Winter mode activated.

Winter mode was activated this weekend. It was bit early for hauling the boat out of the water for the season, but we aim to get it out before the first freeze and weekend schedules looked busy for the next 2-3 weekends.

Hauling out the boat involves shuttling it to the launch ramp of choice about 10 miles down the lake from the marina it lives at during the season, emptying the port-a-pottie, winterizing the sink with some RV antifreeze and then putting it on the trailer. Once it is secured to the trailer, the engine is fogged to a stall while it is still in the water, and then I pull the plugs and hoses to drain it in the parking lot. There is a stop by the car wash on the way out of town to spray off the bottom and outdrive.

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While my former Escalade hauled the trailer down from Abq, my truck tows the boat home. Both are competent tow vehicles for this 6500lbs of boat and trailer, but one truck works a lot harder than the other towing it. Ye olde Escalade got about 12mpg towing the empty trailer the 150 miles south to the lake, My ecoboost F-150 got 12.5mpg towing the boat with the cruise control set at 78mph all the way home. I got 23mpg driving back down south unloaded this afternoon.

As always, the 2.7 ecoboost is a deeply impressive engine when towing. I still get a kick out the truck automatically downshifting to engine brake on downgrades when towing with the cruise control set.

Once home, the boat winters in my parent’s backyard in Albuquerque. Parked in the back, lowered the outdrive, pulled the second battery and put it in the garage (the other battery lives in the boat full-time on an automatic trickle charger), and put the cover on it.

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Sunday was winterizing my parent’s pool for them. That involves thoroughly cleaning it, bringing the free Cl2 level up to around 25ppm while keeping the pH in range between 7.4 to 7.6, draining the pool about 8" to below the level of the skimmer intake, blowing out the skimmer line and adding a few gallons of RV antifreeze, draining the above ground plumbing, pump, filter, valve and heater, and then tossing in a few pool noodles and covering it up for the winter.

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The last item for winter mode was putting the hard top on my Dad’s miata. His 2005 now has 63K on it. Now that he is fully retired, it will probably accumulate mileage even less than the 5-6k/year he put on it when he was still working part-time.

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Fun fact, that hardtop is maybe the best deal I’ve ever gotten for anything. I bought off craigslist from a guy in Las Cruces about 10 years ago for $300. He didn’t know what he had. One day I stumbled across a craigslist add for a shitty 1990 miata w/hardtop for $1500. I called the guy up and arranged to look at the car, with my primary interest being the top. It was beat up, 150k, shitty very early 1990 car w/short nose crank and the early hard top sans headliner and defroster. The car was something I’d part out for a few body panels and then scrap, but this was just about the time hard tops were getting a bit scarce and expensive via the Spec Miata guys snatching them all up over the preceding 10 years or so. Hard tops were going for around $1500 at the time, so I was willing to buy the shitty miata just for the top.

Before I made him an offer on the whole car, I asked if we would be willing to sell just the hard top. He was a bit baffled that someone wanted just top, and seemed pretty happy when I offered him $300 for it. I didn’t even have to take a shitty miata home with me to dispose of. At the time, my dad had a white 95 R-package, but the color combination with the red top was livable for four months a year. He never got around to having it painted white. A few years later he got tired of the 95 r package car (that only had 55k on it) and replaced it with an 25K NB that happened to be the same color as the hard top.

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Their 2019 Mazda 6 keeps it company in the garage. They traded in their 2016 Mazda 6 touring for this 2019 grand touring reserve (w/turbo) over the summer. Mazda’s soul red is a glorious color.

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