Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Requiem for a Boat

The Glassmaster is no more.

After nearly four years of repairs, renovations and really good fishing trips, my Glassmaster boat gave up her last breath this weekend in a cloud of burning fuel exhaust.

The day we bought her off Craig's List, the starter burned out on her maiden voyage and we nearly went floating aimlessly down from Wyandotte to Niagara Falls. Now, the circle is complete with the starter once again failing to get the old girl running.

You'll always remember your first...boat. We had some great times together.

In the Summer, she provided days upon days of fun up on Clear Lake. She came with us on a couple of our men's Fall fishing trips; in fact she held 6 guys while floating on Houghton Lake in the dark. There was the time she made the Wyandotte-Detroit Run in 12 parsecs. I even caught my first river Walleye on her while fishing the Trenton Channel.

On a clear day when the waters are calm she could really let loose, topping off at 30 miles per hour. And it's amazing how she made me smile while flipping a big fat finger at Al Gore every time she started up, the cloud of grey exhaust fumes wafting aimlessly into the sky, doing her part to counter the recent drop in global temperatures.

I learned a thing or two about boats from her; like how to pull a prop, replace a starter, install a new throttle, rewire lights, install carpeting and new seats, fix a steering column, what "blown gasket" means, repair a stripped gear, etc. The Johnson Outboard Repair Manual became my bible.

As I faced the task of pouring more money into her, I realized that it was time to move on. We are now in the process of buying a newer boat.

But as I was cleaning her up last night, getting ready to place her back on Craig's List, I hit the ignition for old time's sake.....she stalled, then coughed and the starter turned over. That's my girl...she refuses to quit. But it's too late for me. Rest easy now little boat, safer harbors are ahead.

I'm sure there is someone out there looking for a 1969 Glassmaster with a 55 HP Johnson. She comes loaded: a fish finder, marine radio and a well marked up repair manual.

The memories, I'll keep.

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