I was almost certain that I would find the mystery switch in the 'on' position. As it turns out that switch wasn't so mysterious after all. As a matter of fact, it is the largest thing hanging on the bulkhead wall and it is bright red. Duh. Anyway, it was, of course 'on'. As soon as I saw it, the words' boat unit' came to mind. Not only was I sure that we were going to have to buy a new battery, but I was also sure that we were going to have to pay someone to help us remove and haul away the old one. It weighs in at 170 pounds.
If the adage is that "behind every great man there is a great woman", then the corollary to that must be that "behind every husband's great idea, there is a patient wife." My great idea was to get Kim to help me and move it ourselves. The first thought was not to tell her how much that giant 8D battery weighed. If mind over matter has any standing at all, I figured this might be a time to test the theory. The second thought was that my first thought wasn't too smart. I decided to be practical and instead of saying it weighed a lot, I just said it was "a little heavy".
I don't know if it was the adrenalin, fear or the thought of spending yet another boat unit, but somehow we lifted the behemoth out of its resting place. It took several spurts of energy and many breaks but eventually we made it out to the rental car. With one last burst, we hoisted it into the back end of the car and I was off to the local Autozone . A nice young man came out to help me unload that monster from the trunk, but before I could regale him with tales of my fetes of strength, he reached in and lifted the thing out like it was a ten pound sack of potatoes and carried it to the store. He even waited to hold the door open for me, but I couldn't let that happen. I had too much pride. "After you" was all I could mutter.
I wound up buying two smaller batteries with the thought of wiring them together in parallel to increase the amps. With the advances in technology, these smaller batteries carry as much as wallop as the larger ones. Now we'll have more power with less battery. On top of that, the 31's weigh about 25 pounds each and cost a fraction of a replacement 8D. What a deal. On the way out, that nice young man suggested that I get someone to help me unload the batteries when I got back to the boat, effectively ending any chance he had of getting a tip. "They're pretty heavy", he told me.
I love a happy ending and I am glad to report that the starboard engine sprang right to life on the first try. I love it when a plan comes together.
We spent the rest of the weekend cleaning up the interior and getting ready for our trip down the ICW. Two weeks and counting.