Classic Boating Is A Pain In The_______You Fill In The Blank!

Scream boaterEver had to climb inside your engine area? Slipped on a stringer, scraped a knuckle on a bolt?  Can’t climb into a small engine hatch easily anymore? And dear lord, thinking about digging around the rudder to tighten bolts is sweat inducing just thinking about it. Today is your day to let loose, get it all out. It’s OK to cry today.To get it started, fellow Woody Boater Brian “Bruiser” Toye sent in his confession. It’s OK Brian. Thanks for sharing..

I had to replace the bolts which hold the upper part of the rudder  shaft bushing to the actual boat. Some had actually worked themselves  loose and had fallen into the bilge. Scary I know. Something I added  to the list to check at the first of each season. Of course the bolts
and area were behind the petrol tank which of course a sensible person  would have pumped out the 40 of petrol and removed the tank. But I did not want to really do that unless I had to.
So I shoved my arms into the rather tight space and managed to replace the four bolts, this time with lockwashers and nuts.

Boat abuse, It's never easy to speak out! thanks Brian.

Boat abuse, It’s never easy to speak out! thanks Brian.

In the process, I gave myself bruises on the top portions of my arms – both upper and forearms !

Bring on your pain in the _________ in the comment section. Sanded off your finger prints? cuts on hose clamps. skin burn on hot chrome?

23 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    I was replacing the hoses on the septic system of my cruiser and had slowly worked my way into the engine compartment head 1st with my feet extending up onto the deck. After tightening the last clamp I realized I had very little ability to wriggle backwards and up, and there was nobody else around. It took me about 1/2 hour to get out.

    • Tommyholm
      Tommyholm says:

      You know you are a woody boater when your nose is in the bilge and your feet are nearer to god. I am a WoodyBoater, I and only I clean my bilge.

  2. Troy
    Troy says:

    This is very timely.

    My current pain is more emotional. I took on a 38′ Connie last fall (what was I thinking) and do to life getting in the way have not had the time to do all that I had planned. I have been struggling with the idea of selling her to cut my losses, but I love the idea of a cruiser and fear I will regret giving up so quickly.

    Meenwhile we contracted to get the seats of the 21′ Continental re-upholstered this winter and was promised they would be done by the end of April. I am still waiting for the last two seat backs and it is July 9th.

    At least I have some tupperware in the water.

    • PaulH
      PaulH says:

      That might be a challenging interior to do right (not sure of the year). I have a 21′ ’61 and the process of doing the interior is intimidating. But, 2.5 months late and counting is too much to accept. That guy has to be accountable. Not much good if he gives the seats back to you at the end of baotinig season, is it?

      Now, the cruiser thing? man….can’t help you there. You really must be an idealist!

  3. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    No pain… No Gain…!

    I thought that the pain was a requirement that we have to endure in order to helps us to realize how much we enjoy these boats when we are cruising along with the motor humming like clockwork with that warm breeze in our face….

  4. Bryan
    Bryan says:

    Wallet. It is a pain in the wallet. And sometimes the clock as well, given the time spent preparing for the precious few hours actually underway.

  5. PaulH
    PaulH says:

    The pain is more a compounding sense of frustration and helplessness – in the past year I have had 2 boats sink at the dock under very unique circumstances, a Scripps engine that refuses too run due to an infinitely variable set of reasons, trailer problems, three boats simultaneously in the shop for major repair/restoration and one in the cue for a full resto. I have O/B’s that refuse to run on principle and for some reason, a 500 mile drive has become nothing to even think twice about as I scoot around in service of my boats. I have continuously grappled with all this over the past 8 months or so, punctuated by a very enjoyable sojourn into the waters of Florida in March. On top of this we are organizing our local chapter boat show in a month, and I am also engaged in my duties at the ACBS and the CCABC. Sometimes it feels like a lot to handle.

    Yesterday, I put the Skiff back in the water after it was cosmetically refurbished, on a gorgeous sunny day at Shuswp Lake. It looks like new, and we are very pleased. I immediately quit worrying about all this other stuff and enjoyed my boating, and will be back on the water for a cruise in a few hours! Here is an admittedly lousy picture, taken by Karen with her Blackberry after we tied the boat up for the night on the buoy. Old Salt has it right, that is all there is to it!

  6. matt
    matt says:

    That just about sums it all up. no Pain no gain! the Skiff looks awasome!awsom.Awsome? Awesome ! YAh, Son of a .. Yea!

  7. Charles Munch
    Charles Munch says:

    Mr. Smith, you owe me $50 for using (and defacing) my iconic depiction of anguish. But don’t bother sending it to me. Might as well send it to the guy who works on my boats.

