Saturday afternoon we towed the O'Day to Lake Mendota for the first time. We took our time rigging to check over each fitting and retaining clip. We installed several new circle clips and cotter pins where they were weak or missing. The mast raising went pretty well with the simple gin pole system that came with the boat. We had to back the 4Runner down the ramp until the back tires were about 12" deep in the water before the boat floated free.
The outboard, an old Mariner 15 HP 2-stroke, fired up on the first pull and ran ok for about 30 seconds. Well that was a confidence building start. It restarted after a couple pulls and we motored out onto the lake. Brenda had her big, "I'm on the water again." grin beaming. The outboard spit, sputtered and coughed for a few minutes before dying again. Mmmm, we are losing confidence in this motor really quickly. After finding a poor connection at the gas tank we are spitting, sputtering and coughing along again. Let's raise these sails before the outboard quits again.
It feels great to have the sails up in the breeze on a nearly deserted lake. We sail around a bit to get a feel for our latest sailboat and just enjoy being on the water again after a long winter. Since it is late afternoon we decide to sail toward the channel leading to the slip we rented for the summer. The channel leading to our slip by Mariner's Inn is shallow and quite long. We were not very confident that the ol' Mariner would run long enough to get us all the way in. It is not a good sign when we are discussing who we could call to tow us in when the outboard dies.
Surprisingly enough the outboard wheezed and complained all the way into our slip. "Add outboard tune-up to the to-do list dear."