Yeppers it happened last week. Best friend and bud in town for a change. We went out to do an overnighter on the 'Mac. We had set up an island camp earlier in the day. Fishing most of the afternoon with decent results. Water was low! 1.6 or so at POR gauge. Pretty low for my boat.
Around 5pm we were heading back up midstream through a shallow riffle. We banged a couple of times but nothing that seemed out of the ordinary. I hear a "HEY" from the back of the boat and turn around and the floor is filling up fast. I try to get us moving again but we are now sitting on rocks. I turn on the bilge pump and we start to figure out what we have done.
We are now sitting hard on the bottom facing downstream. Nearest ramp that way is a couple of miles. Camp is over there a ways and shallow between us and there. Nearest ramp up stream is at least 1/2 mile but we can sorta see it.
Boat is on the bottom but water is still rising in the boat. I get to see if we got lucky and knocked the plug out. No such luck. The place where the plug goes wasn't where it should be.
OOPS! Of course this is all underwater of course and working by feel. I cleared away some of the gravel and it didn't feel good. Very jagged hole. A rock had tried to peel open the transom. We tried rags and such to fill the hole but no luck. Very little wood in the neighborhood. I even tried stuffing a flattened plastic water bottle in the hole. About this point I'm starting to get concerned about boat electrics getting swamped. They are mounted high but the water is still rising. Before it was over this switch almost got underwater!
I reached a point where I was thinking. "This might as well be my truck sitting here in the middle of the river. How the hell do you call a tow truck for this?" My thoughts at this point are we might need some outside help. At least walking to shore then down the canal to the truck to go find something to fix this with.
I had 1 persons # that I was aware of in my new phone that might have a clue. So I called him. He was at work not free. But in talking about the situation he reminded me that he thought, "Didn't Buddha plug a hole in his boat with rubber worms?" What the heck I've got bags of those. Let me try it and I'll get back to you.
While I was talking my bud had managed to get a plastic bottle shoved up in the hole but it wasn't stopping the water. I grabbed a bag full of these and bent them in 1/2 and starting shoving them in the hole.
Before long it felt like I was sealing up the hole. I was shoving worms into every crevice around the water bottle and using them for caulk. The bilge pump was still running and my bud who was bailing says "Hey I think it working. The water is dropping!" So I stuffed as many as I could into any hole I could and then cut the top off a 16oz water bottle and started bailing. My bud was using a 20oz coffee cup. We bailed for over an hour but dropped the water pretty good. He said, "lets see what we have now." I got off the boat gunnel and it floated. We just grabbed the boat at each end and started walking it up stream through the riffle. If worst came to worst we would walk it back to the ramp. We got to a point where we had some water under the boat but it was filling back up. I tried the motor and it fired. He climbed up on the side and we putt putted back to the ramp. I couldn't believe it when we finally got there.
We managed to get the boat winched up on the trailer. Also not an easy task. Once at the top of the ramp we found this.
I can just about get my fat hand inside that hole!
Anyway once we got to the ramp I let Ron know. We also headed for home to drop off the boat. That's 1.5 hours away. We got home about 9:15pm and Mama Squatch made us a couple of sandwiches. We hadn't eaten all day. I unhitched the trailer. Grabbed the few things we needed out of the boat. The we grabbed my tandem canoe out from under the porch and threw it on the roof racks. Remember we still had a camp set up on the river. We were about as wired for sound as you can get from the event's of the evening. So by 11:30pm we were back on the water paddling my canoe under the full moon back to the island. We got there and built a fire. Cooked the dinner we had brought. About 6 hours late. Had a few cold ones and finally calmed down at about 3 am. Next am packed it up and paddled it back to the truck.
A little hindsight after it's been over a while. 1st My bud was the best! We've been through a lot together and have worked, fished, camped ect for over 25 years together. When things go wrong it's so good to be with someone that just naturally knows what to do and does it. No BS at all. Just get-er-done.
Even the best organized folks get tunnel vision in times like these. There were other things to plug the hole with that just didn't register at the time. Closed cell foam from around the troller batteries. We could have cut open a throw cushion and used the closed cell foam from that. The rubber worms did work well and were easy to use quickly.
Since I've had this boat on the water ('07) I've used the live well exactly once! When I get the boat repaired I will have the holes in the transom for the live well filled. I'll add a drain on both sides of the tunnel. I'll also add a 2nd big bilge pump on the other side. Both bilge pump will be as big as I can get. I think the one I have now is a 750 or 1,000. And I will carry 2 balling jugs. I normally have a jug on board but somewhere recently it disappeared. Probably got nasty and was pitched.
When I built this boat I mounted all the electrics(and everything else) as high as possible in the boat. Every connection was soldered and heat shrunk then covered with liquid electrical tape. Lot's of switches and breakers. It saved me a lot of hassle after the fact. No real drying out of electrical stuff. The pump was still running when we got this boat on the trailer. in the process I did find out a day or 2 later that the main battery did get dunked in the process. There was a box full of water. I'm thinking this happened as we loaded it on the trailer.