It's the first day of the "second" sailing season in the deep south - it's actually below 80 degrees in the morning, cool breeze, calm waters, and you've taken the day off of work to putt around in the Lake, maybe throw the anchor out for a while and catch up on some work on the laptop.
You get out of the harbor, throttle up to about 75%, go forward to remove the sail ties... the your engine starts to die and makes a distinctively not-very-good sound. Feels like it wants to run but has no power. You immediately shut it down, the engine compartment is smoky. Not being a diesel expert but knowing enough to know that something is really wrong - you figure it's time for SeaTow to earn their $150 annual fee.
Call the phone number on the card - no answer. Call the 1-800 number, they obviously transfer you to the phone that didn't answer. Call them on the radio, no answer. Your friend calls from the marina and offers to come out and tow you in:
You debate on the way in... go to your slip and call in a mechanic, or drop it off at the local yard? Opting for the latter, you dock the boat, offload your gear, get a sickening feeling in your gut when they grimace when you explain the symptoms... then head home right around lunch to await the news.
The news that comes in doesn't look good... smoke coming out of the intake, could mean an overhaul, $K's of money... time to sell the kids on eBay...
All of the above, but when you pull in the driveway, you wonder why there are people in the street pointing to the woods behind your house. You see smoke coming from the woods, run to the back, peer over the fence into your neighbor's yard, and see THIS:
Well at least your yard is safe for now... or is it? You open your gate and are afforded one last glance at your beautiful custom-stick-by-stick built storage shed...
...before it fireballs and the entire yard goes up is smoke, melting shingles on your house roof and nearly taking the house with it...
Better Day (today):
Today the insurance company cut me a check for over $15K, before
calculating the contents of the shed. Will be close to $18K total. I thought I'd be lucky to get half that. First thing that crossed my mind? If I need an engine overhaul, so be it
Not 5 minutes after I approved the insuranceestimate, the marine yard called - stuck valve. Parts, labor, have me back in the water in a week or less at around $500.
I may set fire to my front yard... maybe get a new furler and genoa
Oh and here's something... I don't know if I was the first one to call 911, but the FD is only 2 miles away and it took them 5 minutes to arrive after I called. The heat was so intense before they got hoses on the shed that it melted the shingles on the roof and anything plastic - hose reel, hose, downspout brackets. A few more minutes and my back deck would have gone up, probably taking the house with it or causing severe damage.
If the boat hadn't crapped out and I hadn't arrived home early, I might have lost my house