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One thing that sticks in my craw are boats that never leave the dock. What’s even more annoying to me is to talk to the owners of these boats. Their boats are perpetually in refit mode. For the past six months or so, however, though we work on our boat almost every weekend others could possibly put us into the same irksome category as those I mention above. Our boat hasn’t left the dock since last Fall…until yesterday.

Our propulsion (engine) has been down for months. The last time we took our boat out we blew out (melted) our muffler. The muffler itself was in such a position that we had to remove the generator to even set hands on it. So, we took the time to do major maintenance on both our engine and genset. New hose, fittings, clamps, gauges, throttle cable, etc were the order of the day. That work has been complete for about a month or so. Though we felt absolutely certain the work my husband did had repaired our engine, until we actually took it out and ran it that hadn’t been proved…until yesterday.

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Yesterday was proving day. To avoid the wind, we uneventfully left the dock around 8:00 in the morning. We never had any intention of actually sailing, just testing the engine. After leaving Clear Lake Channel, we increased the engine RPMs to 2200. That is the speed in which the Perkins 4.236 should be able to run for days and days and days on end, limited only by the 180 gallons of fuel we carry. Running against a slight chop and 15 knot wind, 2200 RPM pushed the boat at just under 7 knots. When the RPM were increased to the “two hour” maximum of 2400 RPMs (wide open) the boat speed increased to around 7.2 knots. For a couple of hours we just ran around the bay. The engine ran smooth and cool. We suspect the anti siphon device on the raw water line is restricting the cooling water flow at maximum RPM for there is still a bit of steam exiting the exhaust pipe at that speed, but the brand new engine gauges show most normal operating temperatures.

Right now, we have a fixed three-blade propeller on the boat. However, a three-blade Max Prop feathering prop came with the boat; we just had that prop refurbished. We feel we can get a bit more performance from the Max Prop.

In a couple of weeks, we are going to pull the boat for a much needed bottom job and to retouch a couple of cosmetic scratches caused by the previous owner. At that time we are going to change out the props and have a bow thruster installed. We are also going to have the name and hailing port redone…the name will remain the same, the hailing port changed from New York, New York to Kemah, Texas.

This time of the year is some of the best sailing in this area. It’s great to be mobile again. We only anticipate keeping the boat in Kemah for another five or six months, fully intending to move the boat down to Galveston to be closer to the open Gulf of Mexico by mid to late summer.

After the motor boat ride, we came home and staked my tomatoes.





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