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When you travel by boat, sh*t happens

Day 1                                                                                                                                                           Distance Travelled: 84.5 nautical miles (73 miles under our own power and 11.5 miles under tow courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard).

We departed Sturgeon Bay at 6:40 a.m. The weather was fine and the boat performed well. Seas were 1 to 3 feet in the morning and built to about 2 to 4 feet in the afternoon, from the south, southwest. The boat was performing magnificently and the ride was very comfortable. I am accompanied by Peter Jacobs, a licensed captain and electrical engineer, a native of the area.

The day was uneventful until 3:45 pm. I had the watch and Peter was trying to nap. We had travelled about 73 miles and were at latitude 43 degrees 42 minutes north, 87 degrees 27 minutes west when suddenly there was a loud clank sound and we lost all propulsion. The engine was still running but we were not moving forward. I pulled back the throttle and put the gears in neutral while Peter rushed down to the engine room to check things out.

The engine is coupled to the shaft by a flexible coupling. All of the bolts holding the engine to the shaft simply sheared off, so that the engine turns without turning the shaft and prop. Peter got on the radio and called the Coast Guard station in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Since there is no commercial towing service here, they were kind enough to dispatch a boat out to tow us approximately 11 miles into the harbour. It took the Coast Guard approximately 45 minutes to reach us and almost two hours at 6 knots to get us into the harbour, where we arrived and finished tying up at almost 7 p.m.

We had a good dinner at a local waterfront place and we have a couple of recommendations as to good mechanics to try in the morning. I’ll report back when we know where we’ll go from here. We’re hoping it’s as simple as replacing the bolts and aligning the engine better with the shaft so that this doesn’t;t happen again.

Are we having fun yet?


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Reader Comments (2)

James A. put me on to your Blog. What a hansom looking boat! Welcome the the mysteries of Lake Michigan. The currents and changing weather are ledgendary. Sheboygan is not a bad place to end up. It is known for it's Brats. I will be following your adventures. Best, Jim K.
October 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJim Kyle
Is the answer "Yes" to that last question?

I am so glad about Auburn - war damn eagle!!

Be careful...let's not another episode like the boat catching on fire.
October 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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