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Mad Adventure of a 2200 Mile Trip

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  • Mad Adventure of a 2200 Mile Trip

    Hi everyone,

    It has been a long time since I have written anything on this forum, but I have been reading posts, up to the last 3 months. I thought you would like to hear the about the mad adventure I had a month ago with my Mako 15 and a 2200 mile trip from Seattle WA to Austin TX. I hope you find it interesting, funny, and inspirational.

    The company I worked for decided it was time for me to move on. The Seattle area is rather expensive, and due to COVID 19, there were not many open positions for employment, so Susan and I decided it would be better to leave the Seattle area than to plow through our life savings. So we put the house up for sale (it sold in 3 hours!) and began packing up all our possessions to move to my Mom' house in Austin TX. I wanted to keep the Mako 15, so I planned a trip to drag it behind my Kia Sportage for the full 2200 miles.

    First was the prep work. I replaced all components in the wheel assembly of the trailer (racers, bearings, washers, grease, etc.) and made an emergency road kit of extra parts and tools in case there was an issue during the trip. The tires were 1.5 years old and in good shape, so they were not changed. I checked the tow bar and hitch, the trailer lights, and cleared everything out of the boat. My 13 year old son was to accompany my in the car for the trip; nice to have some company. The Sportage was given a once over as well. I had asked on another forum if I should install a transmission cooler. Most thought it a good idea, but I also asked a Kia technician, and he said 99% of the Sportages already had one, and should not really need it, so I forgo the transmission cooler. We had to have the obligatory snacks, colas, and root beer! Once packed, we were ready to go on our way!

    We left at 10:30 am Monday morning. It rained the first hour until we were through the pass. Then the sun came out for the rest of the trip. I will admit, the Kia had issues trying to keep up to speed going up those hills and mountains (I felt like a trucker with an over sized load). We saw many beautiful vistas of mountains, deserts, towns, parks and highway rest stops. Did you know the Garmin could not give me the complete directions from WA to TX? Said it was too much information! So we tried to Albuquerque NM instead. That worked!

    The first night we stopped at a highway rest stop for 2 hours as I needed a break and some shut eye. At 4 am Tuesday we took off again. Breakfast at a McDonalds at 8 am, and a fill up of the gas tank for the car ( We were getting about 18 miles to the gallon, so we had to fill up often). While I was filling up, I noticed the trailer license plate was no longer there. Oh my, I thought, what am I supposed to do now that we are 1000 miles from Seattle? Well, I guess we will just have to press on and hope we do not get pulled over.

    We stopped at a rest stop about 3 hours later, and that is when I noticed the L-bar on the trailer that holds the axle in place (welded above the springs) had broken off the back! Oh my again! I attempted to hold the L-bar down with a bunjee chord, wrap it round the spring with the hopes it would stay on. At least the tie down strap was connected from the L-bar to the boat. That should hold it at least for a while.

    On we go for another 250 miles or so. I look out the side mirror, and my trailer fender is bouncing off the pavement! YOW!!! We make a quick stop to the shoulder of the highway, and put the trailer fender with the L-bar into the back of the Sportage. So now I figure the axle may cause some issues since the bar is completely off, but the axle itself is sold to the frame, so maybe we will still be ok to move forward. I surely was not going to travel 1400 miles or so back to Seattle. On we go until about midnight. At this point there were no more highways, only 2 lane roads going through small towns occasionally. I backed the boat next to a fast food building at midnight and slept for 2 hours. By 2:30 am of the second night we were back on the road.

    Talk about crazy roads! They were simple 2 lane roads with a speed limit of 70 MPH! I refused to go that fast with the boat dragging behind. The truckers didn't care. They were going ovre 70 MPH, and coming up on me fast. So yes, I wimped out, and pulled off the road to let them by every time.

