
less than an hour away, I decided to go for broke and put it in the ocean. (only
15 minutes away) I put it in the water at Marina Del Rey with my friend Roger.
It is about 11/2 miles through the Marina to get to open ocean (Santa Monica Bay) I figured
that that if I had any real problems that it would be better in the marina than
open ocean. I cruised through at 5 mph with no problem and decided to go on
out passed the break water. The swell was about 3' - 4'. I put the throttle down
and the first thing that I noticed was that the bow went way up and I wasn't
getting anywhere fast. I expected some
bow rise but this is pretty excessive. We continued up the coast to Malibu,
stopped for a little while and did a little fishing and came back. It was about
a 33 mile round trip.
On the way home I stopped by the store and picked up a stabilizer fin for the engine.
I installed it that evening and was ready to go again. The next day I drove to Lake Pyramid and put it in the water. What a difference. Cruising at 25 -30 mph and I could see over the bow.