Bad luck turns worse

Put my boat in at Desoto on Monday morning to take out my friend and his 5 year old son for some tarpon at the pass. When I put the engine down the support foot had slipped down between the engine and the mount and drove through the top of the tilt and trim motor. Back on to the trailer to investigate the damage and saved the day by moving the thrust bar up a notch which put the motor about were it trims out at anyway. Put the the boat back in and went to catch bait. Got out to the hole at the pass and not a tarpon to be seen. Dropped the bottom in the hole and pulled in six or seven little sharks, something for the kid to pull on and get a pic with. About noon headed back to fish around the bridge,caught more bait on the way and then I feel the steering start to catch, like there was a kink in the cable. Dropped around the bridge some between the peir and the channel but nothing there. Then we went and tried the edge of the ditch and got a few short red groupers and one baby gag, as I said before, the kid had fun with them. About three we started to head back to the ramp. About half way there I turned the wheel to the left and it just keep turnning but the the boat keep going straight.Looked over to my friend and told him the steering just went out. Shut the motor down and dropped anchor to come up with a plan. Five minutes later, Eckerd College Search and Rescue boat came by and I flagged the over. They were on the way to a boat that was sinking and said they would come back ASAP. Myself being skilled in the art of southern engineering, pulled the steering cable off of the motor and clamped on a pair of vise-grip to the steering tab and had a tiller handle. Started back to the ramp at idle speed and a few minutes later the Eckerd College boat came back up to us and towed us back to the ramp.

My deepest gratitude goes out to the people of Eckerd College Search and Rescue that volunteer thier time to help people out on the water like they do, they will bring you gas, pull you off a sandbar, tow you in, etc. and they do it free of charge. All four people in the boat were students at the college and were very friendly and very professional at thier job. When I get my boat fixed I will be happy to donate some funds to that program in hopes that is stays around for awhile.

With all the bad luck throughout the day we were never in any unsafe position and most importantly the kid had fun.

Replies

  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,528 AG
    The Eckerd boat is a godsend! Glad to hear you got away safely. Steering malfunctions can be deadly. Be careful everyone!
  • TampaFishinTampaFishin Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    We have used Ekerds services before, that program truely is a god send as it's not an if but when situation for breaking down.
  • Navy_FishingNavy_Fishing Posts: 813 Officer
    Back in the late 80s we lost our steering about 15 miles out. Had two of the guys I was fishing with manually poush the 150 back and forth until we got into the dock. 15 miles takes forever at 5-7 knots
  • redfisheater1redfisheater1 Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    Yeah, Eckerd helped me out in my 19 ft bay boat 2 times. It really is good of that program to let the students go out for real world experience at no charge to boaters in trouble. Just donations.
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