WRC Guys & Gals,
Even though we had officially transferred into fall a couple days ago, I’m pretty sure everyone would agree Sept. has been one of the warmest we have had in many years ! Normally, (and I say that with many years of past experience ) we would have been well into the colorful days and the beauty that Autumn brings plus the dread of dealing with the mounds of leaves still yet to fall !
With that said, the realization that Fall was here hit us front and center as soon as we opened the door outside and took our first breath of the 40* temperatures ! For me it was a real wakeup call as I had been trying to decide how to dress for the day. Long pants and a jacket were the choice ! We were ready to go by 6:30 as it’s a 2hr + drive to the lake, I had loaded the banner and stands in the boat and knew I needed to set it up once we got there ! The drive down was enjoyable as the sky was graced with a few scattered clouds that set the tempo for what we had to look forward to weather wise. The prediction was for a sunny day just a little cooler than we had been experiencing with highs in the 60’s ! As the sun rose and started to explode the colors of dawn, you could tell it was going to be a beautiful day !
We arrived at the turn off of Rt 212 into the launch ramp area just as Mike Seachrist was putting up the sign for the meet. We greeted Mike and continued on down to the parking area ! Mike had warned me that there was a bass fishing tournament today, so sure enough most of the trailer parking spots were already taken and were down to almost 2/3’s of the football long parking area ! Mike had just pulled in next to me as I was unloading the truck and asked if we should move our usual set up area to the other end of the parking area, we decided to stay in our usual spot as it was closer to the ramps !
Several boats were already in the water, John Hagerman being one of them and was testing out his early 50’s vintage Johnson 25 ! John later informed me we had about 18 boats that day and 40 people signed in on the sign in sheet ! We unloaded the Banner, pipes and the bases and started setting it up with the help of Al gammon, Vince Donohoe and Dan Curran ! More members started showing up and launching their boats, I won’t try to recall all of those that came, but only the ones I remember ! The Reed Brothers John & Bill brought a couple boats, Ryan & Kelly Hollingsworth brought their aluminum with a nice running Johnson 25 I think, Dominic brought his Pramulator with his 9.9 Evinrude, Randy Heinle brought his PennYan with a 25hp Evinrude, John fairgrieve brought his FeatherCraft with an Evinrude 25, Mike conner brought his aluminum boat with a 25 Merc, Bill Mohat and Bod Davidson brought Bob’s White boat with the inboard 2 cycle Lawrence engine, Bob Joynt brought the Patina special AeroCraft with a 10 Evinrude, Don Moore brought his aluminum boat with a Merc 10 I think ? There were more but I didn’t see who else brought what so will leave it at these I remember !
I had brought my aluminum Arkansas Traveler and had a Mercury Mk 28 on the transom. This was an engine I had beed working on but never quite got it running like it should in my test drum. Suffice to say I did get it going and took it for a couple passes out beyond the speed buoys. Once it cleared out and ran on both cylinders it was a handful to hold wide open in the little chop on the lake ! But after several tries to keep it going I gave up pulled the boat and swapped it out with the help of Jeff Brewster and his son for the Mk 25 I had brought for a back up ! Jeff’s son picked the Mk 28 up like it was a 5hp and promptly deposited in the back of my truck !
With the Mk25 now on the boat I was sure I was sure I had a dependable runner to play with ! It took a bit to finally get it started but i was sure it would preform like it had the last time I had it on the boat last year ??? I took it out and opened it up with a big smile on my face as it started to increase in rpm’s ! A couple short runs and I came back to the dock as I had promise I’d take Bill & Lilly (Bill’s dog) out for a ride ! The Merc was running nicely and idles so slowly I couldn’t believe it, we headed out and I opened it up, Bill had an app on his phone that showed the speed and I briefly saw 20mph on the screen ! Shortly after that the Merc started to slow down, not seeing right away what the problem was we headed back to the dock ! I left Bill and Lily off and went back out to try and see what the problem was ? It seemed like it wasn’t getting gas so my first check was to see if the fuel lies were clear and gas was flowing to the fuel pump, yup ! Not the problem !
The Merc Mk 25 has a face plate that is held on with one screw so I pulled it to look in at the carburetor thinking maybe something had vibrated loose ! Sure enough the bottom hi speed jet was loose, I was able to tighten it back up and after starting the Merc again adjusted the hi speed jet to where I thought it should be ! That worked and it was running pretty good, I say pretty good as it didn’t seem to do the usual Mercury scream and WOT, then it slowed down again ???? More pondering and I was about a 1/4 mile row if I had to get back to the dock ! The engine was still running and with the face plate off I could look thru the front of the cowls at the carburetor, what I saw was a tiny twig vibrating in the throat of the carb ? I stopped the engine and was able to stick a screwdriver in the throat and pulled out a maple leaf seed, one of those millions that drop, looking like little helicopters ! Carburetors don’t like having anything but clean clear air down their throats !
