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Bob and Bill's excellent Covid19 adventure

Jan 13, 2009
J Boat 92 78 Sandusky
One of my racing crew, relatively new to sailing, scored an unbelievable deal on a 1984 S2 9.2. Ebay auction from a charity for $865. That's not a typo. I volunteered to help him deliver it 150 miles from Lake St. Clair to to his marina east of Cleveland. He had a survey which showed the boat to be in good condition with a Yanmar 2GMF engine in good condition. He had the yard winterize the engine last fall and change the oil and filters. The yard launched it on Friday afternoon and we started our delivery trip. Covid 19 restrictions made it a bit more interesting. First surprise was when we put the gear shift in idle, the engine stalled. Not the greatest when maneuvering a boat around a tight marina and strange dock. We filled up the fuel tank and a 5 gallon diesel container to start the trip. We found the first design flaw in that the fuel vent was in the cockpit and some fuel came out of it before the the fuel nozzle shut off. A couple of paper towels and some spray cleaner and we were good. The specs called for a 30 gallon tank but the previous owner had told us that he had cut the aluminum tank out to clean it and resized the tank to to 14 or 16 gallons to put it back in. He wasn't sure. Undaunted off we we went. No knot meter or depth sounder and the chart plotter on the pedestal didn't work. No problem, I had my charts, chart book, INavX on a Ipad, Handheld GPS, and 2 30,000 mah lithium power chargers. First trip was 2-1/2 hours and we motored to a closed yacht club on the Detroit River for the night. Fortunately I had made arrangements to dock there. At that dock, we adjusted the throttle cable which fixed the stalling problem. The boat motored at 6.3knots in the lake and 8.5 SOG in the river which is pretty good. The tach was not working but I could pretty much tell by the sound of the engine that we were running between 2500 and 2800 rpm. I have had 2 boats with 2GMFs so I was pretty familiar with the engine sound. We also put on the main and a genoa on the Harken RF that evening. Saturday was an easy day. We motored down the Detroit River at 8.5knots SOG due to the current. Lots of Canadian fisherman in small boats. No US boats as Canada is closed to US boats for fishing and anchoring. We arrived at Put in Bay around 3:00 and fueled up. 5 gallons used meant we were consuming about .6gallon/hr. No wind or waves on this part of the trip. Quiet evening on a mooring ball and a nice dinner on shore at a restaurant. Ohio is pretty open these days with some social distancing and masks for the employees in bars and restaurants. Sunday started with some wind aft that died. We kept motoring at 6.3 and made the 70 mile trip in less than 11 hours in sunny and warm conditions. My crew got a good boat for very short money. He is cleaning it up, replacing instruments, fixing the head and sink, and fixing the or replacing the tachometer. In the end he will have a very nice boat for about $5-6,000 with up to date everything and nice cosmetics. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Downside is that I will need another crew member as his boat is about 65 miles from mine.


Jul 5, 2005
Beneteau 361 Sandusky Harbor Marina
Sounds like a fun trip, Bill; Glad you guys made it safely and thanks for sharing. :)
Aug 14, 2017
S2 9.2A Fairport Harbor
Thanks for helping me bring her home ,Bill. Was an awesome experience. Plus I learned a lot. Can't wait to get the sails up and catch some wind.