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Boating: It's not the battery, but ....

August 21, 2012
by boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

'Run-aground Ralph' was having trouble with his boat last week, so he employed the collective wisdom of his fellow yacht club members. "Motor is froze up!"

"You got oil in it," asked 'Cap'n Crunch.' Ralph shot a scornful look his way but Crunchie didn't take the hint. "You ain't been running this boat much since your gallivanting all over the country with the grandkids...."

"Have you checked the battery," I asked. Since I'm the author of this column I can assign the most intelligent comments to myself even if I never said them. But I swear this was my real, true intelligent comment of my own.

Cap'n Crunch again with another scornful glance in my direction said, "It's only two and a half years old. This is a five year battery, see it says it right on top, Five Year Warranty."

I encouraged him to try and crank the motor so his 'brain trust' could fully appraise the situation but he refused because he was sure the motor was froze and he didn't want to further damage it. "Snap the shaft, strip the gears, what are you nuts?"

Boston Bob spoke up, "Cap'n, I'd be happy to tow you over to Hill Marine with my sailboat." He knew what he was doing and it was pure and simple, evil. Everyone knows that Crunchie hates sailboats ever since he discovered they have right of way over powerboats because they don't maneuver as good.

Crunchie grimaced and longed for the old days of last winter when he had a sign on his front lawn and dock, "NO BLOWBOATERS ALLOWED!" The signs came down very reluctantly. The "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" had become 'all encompassing' with the inclusion of sailors and even one jet-ski boater. (We need the dues.) So banning members of different race, color or boating persuasion was outlawed from any member's property. If Crunchie was allowed to post signs about all the people he hates, you couldn't see his house.

"I got a dockside mechanic coming over tomorrow, he said he could rebuild the motor right on the boat," said the Captain.

"I've got a battery load tester," said 'Nu Josey Norm.' "It'll tell you if it's the battery."

"What is with this battery stuff? I maintain my electrical system better than the rest of you. It's a five-year battery, for geezuz beeegeezuz, get off the battery will you!"

"They're a cheap fix, just hundred dollars or so and Auto Zone will take it back if you don't need it," said Mrs. Crunch, who'd sneaked up on our kibitzing group.

"It can't be that simple. I know batteries and I know how a motor sounds when a battery fails. I've disconnected every wire from every connection and sprayed all the wires and connection boxes with that 'Corrosion Block.' Just kike our club's resident know-it-all over there keeps harping about," he said with an ever-increasing volume level.

We agreed with him it was the motor simply to save him from another mini-stroke. "Wait until he gets the bill from the dockside mechanic. He'll probably forbid the kid to check the battery until after he tears down the motor," said BB.

"Too bad 'Pensacola Slim' wasn't here. They speak the same language and Jim could have convinced him to at least try to turn the motor over by hand or check the battery," said the resident know-it-all. "Crunchie was an economist once, and he can't believe that such a simple $100 fix could get his $50,000 boat going again. Big ideas for big problems."

"Reminds me of this countries financial crisis. Most say cut the spending; I guess they're the no battery crowd while others say more stimuli are needed. We can't give stimulus to the bankers anymore; they'll just sit on it. What good would it do to give the hundred bucks to the motor," said Cleveland Jack our resident liberal. "I bought Professor Paul Krugman's book, "End this Depression NOW" in case any of you want to expand your minds."

"Ha ha ha, you never miss an opportunity to throw a bomb. I know I'll pass on that one," said 'Michigan Mike,' the retired school teacher who is, strangely, a die-hard right-winger.

"Let's forget about that and organize a pub crawl. Anyone not drinkin' who wants to be the dedicated driver," asked BB.

"The Reverend is back on the sauce since Mitt picked Mutt for his running mate. He's way worried that Obama will win a second term," said Cleveland Jack.

When we called Crunchie to tell him of our plans, his wife informed us that he was at the auto store. "I knew it! I knew it," shouted BB. "She wouldn't let him get away with it!"

First we went to Bonita Bill's, then to the Big Game Waterfront Grill to see Christina, the sexiest bartender on the beach (DECYC award) and finally to the Pukin' Pelican for their sliding scale happy hour. They have a duo there that plays Hayes Carl's songs whenever I ask, especially 'Another Like You' which is supposedly about James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin. They are like acid and water politically. But they won't play another of Hayes Carl's songs, "If I ever find Jesus I'm kicking his a##!"

I guess you wouldn't think the PP is a politically correct place, but it must be. On the way home we spotted Crunchies' motor running but he hid in the cabin until we passed. Only BB and Cleveland Jack made comments. Not the simple battery, huh?

Boatguy Ed is a manufacturer of the best hard ablative anti-fouling bottom paint,, the past Commodore of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" and a retired television producer. Send questions to



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