Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Ranger 620FS, Uffda!
Saturday was the big day, time to pick up the new boat from the dealership.  It has been 3 months from the day I ordered it and as you can imagine it was pretty exciting.  Arriving at Frankie's by 11:00 the first order of business was to take a look at everything and all I can say is they did an excellent job of rigging and getting everything prepared.  The initial inspection looked good so it was time to settle up the bill and when Deb presented the balance it was significantly less than what I expected.  Acknowledging a computer issue we went over everything and got it straightened out, never want to short anyone.  Next on the agenda was to go over all of the new features which included keyless ignition, all the nuances of the motor, and generally how everything works.  Upon firing up the Lowrance electronics the first thing stated was the Motorguide needed updating.  Joe Dusenka, Frank's son was helping me and did a fabulous job of walking me through everything. As stated before this boat is a significant departure from what I have been running for the last 40 years and it's pretty exciting.  After making sure I knew what I was doing, we hooked it up to the truck as I planned on dumping her into the water close to the dealership in case there were any obvious issues. The first thing that stood out is the boat sits up about 4 inches higher on the trailer than the previous 620T so it will need to be launched at the deeper landings.  They only put enough gas in the tank to start the motor so it was off to the Marathon across the street to fill up the 51 gallon tank.  Figuring about $140 to fill it up the pump stopped at $75 so the heck with it, that was plenty.  About 1/2 mile from Frankie's is a nice landing on Chisago Lake so I dumped it there.  It definitely isn't as nimble as my previous boat.  Once in the boat I started the motor and was very surprised how quiet it was.  The landing is in a no-wake zone and it took about 5 minutes to idle out to the main lake where I punched it.  OMG!!! It was on plane in about 2 seconds, amazingly quick.  Deciding to check a few things out, the boat back trolls at around 1.8 mph, forward trolls at about 2.6 mph, not bad.  The power steering is effortless, almost too much as when I pushed the throttle the boat climbed to over 50 mph immediately and really felt squirrelly so I backed it down, I guess it will take some getting used to.  It is all basically "fly by wire" as the steering is electric, the gear shift is electric, very smooth indeed. It loaded up very easy as I headed back to Frankie's to park the boat for a couple hours as I went to a friends house in Wisconsin.  Home by 6:00 the neighbors all stopped by to see and the very first comment was, you had better get some lugnut locks on those wheels! I suppose they have a point.

Beautiful evening Rainbow
I have spent the week trying to get everything loaded and working together.  For instance, I mistakenly loaded Version 3.0 of the Lowrance software into my main unit then when it was time to review the link between it and the Motorguide motor, it wasn't available as an option on the screen.  I know it works because Joe showed me it yet now I had to figure it out. Reading the instructions there was a big point in stating that the Lowrance software must be version 3.5 or newer. Not realizing that I had put in an older version of the software, 30 minutes later it dawned on me so I re-downloaded the right software via my phone and updated it.  Bingo, it worked great however I punched the wrong button on the control screen and turned the Motorguide on then listened to the propeller grind against the winch with little idea on how to stop it.  10 seconds later it stopped but not before completely ruining the prop and part of the plastic on the winch.  So much for the newness.  It's been a slow progress yet it's a labor of love as one decides where everything should go, how to organize, and the need to fill in the gaps with the technology like getting my Ipod connected to the sound system which by the way worked out really good.  The storage options are significant and one thing I have to decide is whether to put my Plano 3700 boxes in the designed storage in the boat or to simply keep my traditional tackle box in tact.  I guess there is no reason not to use the storage, it definitely is drier and if I need they can always go back into the soft sided tackle box.  The front compartments have a built in fan that helps dry out things that are stored there.  This would be a great place for drift socks, rain suits, anything that can get wet.  One other thing of note is there is a drain in every compartment and anywhere there is a channel to take water away.  This should be a lot nicer if a wave ever comes over the bow, which I know there will at some point. There are a lot of little things like the LED lights that didn't stick to where they were put, some foam missing on the windshield, and overspray on the windshield, for the most part everything was pretty easy to fix. I also have a panel that appears to be cracked and they have a new one coming for me.  Between getting the garden planted, working on the boat, mowing the lawn, there's hope that I can get to Mille Lacs on Sunday for it's maiden voyage.  Scrambling to get everything done, Tuesday night was interesting as we got a brief shower that for the most part put a damper on my mowing. The sun did come out but not enough to dry the grass and allow me to finish yet it did result in a beautiful rainbow to the southeast so I snapped a picture before it went away.

This Friday is our 13th Annual ENA Golf Tournament at Daytona Gold Club in Dayton.  ENA is the initials for Eric Nicole Apple, son of my good friend Mark Applen (Red Lake fisherman extraordinaire) who had his life cut short by a rare form of cancer.  Both my wife and I have been volunteering our time along with a number of wonderful people that give their time and energy to our cause.  I encourage you to read about Eric at his website located HERE.  All the proceeds are dedicated to helping less fortunate families deal with the hardships of childhood cancer as we try to bring a smile to those that need it the most.  To date we have raised over $300,000 and every dime available goes to the cause.  I am proud of the work we do as there is nothing more satisfying than to provide a little joy in the life of someone who's life is feeling hopeless.  We do have a nice silent auction and raffle, admittedly I have bought some really nice stuff like my Showdown Ice Fishing Depth finder, heck a good way to help and get something nice as well.  


Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Nice rig! Can't wait to see it in person.

Jeff King said...

Ssssssssweet....I really like the matching paints.

David Grant said...

Wow is right!! That boat is giant. Now you'll have to take me and my dad out on it to see if its like your old boat. Thanks for posting a picture of the new boat!