Last year, what really got us started on being outdoors way more than we’d been before was our boat. Yet another Craigslist find, someone in town was selling a little 14 foot john boat He’d purchased it from someone who had made it themselves, from wood. It came with a trailer (also home made from angle iron and some truck tires), even, and a motor (a 1949 Mercury that needed a lot of attention) for $250.
At that point, Matt didn’t even have a hitch on his truck. He had a friend of his use their truck to get it back to the house, and then I took his truck in to get a hitch put on it. Well, we used the hell out of our little boat. We fished and bowfished in it, even using paddles and the trolling motors before Matt fixed the motor itself. We took it on a camping trip up north to see Matt’s family and fish up there. We modified the boat to be used as a floating blind for waterfowl.
I mentioned before how on our first duck hunting outing, all of our goose decoys were stolen out of the truck? And how it was an awful day? Well, on the way back, Matt was dead silent. Understandable, he spent all this money and some jackwagon stole a bunch of his stuff. Well, just around the block from our house is a pretty gnarly pothole. The boat trailer had always been a pretty noisy beast, but we chalked it up to being made from welded together angle iron. We hit the edge of that pothole. We heard a crack, and suddenly a gawd-awful scraping, grinding sound.
Matt parked the truck, and we got out to survey the damage. The axle had snapped clean in half.
Well, Craigslist to the rescue again. After a week or two of searching, Matt found a boat trailer by itself for sale. Hooray! He had a bunch of burly guys come over to transfer our boat to the new trailer, and all was well again, right?
Well, we are grand champion breakers-of-things at this blog, apparently. We got most of the rest of waterfowl season out of that trailer. The last time we were out in late November, we put in, hunted, and came back to find that the driver’s side tire on the trailer was flat. It had been low, but now there was zero air in it. We were tired, and Matt opted to limp it the couple hundred feet to a nearby gas station to put air in it.
It blew out again. We dragged the poor thing to the nearest tire place, and tried to problem solve. We couldn’t buy a tire at Farm and Fleet, because there were none the right size, and we didn’t want another chance of a busted axle. We tried to have the auto service department there get it off. Even their impact wrenches couldn’t get it off. A friendly tow truck driver tried to give us a hand with an extra extra long lug wrench. He got one of the lugs started, but had to get on his way. We got the store manager’s permission to leave it in the lot over night and packed all of our decoys and hunting gear into the truck, and drove home.
That next Monday I called a towing company to go get it with a flatbed. I had them place it next to the camper, out of the driveway as best they could, so we could have places to park once the snows set in. The poor flatbed driver had had a hell of a time getting it onto the truck, and getting it off was no easier. I told him all we needed was for it to be halfway straight since it was on the property line.
A couple weeks ago, we took the bung out for when the snow melted. I have yet to pick up WD-40 to soak down the lug nuts. We may have to break the bolts off, but we hope we don’t have to. The other tire is also flat now, and we plan to just buy new, small tires from Menard’s or something if we can keep the lugbolts intact.