On Sunday, Matt wasn’t feeling great again. We got back from Goose Lake, and watched some of the promotional dvds he got from the Deer and Turkey expo. Mainly, we watched one about Safaris in South Africa.
Around 2 in the afternoon, he finally started to feel better, and we decided to do something about the boat. Well, last year we never got around to buying a boat cover. The joke was on us, though, as all the snow we got this year ended up condensed into a huge, boat-shaped block of ice. And it wasn’t melting very quickly. He started chipping away at it, being careful not to puncture the bottom of the boat.
After removing a good bit of the ice, we took off the grass and framework that had made up our floating duck blind. We also opened the hatch of the compartment by the motor in back of the boat. We’d even left a battery in there. It was in a waterproof box at least, and came out easily to be recharged. I ran out into the thunderstorm just now to snap some pictures. There’s still some ice in the front under the platform:
All winter, the boat was left tipped forward, so the snow all ran down to the front of the boat, and would re-freeze. We’ll almost certainly have to re-do the wiring for the bowfishing lights. I mentioned how a few weeks ago we took the bung out of the boat so melt water could run out. Well, there was still standing water. It had to be tipped farther back. Matt proposed lifting the the hitch and setting it on three cinderblocks, the third of which would be stacked long-wise. He bent to lift the boat, and I was ready to slide the cinderblock in. Either he didn’t lift quite high enough, or I didn’t have the cinderblock just right, but it didn’t go in, and he wrenched his back. He was out of commission the rest of the day. And Monday. He still hurts today.
Further progress was made on the busted tire before Matt hurt his back. All last week, I’d been going out with some rust release spray specifically made for rusted bolts. I sprayed down every lug bolt on each tire, every day. We were able to loosen some of the bolts. We will have to wait to take the tire off until most of the ice is gone, though, so we can have it level without melt water pooling in the bottom. The ground is pretty soft, so any jack would just sink down into the mud. He’s already enlisted the help of his buddy (the same one that helped me lift MeatBox) to help us take the tires off as well as tilt the trailer further to get more water out. And we may still have to find a way to pump it out. Dick’s sells hand operated bilge pumps.
I’m really wanting to get the boat and trailer set so we can make it out to fish (or bowfish) whenever we want. Yesterday was about 60 degrees, and even with a small cold snap late this week, the ice will be coming off the lakes rapidly. This is really going under lessons learned: buy a boat cover. It’s been such a huge pain in the ass that it will hopefully never happen again, and that’s even setting aside the issue with the tire.
I’m really ready to be done writing posts on (and doing) repairs and preparation for the coming seasons, and writing something about actually getting out and doing some of this stuff. Although, being beginners with a lot of this stuff, we’re learning a hell of a lot from our mistakes.