First Run of the Year, & I am....
smiling from ear to ear. After a tune up and impeller swap I went to Knik River with my dad to give the boat a quick run. Be careful at the Knik launch, some morons burnt wooden pallets over the entire parking lot. Old, rusty, burnt up nails lay everywhere. Also the launch is very tricky right now. The bank is fairly steep and once the trailer tires touch the water the trailer drops right off a ledge into 5 feet of water. Pulling the boat out we found ourselfs stuck and it took some rocking to get the boat out.
The 40hp Johnson fired up in a blink of an eye and up river we went. The river was completely free of ice and the channel was nice and deep. Off the channel speratic sands bars laced the river. Easy running, but I had to keep my eyes open for those OH S&#T sand bars.
We decided to go back down river and up the mouth of the Matanuska. After running airboats for 16 years I never really had to worry about water depth, but I was always aware of the water conditions. The Matanuska was very shallow. I kept trucking upriver anyways. I stuck to what little channel there was but came to a 90* bend with 5" of water underneith the boat for about 50'. The bottom was half pebble rocks and half sand, when I see bare sand I pucker up really bad. I rounded the corned, straighted up and hit wide open throttle, and hoped for the best. The river was not wide enough to turn around or deep enough to come off step. Within 10' of the other end of the shallow straight I see my dad brace himself, and as soon as he did the boat boat lurched a couple of times and then came to a jaw jurking dead stop.
My dad hits the floorboards and rolls to the front of the bow. My dog, who had her toe nails dangling over the edge of the bow, is now soaring through air like a young eagle learning to fly for the first time. I am completely bent over the center console with a not so great sensation of a steering wheel stuck in my gut. We both look at each other for a second and then we both bust out in uncontrollable laughter.
Five minutes of heaving, pushing, and pulling the boat is back into just enough water for the jet to suck up water and gain momentum. Hey, I have to find out the boat's limitations one way or another. We only spent 1 hour on the river but eitherway it was a blast.
It's been years since I have been behind the controls of a boat but I never forgot how much fun it was to run the rivers. Now that I have to constantly worry about water depth it is a whole new ball game. I miss running airboats very much so, but it's piece of mind knowning I do not have to worry about prop wash, noise, or those proprs spinning at thousands of rpm's. This boat fits my families bill almost to the T.
LOL, that's a good story, especially for the first run of the year. I'll make my first run in the morning.