Boat work

August 21 to September 11, 2011 — I took a few weeks off of fishing after the August 21 king opening because I had to attend to a boat project that I had been putting off. I needed to re-do the engine mount on my 18-foot open skiff, the Lady Ruth, so I opted to do a backyard hull extension with fiberglass and polyester resin. The guys at the Petrzelka Brothers’ boatyard in Mount Vernon, Wash., were willing to fabricate an aluminum extension/engine mount, but I didn’t want to pay the price. I figured I could do it myself on the cheap.

So I hired a very competent glassman off Craigslist, bought a whole bunch of material, and went to work on the Lady Ruth. To make a long story short, I would have been money ahead to have the guys at Petrzelka Brothers do it. I missed three openings where I could have made a few bucks, not to mention the entire pink salmon season around the island. And I missed those nice fishing opportunities because I was neck-deep in fiberglass laminations, all gooped up with a gas mask strapped to my face, working long hours and cursing my decision to save a few bucks — in the long run I’m certain it cost me more to do it myself.

My goal was to make the silver opening on September 4, and I almost did, but it would have been total chaos in unorganized confusion. Instead I took my time tying up the loose ends of the boat, and made the September 11 opening — in which there were no fish.

You live and learn.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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