how rude. that’s why it’s called an evinrude

But the worst thing that happened was that the motor. . . well. . . . It fell off the boat. In fact, the entire assembly that holds the motor on the boat fell off. This could possibly be the result of my having unbolted it from the boat. Yes, I’m sure it’s because there was nothing holding it and the boat together.

So a couple of days ago, during one of my climbs over the big round pontoons to get under the frame, I noticed that the transom was a bit unstable. It suddenly occurred to me that there was nothing holding it in place but a couple of rusty bolts. It was staying in place only because the motor itself was standing on the ground inches from the bottom of the lake.

Now it had slid down and was IN the lake and took the entire transom with it. With my usual razor-sharp quick thinking, I pulled one of the old pieces of decking over and detached the motor to lay it down.

Yes, I see that my finger is in the picture. I had just run up the Killer Hill for my boots, was standing in the water and was still totally freaked out about this accident. It was one of the more discouraging moments of this project. I have no idea what they’re filled with, but boat motors weigh 850 pounds each (warning: exaggeration). But really! What kind of junk is inside there that makes them so impossibly heavy?

Not to be defeated, and knowing I would need help, I removed the four bolts that held the transom to the motor (or vice versa, if you think that way) which now made the thing light as a feather and I was able to bolt it to the bottom of the boat while holding it up with my knees. Lying on my back.

But wait. There’s more. As with most projects, I’m eager to get to the upside, meaning that the tear-out is fun and all, but the best part is seeing the project take shape as you build up the new part. So I was eager to get that new plywood bolted down. So eager that I put this piece on three times.

First, I realized that the cables were still stuck under there in a way they couldn’t be released. Remove new plywood number 1. Next morning I walked down tools at the ready and realized that I hadn’t removed the old bolts from the transom and they were occupying the holes in which I needed to put the new bolts. They were trapped under the plywood. Remove new plywood number 2. And this one entailed hacking the rusty bolts off, one broken hacksaw blade and. . . a transom/motor-fall-off-the-boat disaster.

For the record, I did try clamps, but they didn’t work.

Now I had two major issues. Get the motor out of the lake and get the boat into the lake. Neither of these activities were lone jobs. I like to do things myself and asking a friend to come over on a day with a high of 44 degrees, 20-mile-an-hour north winds, stand in water up to his knees and lift a 250 pound motor out of the water is way more than any friendship could endure.

Every problem has a solution:

When Tim said he’d use his tractor for the motor, I thought he’d be nuts to drive it into the lake. Just shows you how different brains work on different paths. Maybe I should accept help more often. He pulled the hood off the motor, had me jump in and attach a hook to the gadget on the motor (presumably made for such things), drove to the edge of the lake, picked up the motor and placed it on the boat along with its accompanying cables and steering.

Unfortunately, in my excitement I didn’t take a picture of the crusty old motor laying on the boat on a tarp. Too bad, because I had ample time before Craig arrived to tow me to the landing.

And that is a story unto itself.

Meanwhile, Tim cut down a rotten old tree in the yard.

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