Saturday, June 26, 2010

US Customs and Border Protection boat... 1200 HP on this vessel!!

Check out the water lines on the left pontoon. No wonder I was dragging.

Sometimes in a moment of need the right people just appear. For about a week to 10 days I've noticed the boat not performing too well with reduced top speed, RPM and deteriorating gas mileage. It was gradual, but yesterday when completing the Erie Canal to the Oswego Canal, my top speed was only 25 mph at a lower max RPM in a 38 mph boat. What could be wrong? After arriving at the Oswego Marina and gassing up, I spoke with Paul at Hallberg Marine, my dealer in Minnesota. After a discussion of the symptoms we agreed the one thing we had to do was lift the boat out of the water and check the 3 pontoons for water. We had to rule that out.

It so happened I had stopped at the Oswego Marina for the night and it's located next to St. Peter's Outfitter, Boating and Fishing Service Center. Captain Chris Misciagna is the owner. He contacted Bernie who can lift boats out of the water with straps and, long story short, the center pontoon was nearly full of water - when we got the boat out of the water it drained from a 7" crack just in front of the forward weld and also from the drain hole in the rear after we removed the plug - it was still draining from both 2 hours later!! We estimated I had been pushing an extra 2,000 or more pounds of load around. Of course these things always happen late on a Friday afternoon. Chris pulled together his team for first thing Saturday including an aluminum welder. Greg, the technician, would also do the 100-hour service on the engine while we had the boat out. By Saturday afternoon we had the boat back in the water ready for me to go across Lake Ontario Sunday morning.

Why the crack? The experts said they didn't think I struck an underwater object because there was no scratching or gouging in front of the crack. Perhaps it was pounding from waves or just a weakness in the aluminum. In any case the welder, who is a fabricator and works on race cars, brought his equipment to the scene and welded the crack. It seemed to me they did an excellent job.

So, I want to thank Captain Chris, owner of St. Peter's Outfitter in Oswego, N.Y., Greg and Bernie for getting the job done on a weekend and me back on my way tomorrow.

Early tomorrow I will follow my GPS waypoints and charts across Lake Ontario passing the uninhabited Duck Island and heading towards the Bay of Quinte leading to Trenton.


  1. Good news that the cracks causing the lower RPM happened in fair weather waters. Don't you love those "coincidences" of finding the right person at the right time? Sounds like Captain Chris was your guardian angel.

  2. Joanne told me all about the crack in the pontoon -- seeing the picture with the water line is amazing. YIKES! Glad that got worked out! We had a mama deer and her newborn twins in our yard(s) the other day. I called Joanne but too late, they snuck away out of her sight. -Tina

  3. Glad you found out before hitting "open water" - you might as well have been dragging an anchor with that much weight!

  4. Well, all I can say Lyn is that you planned this trip very well! You're up in the 'northlands' staying cool while we are all down here sweating!! At least I am!. (I don't really know what the temps are up in Canada but I suspect that it beats our 90's down here.) I keep track of you every day for fear that you will have a big 'spirt' and be back on the Mississippi I will have missed you. Keep safe!! Jerry