Thank you to a few good Samaritans....

6/23/14 @ 9:44 AM
ORIGINAL POST
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03
This could have been entitled the trip that almost wasn't.... My wife and I wanted to get to Vilas County to fish in the Muskies Inc. Larry Kleeba outing/tournament. We live near Milwaukee.... So we packed up the Ranger and truck and were on our way. It was nice out, so our windows were down as we were driving through town to get to the highway. We heard the trailer make a few squeaks and pulled over to see what was the matter. Handle needed a crank or two, so we did that and were back on our way. Noise wouldn't stop, so we pulled over at a gas station to further examine things. While there, I put some air into the trailer tires and noticed that the tires were a little worn, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Off we were again. We were about 5 miles from home, near Sussex when we met our first good Samaritan. He and his wife were pulled a utility trailer and he pulled up next to us at a stop light and told us that our back passenger trailer wheel was wobbling. Away he went and we pulled over into a parking lot to check things out. I had the wife drive the truck and the wheel just didn't look right. I tried tugging on the tire and could move it a third of an inch or so. I didn't know how bad things were, but I decided the Ranger was not going north. Called MW Marine, they thought wheel bearings. I slowly drove the boat to Duchows (it was much closer than MW) and the service tech thought that something was "really wrong" and that we should leave it with him to fix. Both bearings, he thought. So, we took our gear out of the boat and put everything into the truck. Undaunted, we headed north without the Ranger. Fortunately my father owns a 1992 LakeLand 1672 trihull boat that is great to fish out of. So we get north a lot later than we had wanted, but we were there and we had a boat to fish out of. We got up Saturday morning and headed to North Twin. Hooked up the Lakeland to the truck and away we went. Hit one bump and heard a bad noise and felt something "push" the truck a little bit. You guessed it, I didn't have the hitch secure, so it jumped and was held on by safety chains. No damage done. Hitched everything up again, only correctly this time. Launched off of Lakota on the Conover side. The Lakeland hadn't been run yet this year, but the plug was in, engine had oil and we had a full tank of gas. Engine turned over and we ran across the lake to start fishing. After about four casts, I look over my shoulder and see that the carpeting on the floor is getting wet. I told my wife we were going in. She saw the water and knew something was up. I tried starting the engine. Of course it didn't start for about thirty terrifying seconds. While we were moving, we turned the bilge on and got the boat on plane to drain the water. We ran to the launch and dropped my wife off so she could back up the truck. I ran the boat around the area, keeping water out. Another couple came to launch and took up the entire launch and my wife had to wait for them. I took the boat to the dock, told them we were taking on water and asked that they move. They did. We got the boat on the trailer and a little bit of water drained out. Plug was in and very tight. My wife was looking under the boat for a crack or leak, couldn't find a thing. That is when the second Good Samaritan came over and helped out. He looked at the back of the boat and saw that the aerator motor had broken away from its' water intake. Water was free to come into the boat and not get stopped by the aerator. So that was our issue. I wouldn't have seen that without his help. So we took the boat up to Land-O-Lakes to Northern Edge Sport and Marine. Their mechanic, our third Good Samaritan, was on duty and at the front desk. He told us to pull around back. He checked things out and agreed that it was clearly the aerator that was broken. He told us he'd have it fixed in 30 minutes. And he lied, it was more like 15-20 minutes. Total cost was a shade under $100. We were back at the launch and fishing by noon. Unreal experience. Ended up having a rotten fishing day on Twin, catching the only musky that hit and it was in the low 20's for inches. But thanks to our Three Good Samaritans, we were able to sidestep some serious landmines along the way. I hope that they read this thread and understand how much I appreciate what all three did for me this past weekend. Without them, things could have been a whole lot worse.
Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 8 of 8 Posts
6/26/14 @ 9:11 AM
Foundry Rat
Foundry Rat
USER since 1/21/10
Nice! I guess there are some good people left.

Post Your Comment
6/25/14 @ 11:15 PM
Frosty142
Frosty142
USER since 4/4/14
Great write-up. This also serves as a good reminder to us all that fellow boaters need to stick together out there and help out whenever we can.

I try to be prepared as much as possible as I too have experienced near disasters when traveling with the boat. Spare drain plug, spare tire with wheel hub and bearings, bearing grease, full size auto jack and a small tool box go wherever I go when pulling the boat.

Also kudos to the dealers that helped you out. Its rare these days to find dealers that would drop everything to take care of a walk-in customer needing emergency repairs.

Post Your Comment
6/25/14 @ 8:37 AM
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03
Dealer (Duchows) called yesterday. Bearings were just fine on the trailer. Instead it looked like a tire was working itself loose from the rim. So they suggested either re-mounting it, or buying new tires.

So I went to Tires Plus and got new tires. Issue fixed. Very happy that it wasn't bearings. Much less expensive to get new tires.

Post Your Comment
6/24/14 @ 10:27 PM
denesox
denesox
USER since 2/1/06
Seems like you were destined to fish the weekend. Wouldn't it have been great to land a 50", too...lol.

Glad it all worked out for ya.

Post Your Comment
6/23/14 @ 10:56 AM
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03
Yah, it stunk that everything sort of happened. But my wife looks at it this way.... had someone else taken our the Lakeland, like my father, it would have sunk. And he doesn't swim so well, so my disaster was avoided. And with the two of us in the boat? We were able to overcome the issues without much of an incident.

And catching the bearings on the Ranger when only 5 miles from home and about 3 miles from a dealer? What are the odds of that? A buddy of mine just emailed me and says those kinds of issues usually happen in the absolute middle of nowhere.

So yah, bad things happened, but thanks for many, many good people along the way, we managed them.

Food for thought. The next time anyone sees something "fishy" about a wheel on a trailer, don't be afraid to tell the driver. And when at a launch? If something isn't going right, offer to help. Could be that your experience helps diagose a problem and lead to the solution.

Post Your Comment
6/23/14 @ 10:25 AM
nihsif
nihsif
MEMBER since 6/15/01
nice report vegas... too bad so many issues, but nice to hear about people behaving they way you'd hope they would... nice story

Post Your Comment