Last weekend, June 6-7, was the first official wakeboarding weekend of summer '09. The original date that Andrew and I had planned for was almost a month prior... which given how cold the water was last weekend, would have probably resulted in minor cases of hypothermia. Henceforth, June shall be the earliest we go wakeboarding.
The weekend was not without mechanical glitches. Despite spending a small fortune to get the dog clutch gears, the shifter cable, points and condensor replaced (FUTURE LINK TO POST), and getting the boat to start out of the water on Friday, we still had troubles when we put it in the water Saturday morning. I should have known that something was amiss when Alan and I had to use the Xterra to jumpstart the boat to get it running on Friday. We left it running for a good 10-15 minutes to make sure that the battery would charge back up for the next day.
Come Saturday morning when everyone is anxious to get on the water, we put the boat in and already the battery was completely dead; the lower unit wouldn't even move. Fortunately a friendly boater lent us his jump starter so we could get it running (using the Xterra battery itself didn't work, and only served to drain it, later requiring a jumpstart from Andrew's WRX). After motoring around for a good 20 minutes we returned to the dock, just in case, to stop and start the engine. Guess what, she didn't start. We pulled the boat out of the water and tested the battery at a marina no more than 50 yards away. Just what you'd expect, completely dead. The fact that the alternator wouldn't charge the battery combined with it only producing 12V of power (compared the standard 13-14V) I decided to replace the alternator as well as the battery. A good $260 later we had a boat that started without even needing to give it gas. That is unheard of. The VIP hasn't started that well in around 5 years.
By the time we got back to lock 7, had a barbq and got out on the water, it was around 5pm. It was completely worth the time and price of the repair because the boat runs beautifully, now reaching 38.1mph versus 32.3mph before (using GPS). Plus, in the words of Alex, people seriously underestimate the value of peace of mind.
Check out the wakeboarding pictures and video here (FUTURE LINK TO GALLERY)