    So 3:30 am on one of these back roads, I am tooling along at 60 MPH, minding my own business, watching for trucks. Out of nowhere a skunk decides it has to cross the road 20 feet in front of me. So my gut reaction was to miss the skunk. The car goes to the right, the boat trailer goes to the left. The car goes to the left, and the boat trailer wips to the right. My son, Nate, woke up from a nap and screaming. I thought we were going to die. I straightened out both vehicles, still shacking, and after a short time thought it might be good to check on the boat. We pulled to the side of the road, got out of the car, and walked back to the boat, which was no longer centered on the trailer. It had slid to the left, thankfully it did not slide off completely. So we stopped at the next gas station in the next small town and lifted the front end of the boat back into place. We tried to slide the back closer to the center, but could not, too much weight. So we pressed on instead, closing in on our destination of Austin TX.

    At 10:30 am of the second day, we arrived at my Mom's house. I could hardly move from lack of sleep and literally passed out for most of the day.

    Wednesday, and time to fix issues. I found a warden on Lake Travis who helped my realign the boat on the trailer. We took the Mako 15 to the boat ramp, and went down as far as possible until the boat floated off the trailer. Then it was easy to pull it back on to the proper seating. One issue resolved, and I felt so much better.

    Then in the afternoon, I rented a welder from Home Depot, and 2 hours later, the L-bar was solid on the trailer again (had to use a pry bar to realign everything, but it turned out really well). Next was filing the weld smooth, and finally painting the bear metal with black rustolium paint. Yes, I am back to the original state again! My last chore was to remove all the bits of tar off the side of the boat from the 2200 mile trip. My earlier wax job was very helpful, the tar came off easily, and the boat was re-waxed again.

    So now my family is in Cedar Park TX. I am looking for work, and periodically taking the boat out on Lake Georgetown. We are learning how to fish the lake, trying various baits. The Mako is registered in TX, as are my cars. I have to admit, I am not looking forward to ever dragging my boat any long distance again, though probably will have to when I retire. In hind sight, my brothers say I should have squashed the skunk, but then I may have had a smelly boat. Not sure I could have lived with that. I will also pull the boat with my wife's car, the Pacifica, instead of the Sportage. More power you know.

    Anyway, I hope you find this entertaining and possibly learn something besides. And if you do drag your boat for a great distance, watch out for them skunks!!!!!

    Mark Kriz[br]Mako15 1974[br]Mercury Thunderbolt 800 1972[br]Maple Valley, WA[br][br]

  • #2
    In March of this year, we towed my Mako 20 from Allen, TX to Pensacola Beach, Florida for a week of vacation and fishing. Everything was fine starting out. When we reached Pensacola Beach we found the weld broken on the rear of the left side fender and the winch post bottom plate had cracked all the way through right behind the post. Tried to find a welder in the area but were not successful.

    We had rented a house on the sound side so we just left the boat in the water for the week. When it was time to go, the fender got taped up with electrical tape and once the boat was on the trailer, the winch post and boat were secured with tie down straps. We made it all the way home, 600 miles, without further incident.

    Electrical tape, Duct tape (although it was not needed this time) and ratcheting tie down straps are good things to carry with you for long or short trips!
    Last edited by Redloon; 08-15-2020, 08:24 AM.
    1964 Skeeter 16\' bass boat with 1971 Johnson 6Hp[br]1973 Mako 20 with Evinrude 140[br]1975 Wellcraft V17 with Johnson 85[br]1977 Wellcraft V20 Center Console with Evinrude 150[br]1981 Wellcraft V20 Steplift with Evinrude 115[br] [br]1972 17\' Mako Standard - SOLD [br]1972 17\' Mako Angler - SOLD[br]1972 19\' Mako with Johnson 115 - SOLD[br]1982 Wellcraft 180 Fisherman with Johnson 115 - SOLD[br]Always looking for the next one![br]Allen, TX.


    • #3
      sounds like one of my adventures. nothing happens to people who spend most of their time on a couch lol
      glad you all are safe
      1984 Mako 238 WA [br]2015 Suzuki 250 APX[br]Central PA/OCMD[br][br]