A Love Story....of sorts. by George Mirowski
I bought an almost new Hammond Challenger Mk 1 with an 260 OMC. in about
1982. Used and abused "Super Trooper' (apologies to ABBA) for a few years to its and mine full advantage, nearly
killed myself in it twice, something to do with full throttle, lifting off a high wake and the torque of the engine landing us for a micro second almost perpendicular to the water. After changing
my shorts, I thought that may have been someones way of telling me to try something more sedate. The divorce was painful but brief and I consoled myself with a 24ft. Wellcraft. It was the
Wellcraft that attracted the woman I was going to marry....(well maybe it was me, but you catch my drift). Go figure!
Long story short, after an absence of some years I find myself back in the Middle East. Last June 2008 Mrs.M. (still the same one) aka. 'she who will be obeyed' suggested I go and look for another boat to buy. Off trots Mr. M and lo and behold the first boat I spy for sale is my old 'Super Trooper' looking sad and forlorn with different livery and a different engine and configuration. After 26 years apart we were reunited, perhaps it was fated. 'Super Trooper' did'nt once mention my expanding waist line nor laughter lines that had now turned to tram rails, but glinted at me seductively from under the years of grime, dust and mechanical neglect. I had to have her/him/it. I still haven't figured out the thing about gender and floatie things. For the princely price of US$.10,000. (the same price I sold the boat for all those years ago) we are now together and in the throes of a marvellous affair.
Called my old mate (I would bend it, Pete would mend it) Pete in Sri Lanka and said, "Pete, I've bought Super Trooper again." Pete said "OK I'll fly over on Saturday to fix it". Months later we have totally rebuilt the engine, steering, fitted a new fuel tank, re-upholstered & recarpeted the beast, changed everything that could/should be changed, fitted a new instrument panel and instruments and are thrilled when we wake up half the Island on engine start-up. Somewhere along the way we fitted a straight through exhaust thingie.
In old military parlance it now goes like ka ka off a shovel....affidavits
can be supplied. Still running the engine in and so far we're getting around 35 mph. at just under 2800 revs. In another couple of hours and only after getting a Biggles hat, aviator goggles and
white silk scarf, going to open the beast up.I'm thinking of renaming Super Trooper to 'Eric' in keeping with my now more sensible and pragmatic approach to life. What do you think?
UPDATE : Rebuilt lower leg and she now zips along at 60+ mph at 4300 revs. Later this year perhaps a new engine and paint job.