Maiden Voyage and First Place
Well, I guess all the hard work has paid off. As most of you know who read this thing, I got my previously abandoned '63 36-ft Express for only $500 back in January. So far, almost 400 hours have been put into it. This weekend I took first place at the annual Colonial Beach River Fest on the Potomac. I beat out a 1957 42-ft Matthews for the win. And I was in the Wooden Boat category to. Doh! There was no metal boat or antique boat category.
The boat is coming together nicely though. A lot of great pics were taken on Sunday during the parade. It was the maiden voyage for me and the first time it has moved under it's own power in almost 4 years.
Issues and observations from the maiden voyage:
- 3+ years old gas is not to efficient. Both motors felt like they were starving for fuel, even with the secondaries kicked in. Top speed was a dismal 14mph. Starboard motor felt good, but was kept down by the Port motor. Port would only do 3000 rpm or so. Need to check the bottom and running gear.
- Lots of leaking in the rudder stuffing boxes! Youch! Are these easy to repack? If I hurry, can I do them in the water with minimal flooding? The entire assembly looks well rusted so I need to clean them up a bit with a wire brush and then assess I guess.
- Not much flair on the bow..... Where others out there were cutting nicely, I had spray coming over the bow easy. Just resealed the front windows and rebuilt the side windos though. I was a great test!
- Noted that my Starboard motor would regularly get loud for 5 seconds or so, then get quiet again. Every so often, there would be no water in the exhust on that side, the muffler sounded like it had no water in it, the temp would hit 160, then it would get quiet again. A good deal more steam from that motor as well. Any ideas? Neither motor ever went above 160 degrees, and no, I have not changed out my impellors yet (they were new when I go the boat supposedly).
- Even being far from done, these things turn heads. People were taking pics and stopping me left and right on the WAY OUT to the parade. Never got that from my Monterey or my Marinette!!
It was a great ride though. I just putted along at 2000rpm (about 10 mph) the entire time and had a blast. Motors ran great, but that bad gas sure does stink!!!!