boat!!! part 1

by grace on June 14, 2018

part one, of many parts ongoing for a long time to come…

after mom and my perilous failed boat ride involving crashing and scraping along the shoreline, we bought a new boat.

nobody in springfield had a boat we wanted, so kevin found one at the marvelously-named Ted’s Boatarama in Rock Island.  it’s a 2018  20-foot Sun Tracker Party Barge 18 DLX, charcoal grey with a charcoal bimini top.

I hadn’t been so excited about getting the boat because it all seemed a little surreal to me, plus a brand-new boat is not cheap.

we drove up to Rock Island on Tuesday and entered the huge store; they obviously do a whole lotta business, probably because they’re right alongside the Rock River and close to the mighty Mississippi.  they had lots of staff, and everybody we talked to was nice and unassuming and knowledgeable; it didn’t feel like they were a bunch of used-car salesman, which had been our experience at some of the boat  stores in springfield.

tim, the general manager, was a friendly older guy, and the woman in charge of all the paperwork was also very kind.  as kevin was busy signing many documents, I told her that we’d had a boat for about 12 years, and it never worked for an entire summer.  I said I couldn’t believe we were buying a new boat, and tears were welling up in my eyes.  I tried not to burst into tears, not wanting her to think i’m unbalanced (not wanting her to figure out that yeah, i’m pretty unbalanced).  I was just so very happy…

we went outside where they were lowering our new boat onto our own trailer that we’d brought with us.  I severely bent the front piece of it a couple years ago, but our boat repair guy told us a place that would fix it, so now the trailer is stronger than ever.

but as they were lowering it, suddenly they started bringing it back up and pulling the trailer away from the boat.

Uh oh.

our trailer is strong, but it was made in 1988, when they decided to put vertical bars on the inside of where the pontoons would go to stabilize them.  unfortunately our new pontoons were wide then the old ones, so the bars were about to scratch or puncture the pontoons.

everybody discussed our options and they finally concluded that they could bend the bars in using another fork lift.

whew.  but then they stressed the need for wrapping the bars with old carpet and securing them with lots of duct tape.  they asked how far we had to go, and se said “springfield,” and the guys said “Illinois??!!”  they said they’d take care of the carpet around the bars, and they’d use our straps to secure the boat into place.

while they did all that, we went off and had a tasty lunch.

we got back and it was all ready to go, and kevin pulled out a few pieces of equipment I don’t recall seeing before.  he had these two yellow tennis ball kind of things on top of long poles with magnets, and place one on the boat and the other on the back of the truck for ease of backing.

it worked so well that the one ball knocked the other one off.  done.

here’s the boat, ready for the ride home.

I kept an eye on it as we drove home, and it was just fine.

we’d seen this huge cover over a bridge around Peoria on our way up, and I was able to get a couple photos on our return trip.  that’d be quite a job, wouldn’t it, putting that giant thing over the bridge?  and wouldn’t it be awfully toasty in there for the workers?

we finally arrived home and amy came over to take a photo.  kevin and I waxed the pontoons and the outside of the boat and then jim came over and helped cover it with the giant white travel tarp that it came with.

we successfully launched the boat yesterday, more photos to follow.

yay, boat!

ok then,

mrs. h.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Christia Hughes June 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm

That’s not a boat, that’s an on the water party destination. You supply the gas and I’ll bring the wine coolers and chips.


grace June 17, 2018 at 11:55 am

haha, your are 100% right about that, christia! it’s not called a party barge for nothing! you’re welcome to come and take a ride anytime…I hope to keep it in the water as long as possible…


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