Friday, October 10, 2008

Batboat Rebuild: Day 15 September 29, 2008

It still floats!

A day had past and the fiberglass repairs to hull had completely set. Now was the time to test for leaks in the Saginaw River. My goal was to keep it in for thirty minutes to check for leaks with news print.

The boat launch park is across the street from me and that afternoon I removed the tarp still hooked to the trailer and carefully hitched the Batboat up to the car.

By carefully, I mean really carefully. Due to my removing all the structural parts, soaked foam and rotten wood the fiberglass hull was extremely light and flexible. It didn't fit well on the trailer to begin with and it bounced around a great deal with every movement.
I slowly drove my way to the docks very cautiously. In the early afternoon there isn't that much traffic so I was lucky in that regard. The Batboat moved around and slammed into the trailer with every small bump in the asphalt road so I kept driving at a safe 5 miles per hour. However, the Batboat almost flipped off the trailer when I crawled over the first set of rail road tracks.
I finally made it to the boat launch, paid my $5 fee and tried to back in. It took a while because my trailer is crooked thus making it impossible to back the vessel in a straight line.
Two guys that were pulling their leaking Bay Liner cabin cruiser in and out of the river, trying to find the source of leaks, stopped what they were doing a few times and gave a few looks in my direction.

After multiple tries of backing it into the water without hitting the pier and dock I slid it into the water and it floated perfectly.

For the first time since mid-April I got to pretend I was fighting crime on the high seas. Broom! Broom!!
The weather had been cooling down a bit the last couple days and it was obvious I wouldn't have many more warm days to do fiberglass work on the boat this year.
I tested the boat for leaks and examined the hull closely from inside and out. Got in and rocked it back and forth, stood on the bow until the stern lifted from the water and put all my weight on the transom area.

To my relief and great pride there were no leaks.

After a half hour, light sprinkles of rain and cold breeze ended the fun. I pulled the boat out of the river, parked it in the drive and covered it with the tarp.

The sealed transom holes kept the river water out and the hull dry.

I have to do some work on the trailer. The wiring for the lights work but are a mess and the bunks and rollers don't support the weight of the vessel evenly.

That is a project for next year.

A 1 1/2 inch gap between the hull and bunk. The Batboat moves around too much on the road. Not good!

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