I made plans to go to the lake this past weekend after George's funeral on Saturday, and but we were supposed to get thunderstorms Saturday afternoon (40% chance) and Sunday was going to be dry, so we put our lake trip off til Sunday. Naturally, there was no sign of a storm or even a sprinkle until something like 10pm Saturday night, but no matter.
Emily and I went to Overton's Friday evening to get a new prop. I'd been tooling around on a pretty well chewed up prop for 2 years now and decided it was about time to get a new one. Saturday morning, I figured out how to put it on. It wasn't as difficult as I'd originally thought, but I was still a little nervous about it coming off in the middle of the lake!
Of course i had the boat running and stuff during the day on Saturday, I hooked up the "ear muffs" to get water running into it (for cooling) while I was testing stuff out, and all was well.
Sunday morning, we're getting ready, and I go out around 9:30am to make sure the boat still starts. See, I'm getting smarter. And it doesn't start, the battery is low! So I pull the car around and jump start it, and leave it running for 20 minutes while we finish getting ready. We're totally ready to go at like 9:50 - with the truck loaded and everything, and I hop into the the boat, switch the key off, and try to start the boat again. Now the battery is totally dead. WTF?
I jump started it again, and messed around with the throttle and noticed the voltmeter jump from 12 to 14 volts. Apparently, when the boat is idling, if the voltmeter only reads 12 votes, it's not actually charging the battery, and accelerating a bit caused the alternator to kick-in. So after running the boat for another 15 minutes or so - in neutral but with it gassed up a little bit - I turn it off and start it again, and the battery is fully charged.
Just in case, I had Mike borrow a battery pack from Charles. Mike and his wife Stacey were coming out on the boat with us, and nobody wanted to be stranded on the lake with a dead battery.
The trip went off without a hitch, really. Boat ran great with the new prop and the tuneup stuff that Charles had done. It started great and ran great. We lost an anchor because 1> I can't tie knots to save my life, and 2> we forgot to pull the anchor up when we took Emily tubing. Duh. Made a trip to the marina to buy a new anchor :)
My arms, by the way, are really sore today. Tubing strained some muscles that just aren't used to be strained!