So I started it back up thinking that had to be the problem, and it was ! The Mercury scream came back loud and clear, I didn’t have my GPS so couldn’t really tell how fast it was going but I know it was pushing the 25mph + mark ! Now I felt confident I could go back and take Peg for a ride down the lake, so I headed back to the docks ! Finding a place to tie up proved to be more of a challenge as all of the spaces were pretty full ! But with the engine now running smoothly I found just enough space to slip in and tie up with help from Al gammon !
Now it was almost time for lunch and catch up on what everyone else was up to ! I ran into John Herrmann and chatted with him for a while, he’s one of our many members that always has some interesting stories to tell ! Many of the guys were up at the other end of the parking lot looking at Bill Reed’s newly acquired 10ft utility with a Mercury powered SS25 ! I would have loved to see that little screamer run but the lake was a bit too choppy at the time ! Talking with a couple more of the members when Mike made the announcement that Lunch was now ready !
Never to be disappointed with one of Mike & Judy Seachrist’s lunch menu’s, this one was one that will be remembered ! Pulled shredded chicken on buns, Potato salad, macaroni salad, hot dogs chips, drinks of all kinds and lots of goodies for desert ! And your not allowed to go away hungry ! And a big thank you to all those that brought additions to the menu !
During Lunch there were a couple announcements ! Randy Heinle told us about a new museum up in the Kauka finger lake area. He went on to tell that it would be a great place for any of our members to visit as they have an basement of old outboard motors and are looking for people to possibly restore and work on them ! Chip Rabbit has promised to send me more information about the museum and what they are working toward, so I will send out that information when I hear from Chip !
Bob Davidson AKA “Old Bob” owner of the ” White” boat with the Lawrence engine in it has made a very generous offer to our club ! He would like to donate the boat to someone in the club with the facility to store it and also to make the boat available to bring to meets or shows that we might display in ! Also just to keep the boat in good running condition and housed in a storage area where it will be protected from the elements ! If interested you can contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone (440) 942-2168
After Lunch many of us went back out for another run on the lake, I had asked around where my wife had gone and found out she and Cindi Hagerman had driven over to the festival ! So I took the opportunity to make one more run down the lake with the Mk25 ! The old Merc fired up like it knew where I wanted to go and idled out to beyond the speed buoys, I opened it up and was off for a great ride with my dependable Mercury Mk25 Right !
Down past the sandy beach and the festival, on around the corner toward the other end of the lake and the Merc was running sweet, I had throttled back to a nice medium speed just cruising along enjoying the sunshine and beautiful weather ! Almost to the island when all of a sudden my trusty Merc quits ! Flat out dies, with no warning ??? So first thing I wonder is did I run out of gas ? But the fuel line is still full and the primer is hard when I try to squeeze it ? So I try again and it sputters but won’t start ! So I pull the face plate again and look in at the carburetor, seemed like something was holding the choke lever as it wouldn’t move like it should ! Looking in thru the hole in the front of the cowls I could see something that didn’t make any sense ? The filter and top of the carburetor were laying crooked on the top of the carb ? So now realizing what I thought was a great idea at the time of using allen screws to hold the side covers on, presented a real problem as I could’t find any allen wrench’s in my tool box and there was no way to put the carb back together ! So fearing it would be a long long row back to he dock and the hopes of hailing someone to tow me in was unlikely, and that I had brought two sets of walkie talkies with us that were nicely tucked away in the console of my truck, and knowing the reception down in this area was lousy for phones I started to look around to see where I actually was !
Knowing I had nothing to lose I called John H. as I saw him put his boat back in the water with a different Johnson to run ! The call went thru only to get his voice mail, so I left a message not knowing at the time that the second Johnson John had put on the boat didn’t want to start. So the second call was to Ryan Hollingsworth only to get his voice mail, I also left a message ! Third call was to Domonic my trusty friend that never fails me, as I was just starting to leave another message, Dom answered ” What’s up Gary” ” Dom I’m broke down ” ” where are you? I’ll come and get you” ! So I start to row figuring I might as well get some exercise and shorten the distance ! Dom calls back says “I’m off the beach area and don’t see you how much further down the lake are you ?” I say, ” do you see the green water tower, I’m half way between it and the beach area” ! The tow back was uneventful and actually took less time than I thought it would, Dom dropped me at the launch ramp, I got the truck and pulled the boat ! In between, Ryan called me back and said he would put his boat back in the water and come and get me ! I thanked him and told him Dom was already on his way so no need to put the boat back in !
So It’s a wonderful thing to have so many friends to depend on that are willing to come to the aid of us that need help ! I hope you know I would do the same for you ! And a big thank you to everyone that helped with the lunch and setting up the canopies ! A special thanks to Mike and Judy for a great meet and super lunch ! Yum ! The rest of the afternoon was loading up the truck and boat for the trip home ! Peg and Cindi arrived back at the parking area just as everyone was getting ready to leave ! Once I got home and put the boat in the back yard I pulled the side cover to see what the problem was with the Mk 25, I think the pictures explain it better than I can !
WRC Guys & Gals,