Boat stuff

So, the boat blog has been slow while I went skiing all summer with my ski club. The boat stayed in MT all year and is safely snuggled away for the winter. I plan to drag it back to home next summer and I do have a couple more projects to complete on it.

Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here are some photos from our slalom course maintenance day last spring.

Great Water Ski Video

Just watched this and had to repost it. Great shots, video, images, and results from the viewpoint of a professional skier. And yes, I remember watching Water Skiing every week on ESPN. Our family didn’t get cable TV, so I would drive 30 minutes to go to a cousin’s house to watch it. Every Tuesday. I’m kinda old… 🙂

Leaky Transmission

So, I have some long-distance help and decided to do this myself. Here’s some visuals. I’m not going to try to provide a tutorial on how to disassemble and inspect a transmission here.

Here’s the transmission out of the boat. It isn’t all that heavy, so you can just lift it with your hands.20160123_155529

Once I got it out of the boat I tilted it forward to see if I could identify the leak. The idea is to use a clean paper towel and see there the drips appear. Well, the leak in my transmission was so bad that it soaked the towel!


After some time devoted to clean-up, I did the test again but instead of leaving it overnight I just looked and sure enough it was easy to find the leaky spot. All the oil appeared to be flowing out of one of the mounting holes.


So, time to take the transmission apart.

Once I had the face of the transmission apart, the problem was very easy to see. The gasket had not been installed properly and the fluid was leaking out where there was not a gasket available to seal the face of the transmission to the case.

I ordered new gaskets and put it all back together. I filled the case with fluid and happily reinstalled the transmission into my boat.


Sounds great, right? The following weekend I headed out to my garage to finish up this job and get to work on some other boat stuff and….

There was transmission fluid in the bottom of my boat! UGH!!!!! I felt the bottom of the transmission and felt the fluid down there, so out came the transmission again. I’m getting pretty good at this job by this point.

I placed it on my workbench and was relieved to see that there were no leaks anywhere in the work that I had done. But, the plug at the bottom of the front face was leaking. I drained the transmission again and pondered what to do. My solution is to try some Thread Seal. I hope that this seals this transmission so that I never see that pink fluid in my boat ever again!

Here’s to hoping that this stuff does the job!




Last summer the boat was used quite a bit and every time it was used we found transmission fluid in the bilge. This is quite messy, and isn’t good for the environment if it gets into lakes or rivers, so it needs to be fixed.

I’m going to try to fix it myself. We will see how that goes. To do so I needed to removed the transmission. Whew, was that ever a bit of work.

First up: get the muffler off and out of the way.

That was not easy at all. Those exhaust tubes are wire reinforced and very, very, very stiff. After a lot of tugging, hammering and exhaustive work (see what I did there?), I could see my target.


To get the transmission out – you have to slide it aft. So, you need to lift up the back of the engine. To do that you loosen the engine mounts and put a jack under one of the exhaust risers. Once you unbolt the transmission the back of the engine rotates up quite easily.


After that you unbolt everything and out it comes. It is not too heavy, maybe 50 lbs or so? Maybe more. Less than 100 anyway. Oh – I don’t have a photo of it but I put reinforcements under the engine so I’m not relying on that jack to keep my engine from rotating down to the floor.

Now – on to the problems:

I do have leaks. I thought most of the problem was with the front seal. I do have a leak here, but I was incorrect that this was the main source of the problem. The main issue is the front seam along the bottom of the transmission.

Next up – I think I either tear into this or get nervous and take it to an expert. Here is what the boat looks like right now. Man, is this fun.



Remember how much I like hummingbirds? If you go way back in this blog you will see a post about them. Well, I got new feeders and they are a real hit. Just now I saw three of these little helicopters all hovering around this one feeder. Susie thinks we should name them. When I thought there were two I was going to go with Marty and Jennifer (Back to the Future), but the third little bird in the mix doesn’t align with the movie. Plus, I have a hard time telling who are the boys and who are the girls…



I remember when I first purchased my boat that my sister told me a story. Her pre-teen son had asked if my boat would be able to pull tubes. I remember thinking, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure my 275 horsepower competition ski boat could pull a tube.”

I don’t own a tube, but my parents do and they took the boat out last week and got some pretty good shots of the boat out on Flathead. My nieces appear to have had a blast.

My father reports that all is running well, but the transmission still leaks. This fall I’m going to pull the transmission and get that fixed.

275HP and a soft flat competition wake
275HP and a soft flat competition wake
The boat ready to go
The boat ready to go
Looks like fun!
Looks like fun!
The first mate beside my ski machine
The first mate beside my ski machine

Seeing that photo of my mom reminds me of the other thing that I need to do this winter – I have purchased replacement decals for the sides of the boat. So that port side will no longer say, “SKI NAUTIQUL”. Ha ha

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