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Old 07-19-2020, 02:00 PM
cdavisdb cdavisdb is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 1,050
Default And I thought I knew all about Murphy

This got so ridiculous, it makes a good tale.

There is such a thing as the “Three strikes” rule. Works in baseball and boating. From long experience, I know that violating that rule will get me in bad trouble. Once avoided a hurricane by following that rule. My version is, if I get more than 3 bad problems just before a trip, its time to cancel and go another day. Lets see. . . electrical problem with the engine neither I, nor the volvo mechanic, could find. Found a good mechanic who fixed it, not much time to go before the trip. My fix for the kicker did not work, squeeker to get it fixed before the trip. On pretrip inspection, one side of the trailer brakes looked iffy. Trailer guy busy but I persuaded him to look at them; he said they were fine. Rear truck brakes begin to drag, less than a week before take off. Mechanic snowed under, but I’m an old customer. He got to it in time. Two days before takeoff, Bahamas rule change closed the islands off to me. Is that more than three? I ignored it, three strikes is just superstition anyway.

This was supposed to be my Bahama swan song and the boat would be for sale after. I’m in the market for a 20 seafari if you know of a good one, not in a big hurry. I had planned a 3 week Bahama trip, but coronavirus complicated things. Bahamas closed to visitors and I did not expect them to open in time, then they did, then they changed(clarified) the entry rules 2 days before take off day and I couldn’t meet their testing requirement that fast. So, after much grinding of teeth, we went to the Tortugas.

Launched out of Goodland,near Naples, two days to the Tortugas and it all looked great. Three days of good diving, outstanding shallow water coral, especially staghorn gardens. You could telll it used to be even better. There were fields of staghorn fragments surrounding almost every shallow reef. It must have been super spectacular back in the day. Lots of fish, not as many grouper, or as big, as I expected for a no harvest area, but decent numbers of medium size grouper, lots of huge Muttons, big hogs and clouds of yellow tails. Still, the area has been closed to all harvest for near 20 years. Should have been more fish and they were all just a little spooky, not what you would expect from a “virgin” area. I think they have a little bit of a poaching problem. We were using the kicker to get around, because it saved a huge amount of fuel and we had the time to go slow.

Then it began. First the main engine died. Sounded like fuel and switching filters solved the issue. The next day the wind was blowing and I took the time to check fuel pressure. Changed the low pressure pump, just to be sure. Toured the fort, very cool. Next day wind still blowing, so we cut the diving short and went over to Loggerhead Key, another cool spot. Out drive began vibrating on the way back, switched to kicker. Checked the drive as much as possible that evening, saw nothing, so we started out again for a long run in the am. Drive felt ok at first then began vibrating badly. Switched to kicker and headed back toward the fort, doing some diving along the way.

At this point we knew we had to pack it in. We could get a TowBoat US tow from Ft Jefferson to Key West, My insurance would cover most of it, but still an ouch. Weather looked perfect, so I decided to get home on the kicker, an iffy decision. The Yamaha kicker has been a super expensive, unreliable, complete piece of garbage since the warranty ended. Still,it seemed to be running fine. If we could get to Key West, it was protected water for easterly winds all the way to Goodland, only 4 days.

Did I ever mention I am sometimes an idiot.

Anyway, we proceeded at 4 knots towards Key West. Till about 35 miles out of Key West when the kicker began to fail, running but not transferring power. Too far out to raise anybody on the radio. NOW WHAT???

No help for it. I cranked up the main engine and proceeded dead slow toward the Marquesas, hoping the drive would hold together long enough. Soon in radio range and ordered a tow. Coast guard was nice and helpful, but they could not seem to understand I was still moving. Tow boat couldn’t find us at first. Anyway, under tow to Key West (first time ever I needed Towboat US and I had just upped my towing insurance, yay!) and a desperate phone search to find a place to dock with July 4th weekend approaching. Arrived in Key West at 9 pm. Wonderful guy at Harborside Motel and Marina had a slip and a room and waited for us before closing for the night. Emotional release, sleep in air conditioning and a real bed felt fabulous. Should be easy from here. Next day started smooth. Rented a car and drove to Goodland to get the truck and trailer. Passing through Homestead on the way back to Key West, front brakes on the truck began to drag. BoatUS trailer towing insurance this time and a race to find a place to fix the truck at 4:30 pm. Success, but had to leave the truck at the shop after hours and go to a hotel. Problem fixed by 2 pm the next day and all looks good until they tested the brakes and found another issue. They “think” they can get it fixed by 6 pm. I had a noon the next day drop dead deadline to move the boat. Mad scramble to figure out some alternative if they don’t get it fixed. Found expensive dry storage close to where the boat was and could rent a car if needed to get to Key West, move the boat, and get back to Homestead.

