steering committee

Indeed, I should have had a committee to figure out how to get the steering and gear cables maneuvered around all the obstacles so I could disengage them from the boat without disconnecting them from the motor. Believe me, I tried that and it wasn’t going to happen. As in life, it’s the steering that’s the most complicated, right? ha.

So here’s the strange homemade aluminum console we’ve had for 20-some years:

Very strange. And no cup holders. What’s a captain to do with her Leinies?

I managed to get enough slack in the cables to detach it from the deck, but the cables are still attached to the gear box and steering wheel, which are attached to the console.

And here’s how it met its demise at the hands of a reciprocating saw:

I just cut out a big hunk of aluminum with the steering wheel and cable attached.

Reciprocating saws are an amazing invention, but I’m afraid I have rattled my brain to the point of no return. It’s an octopus job. One needs at least two hands to hold the saw and if the object being cut is not stable, it’ll just bounce all over the place. I thought of clamps, but that wasn’t going to work, so I used knees, feet, butt, legs and every other body part until the deafening roar of the saw was over and I had this steering mechanism with a hunk of aluminum attached. Probably should have worn a football helmet. Me, not the steering.

There have been a lot of really lucky aspects to this project. In spite of a few stubborn rusty bolts and broken hacksaw blades, a lot of things fell into place beautifully. I ordered marine plywood from the lumberyard and they said it was out of stock and might not be in until …..yada yada. Of course, I’m under a tight deadline here. And yada yada won’t work. Then I was concerned that they would drop it at the top of the hill near the cabin which would be pretty much useless, since I can’t carry 4×8 sheets of plywood around by myself. I happened to be coming up the hill when the yard driver pulled up in a 4×4 pickup. A day earlier than anticipated! Yes!

I said, “You can back down the hill and drop it near the water.”

He said, “I don’t think so.”

I said, “Yep. Do it.”

We unloaded five sheets of beautiful plywood onto the boat deck. HA! All I had to do was slide them into place and bolt them down. Well, “all” is a pretty misleading word.

I also had to find someone to tow me to the boat landing and found my really good friend/neighbor, Craig Roesler was not busy Friday afternoon and happy to help. Then, there was the problem of getting the boat pushed into the water. Although it’s inches from the water — I can’t walk behind it without getting my feet wet — it’s pretty solidly set into the ground. This is a good thing, because I’ve spent a lot of time under that rascal and I was glad it wasn’t rolling around threatening to take me for a wet ride into the Namekagon.

Tim Sather is the one who does my spring and fall maintenance — dock and boat put-in and take-out. He just happened to call yesterday and said he’d be in the neighborhood taking down some trees. I had mentioned that I wanted a tree taken out and he was following up. He offered to stop over and help out.

So everything falls into place.

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