June 23, 2007

On the trail of a boat for Seneca Lake

PENN YAN, New York, USA - We went in search of boats again today, returning to Penn Yan to look at a 20-foot FloteBote we had heard about a day ago.

The vessel, named Lady Jane for the moment, is in good shape with a relatively unused 35 horsepower Mercury outboard hanging off the stern. We took along John Bills (better known as The Bear) to take a look at the pontoon boat and engine. John has been navigating the waters of Seneca Lake (and many other lakes around here) for years and we knew he could spot a good boat.

He declared the FloteBote Lady Jane a sound vessel. Now it remains to be seen if the owners will take our offer.

Float Bote launch
The Bear overseas the launch of the pontoon boat

After we got the vessel in the water, the mechanic started the engine so we could see how it ran. It sounded great, giving out huge plumes of smoke at first from the oil sprayed in cylinders to store the engine for the cold Northeastern winters.

Unfortunately, our plans for a test ride went astray. The cold winter had frozen the steering cable quite firmly and if we go ahead with the purchase, we will be asking the former owner to cough up the dough for a new cable - and probably general servicing of the engine.

Smokey start
A smokey start

Before we got to the site of the FloteBote, we did go by and look at a neat looking runabout which has a nice looking 50-hp Mercury on the back of it. It passed the Bear test, too, and we are considering purchasing it as a go-fast boat for those days when we don't want to laze down the lake on pontoons. You can't have too many boats around here, particularly as the season is very short for boating (8-10 weeks, max) and the mechanics usually have a three to four week backlog of motors to fix.

Hmm... Maybe we should consider a third boat and motor...

Penn Yan boat
Penn Yan ski boat

Penn Yan 2
The Admiral and Bear the check the engine

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