Is this completely nuts, or what?

Well, they got it fixed that afternoon and I took off for Key West early the next day. Got there missing the left guide post for the trailer and the license plate. I did not hit anything. Murphy, again. Does this ever end??????

Well, that was pretty much it, got the boat on to the trailer and started back to Sarasota. But, guess what, one more issue, one of the trailer hubs started leaking grease, not hot, no sign of failure, just loosing grease. Oh shit! now what?, do I continue, change the hub(I had one) or what? Still don’t know why it was leaking, but I had plenty of grease and a grease gun, stopped every 50 miles to check and grease up, and got home no problem.

Wonderful trip. And now the boat is for sale. I’ll have it up on CSC shortly.
"I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied" John Masefield
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Last edited by cdavisdb; 07-19-2020 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 07-19-2020, 08:57 PM
NoBones's Avatar
NoBones NoBones is offline
Pooh Bah
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Area 442 Creighton, Florida
Posts: 3,617

Connor, in my 66 years on this life journey have figured out if it is not one frickin' thing, It is six !!!!!!!

Will keep my eyes peeled for a 20 Seafari for you...
I love the one we got from Barry "fishlips56"....

Should have the finishing touches done in the next couple of months..

My how our taste for things changes as we age..

Glad you came through your trip unscaved !
See ya, Ken ©
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:54 PM
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bumpdraft bumpdraft is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sebastian,Fl.
Posts: 465

Well the best way to find out is to get her out on the ocean Kitty. If anything's gonna happen, it'll happen out there.


Great memories though.

Last edited by bumpdraft; 07-19-2020 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:41 AM
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strick strick is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: California
Posts: 2,625

Hey Conner that’s quite a story. Glad you made it back safe and sound...a 20 Seafari with a nice new 4 stroke and your engine troubles will go away..looking forward to what you come up with. Maybe one of these days I’ll make it over so see by Florida brothers again!

"I always wanted to piss in the Rhine" (General George Patton upon entering Germany)
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:03 AM
cdavisdb cdavisdb is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 1,050

Strick, you are welcome at our place anytime, including a boat ride.
"I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied" John Masefield
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:20 AM
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Capt Terry Capt Terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 496
Default Connorís Tales

Sorry about your issues on your latest trip, but always enjoy reading about your adventures. For your future enjoyment and for your children (if you have any), nieces, nephews and wife, you should capture all your trips tales with photos into a binder or book. I have recently been capturing stories of my dad for a much younger brother, he never knew about. Itís been fun to share.
'76 20' Seafari, ordered in '76
17' Larson Volero
14' Fabuglas
14' Lyman lapstrake
8' Minimax, at age 14
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:53 AM
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flyingfrizzle flyingfrizzle is offline
DeadRise Ho
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 1,717

Sounds like the luck I have, When I prepare well everything goes as plan. When I say "it will be alright" and wing it that's when everything goes to crap. Glad you made it back with out too much trouble. can always be worse lol. Glad you got to enjoy your seafari one last time.
Current SeaCraft projects:
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68 27' SeaCraft Seamaster
71 20' SeaCraft CC sf (sold)
73 23' SeaCraft CC sf (sold)
74 20' SeaCraft Sceptre
74 20' SeaCraft Seafari (sold)
74 20' SeaCraft CC sf (sold)
75 23' SeaCraft Sceptre (sold)
76 25' SeaCraft Seafari
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:58 PM
gofastsandman gofastsandman is offline
Antique Slacker
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: W.P.B. ,Fl.
Posts: 4,517

Everything on my boat is broken, I just don't know it yet.

Janet was asking if I was reading a novel...
I said maybe.

Heck of an adventure there Connor and as always well written.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:07 AM
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DonV DonV is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Apollo Beach, FL
Posts: 3,401

Originally Posted by cdavisdb View Post
Strick, you are welcome at our place anytime, including a boat ride.
Strick....I'd give that boat ride some thought!!
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:25 PM
Xcomunic8d Xcomunic8d is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Hilo, HI
Posts: 131


Glad you and the boat are safe. I see we have the same luck (if it werenít for bad luck weíd have none at all).

Best of luck looking for a 20í. Some lucky guy is gonna end up with a nice 25íer from you. I saw somebody looking for one here recently? I get it though, lots of work to rebuild and towing can be a pain.

Iíll keep my eyes open on a 20. Best of luck and many trips ahead for you Iím sure.

PS Iím not sure inviting strick was a good idea. But I suppose boat rides are a way to get drís to make house calls...
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