I have a 16-year-old nephew who, along with two of his buddies, bought an old fishing boat. They are so excited about their purchase and can't wait to paint it camo and go duck hunting. That dream almost came to an end when they took the boat out for the first time. Water filled the back end and the boys quickly realized that they had forgotten a most important item...the drain plug. Well, all ended well...the plug was put in just in time, and they're on schedule to paint this weekend
But, that got me to thinking about things that have happened to my friends and me over my boating years. And one thing that keeps coming up are stories about the boat's drain plug. Probably there are more funny and not-so-funny stories about the boat's drain plug than any other important boating fixture. Most boaters have had something happen that is funny or, in some cases, expensive concerning a boat drain plug.
I remember having a little aluminum fishing boat. It had rained, and I needed to pull the drain plug. Without thinking I reached down in about six inches of water. Then I realized I had not taken my watch off--the watch that was given to me by my wife for our anniversary. Back in those days wrist watches were not water-proof. I realized immediately that I had screwed up. I hoped the watch would be ok--wrong--it quit in less than a week. That was not-so funny.
A funny story happened to a friend of mine. Ben had invited my wife and me to spend Memorial weekend at Lake Perry. Ben had worked all winter restoring a boat that had sunk--not his doing. He literally took the boat apart. He rebuilt the motor, replaced the carpet and upholstery. He was so proud of the work he had done. After showing us all what he had done, we hooked the boat on and trailered it to the boat ramp. Ben got behind the wheel and gave me instructions on how to crank it off of the trailer. He turned the key, and the motor started right up. You could see on his face how proud he was of what he had accomplished. Then, all of a sudden, that look turned to panic. The stern of the boat was filling with water--and fast. Luckily his wife and mine were totally involved in their own conversation and had not driven off the ramp. He made a desperate lunge toward the trailer with a wide open throttle. He made it, and relief flooded his face. I didn't know what was going on--then I realized-- he had left the plug out. Luckily, a good ending to a precarious predicament.
In boating, it's the little things that can make a huge difference. A drain plug is less than 3 inches long, but what an important 3 inches. I hope all of your drain plug stories are retold with a smile and that your watch keeps ticking.