  8. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Tight engine room issues was another reason I gave up my Hacker Gentleman Racer. Any time I wanted/needed to check something out, I had to plan ahead, and line up every possible tool I might need for the task ahead.( just ask Ronnie how many times I had to yell for her to come out in the yard to get another tool I forgot)
    Then I had to climb up over the dash and 460 cubes of usually HOT iron, just to get into the front of the engine. A space of about 2ft x 5ft wide. And with the big stainless headers and water jackets in a 6 ft wide hull, I never did see my spark plugs!
    But once in the water, I quickly forgot about all those issues, and let her rip…

  9. Mark
    Mark says:

    Just finished gluing down my new deck planks and of course had to go into the aft section to clean up any excess 5200. At 6’1″ 220 lbs I don’t limbo too easily so getting from the rear cockpit into the aft area is really painful. Can’t wait to paint the insides of those deck planks on my back !

  10. Alex
    Alex says:

    No one captures the ups and downs of classic boat ownership than Theidore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) in his “Oh, the places you’ll go!”


    “It’s opener there
    in the wide open air.

    Out there things can happen
    and frequently do
    to people as brainy
    and footsy as you.

    And then things start to happen,
    don’t worry. Don’t stew.
    Just go right along.
    You’ll start happening too.


    You’ll be on y our way up!
    You’ll be seeing great sights!
    You’ll join the high fliers
    who soar to high heights.

    You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
    You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
    Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
    Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

    Except when you don’t.
    Because, sometimes, you won’t.

    I’m sorry to say so
    but, sadly, it’s true
    that Bang-ups
    and Hang-ups
    can happen to you.

    You can get all hung up
    in a prickle-ly perch.
    And your gang will fly on.
    You’ll be left in a Lurch.

    You’ll come down from the Lurch
    with an unpleasant bump.
    And the chances are, then,
    that you’ll be in a Slump.

    And when you’re in a Slump,
    you’re not in for much fun.
    Un-slumping yourself
    is not easily done.

    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
    Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
    A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
    Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
    How much can you lose? How much can you win?

    And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
    or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
    Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
    Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
    for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

    You can get so confused
    that you’ll start in to race
    down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
    and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
    headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
    The Waiting Place…

    …for people just waiting.
    Waiting for a train to go
    or a bus to come, or a plane to go
    or the mail to come, or the rain to go
    or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
    or the waiting around for a Yes or No
    or waiting for their hair to grow
    or waiting for a bill to come, or a part to show. (Ok, I just had to add that line myself – Alex.)
    Everyone is just waiting.

    Waiting for the fish to bite
    or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
    or waiting around for Friday night
    or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
    or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
    or a boat to start, or a vintage part (Yep, slipped that one in too – Alex)
    or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
    or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
    Everyone is just waiting.

    That’s not for you!

    Somehow you’ll escape
    all that waiting and staying
    You’ll find the bright places
    where Boom Bands are playing.

    With banner flip-flapping,
    once more you’ll ride high!
    Ready for anything under the sky.
    Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

    Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
    There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
    And the magical things you can do with that ball
    will make you the winning-est winner of all.
    Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
    with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

    Except when they don’t
    Because, sometimes they won’t.

    I’m afraid that some times
    you’ll play lonely games too.
    Games you can’t win
    ’cause you’ll play against you.

    All Alone!
    Whether you like it or not,
    Alone will be something
    you’ll be quite a lot.

    And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
    you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
    There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
    that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

    But on you will go
    though the weather be foul.
    On you will go
    though your enemies prowl.
    On you will go
    though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
    Onward up many
    a frightening creek,
    though your arms may get sore
    and your sneakers may leak.

    On and on you will hike,
    And I know you’ll hike far
    and face up to your problems
    whatever they are.

    You’ll get mixed up, of course,
    as you already know.
    You’ll get mixed up
    with many strange birds as you go.
    So be sure when you step.
    Step with care and great tact
    and remember that Life’s
    a Great Balancing Act.
    Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
    And never mix up your right foot with your left.

    And will you succeed?
    Yes! You will, indeed!
    (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


    be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
    or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
    You’re off the Great Places!
    Today is your day!
    Your mountain is waiting.
    So…get on your way!”

  11. rabbit
    rabbit says:

    That oil leak that kept me out of the 4th of July Boat Parade, fixed today for a mere $800. Gotta love it.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Hey. At least you found the leaK, Rabbit. Could have been worse: $800 parts and labor and an unsolved mystery.

      …Uh, you are sure you found it, right…?

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