THE OLD MAN AND THE RIVER III

5/30/2022  

Mid-June rolled around, and the journey of the GIMPY GUPPY was undertaken. Having a friend come along to drive the vehicle and trailer back home, the pair set out for Dubuque, Iowa. The clowns set up the home-made Bimini top at the public launch and slid that fiberglass folley into the dirty river. Bill fired it up and pointed the bow north. Engage. As his friend was in the truck heading back to Wisconsin, he phoned Bill and told him that his red and white boat with a blue tarp slung over a plastic support frame 7′ over the boat’s floor and held in place with 12 bungee cords, looked like a SANFORD AND SON concoction. The boat soon disappeared into the giant lock designed for a 15-barge assembly. A cabin cruiser and the GUPPY were lifted 9′ up the liquid stairs and as the lock gates were opened, they were both off to the races. Bill noticed the GIMP was struggling to plane out, so he started shifting the luggage weight to the bow. Only when he stood up in the pass-through area by the windshield did it settle over. Hmm? Let’s see if trimming the stern drive will help. As the motor lifted, the speed fell off considerably as the prop force was now directing the hull down into the river. Well, that didn’t work. Bill dropped the drive back down, but it never moved. It took 15 minutes to come up with the realization that those cylinders that tipped the motor were permanently broke and that this rig was using all its energy to drive the stern 40° towards the river bottom. RATS! It still moved forward but at 3,000 RPMs, it pushed into the downstream current of 5MPH with a top speed of 6MPH. 7 miles into this trip and the GIMP was flat out busted. Bill weighed his options. As far as today went in the midafternoon, he was just going to push forward. 6 hours later, he pulled into the south side of Guttenberg, IA and docked at the public marina. Nearby was a hotel and restaurant, so Mr. Turst got a room and a meal. A decision would be made tomorrow.

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