Below is a “True ” Story from fellow Woody Boater Sean Conroy.
The last of the leaves had gently migrated to the ground, there was a crisp bite to the clean clear Canadian air and the sun was out for the first time in weeks. I was reading Woody Boater as I finished my first coffee of the day and decided it was a perfect day to spend with my Greavette for a last gasp. After all, you should take advantage of all the beautiful days you can right?
So, as a good boy scout I began to prepare… Dress in layers (but sadly, no pull over wind jacket) for the ever changing and dynamic fall barometer (and thermometer), gather the safety gear, run down the checklists for truck, trailer & boat, make sure the credit card was paid (and there was room on my mortgage) so I could visit the fuel station, charge the cell phone, get the camera, plan the launching point, get the charts, file my route plan, check my HAGERTY insurance plan…. finally, at the crack of noon , and in the best Jackie Gleason voice I could muster, I could hear myself say “…and away we go!”
As I hit the garage door opener and the door began to rise. I could smell a hint of varnish that was cured only 3 or four months ago (a fine vintage) wafting in through the increasing void. The anticipation grew as the mechanical sound of the door opener chain grated on the nylon gear of the 1/2 horsepower craftsman door opener. I was so giddy my knees felt like Joe Namath’s after an appearance on “Dancing with the Stars”. The door churned to reach its climax fully exposing the awaiting craft perched upon the EZ Load …Then it hit me… The LAST GASP of GREAT GASPS! I was taken aback, floored really. I mean, I’m sure this happens to some people, but not me. In front of me on the trailer sat my pride and joy and something wasn’t right…
I’ve been HOLED! There’s a hole in my woody!! Not just any hole mind you, it looked the size of a torpedo and was dead center of the transom. Had terrorists planned this? Was this a crime of some kind? My visions of a nice fall day on the lake sank faster than the Toronto Maple Leafs chances of winning another Stanley Cup if there is ever another NHL season. I mean it was downright plain for certain I was not going boating today. This was a problem no amount of PHOTOSHOP could fix. I needed a plan to make this right.
So, what was I to do? In action so fast Captain James T. Kirk would be commended for, I called the Marine Management Team to an emergency smart phone conference call (my 12 year old showed me how to work the phone). My marine tech, bail bondsman, the Epifanes representative, marine carpenter and Mary (bartender form the Irish Pub) analysed the situation, and then came up with a plan.
Let’s see…the bare necessities only huh: Replacement motor, new Vortec heads, intake manifold, 4bbl carb, remote oil system, electric fuel pump, stainless exhaust manifolds, upgraded bump-stick, new ALPHA One drive, 5 blade stainless prop, some trim tabs, an exhaust diverter system, new custom fuel tank and a wiggly HULA girl figurine for the dash. Yup, that ought to do ‘er. After several drafts (both written and liquid) the formal version was finished and immediately sent for Royal ascent from the Queen.
After my Wife said “No”…. I decided to go ahead anyways and I’d fool her by fudging the numbers like government does. That would work right? Well, it has to be done… and the real last gasp will be if I ever tally the bills. But, by looking at this hole I can see the real truth of the “last gasp” and it is spelled O P P O R T U N I T Y.
Honey, this is my story and I’m sticking to it.