Ripp Van Winkle

Just before Father’s Day weekend, the brakes went out on my car. I took it in to a shop, to get the worst of it fixed, hoping to limp it along until either a later paycheck, or until I figured something else out. Luckily, Dad happened.

He made me do one of the front brakes on my first car (a 1980 Chevy Citation if you must know). But that was 11 years ago now and I was leery of doing the ones on the Jetta on my own. So. He did the brakes, and Matt and I both learned ho to do them for future reference.

We had planned on either taking him hiking or kayaking nearby. But late Saturday afternoon, he asked to take a look at the inside of the boat. From there, it was inevitable. My dad can’t keep his hands off engines and motors. His idea of a good time when he was living out in Arizona was putting a Chevy small block into a small Toyota pickup’s chassis. He recently put a ’93 Corolla back together for my sister, and just finished fixing up another mid-90s Toyota to be his daily driver (his Chevy pickup sucks fuel). The man can’t help himself.

So, Matt learned to clean and rebuild a carburetor. Ours is a Holley, which Pop says are the easiest to fix, and some of the best carbs, anyway.


The next day, we also replaced the starter motor. We knew it was spinning but Dad pointed out a key flaw. With a new starter installed, this happened.

So. The Ditch Boat has a beating heart. It’s just a question of figuring how to keep it running. After being taken completely apart, the timing is probably off, but Dad showed me how to fix it, once we get a timing light. We need a hydraulic pump to raise and lower the lower unit in order to drive around towing it. But having my Dad come up and mess with it got us to a point where we could be running the boat by mid-July.

An Update. When Matt got home from work this evening, he decided to turn the boat on. He found out it needs a new water pump badly. Mostly because the engine ran for 2 minutes until he shut it off, spraying water from the pump.



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