Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Need Indeed

Behind that cloud of smoke is Camp Anokijig's pontoon boat. While it has served us well over the years, it has seen hard use during it's stay with us and it is definitely showing it's age. Our Waterfront Director, Don Hill, has made pontoon boat maintenance an annual event, spending the winter months welding the old lady back together and re-carpeting the deck.

Don has done an outstanding job of keeping her afloat, but even he has his limitations and overhauling the pontoon boat's dying outboard engine falls behind his skill set. While we would love to have a new(er) pontoon boat, we really need a new(er) engine for the one we have now. As you can see from this picture, our outboard is clearly not as eco-friendly as the beautiful electric launch donated by Ernie and Bernie Styberg.

While we do have other boats we can call on in case of emergencies on the water, it's always nice to know that boats can be relied upon to start when needed. Another boat was generously donated to Anokijig several years ago, which we also use on a regular basis for our fishing program. Much like our pontoon boat, this fine craft has served us well, but is also now showing it's age.

It has gotten to the point now, that starting the boat requires a series of specific actions, well beyond the typical priming of the tank and setting the choke on the start. As our Program Director, Darin Holden, illustrates below, even though this boat once had an electric starter, that has not worked properly for quite some time and this motor must now be started by removing the engine cover and manually winding a rope and pull-starting the engine.

While we would love to have these boats in tip-top shape, we simply don't have the resources in our budget to make that a reality. We would love to have brand-new engines for these boats, but we'd certainly be appreciative of newer engines, that are easier to start, pollute less and use less fuel.

Even if that's not possible, we'd love to have someone who is familiar with outboard engine maintenance and repair, who is willing to donate their talent and time to freshen these engines up as much as possible.

Do you have a boat or a boat engine that you just don't seem to be using much anymore? Are you tired of paying for extra insurance, winterization and winter storage on a boat that only gets used once or twice a year? Perhaps you might consider donating it to Camp Anokijig. Since Camp Anokijig is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity, all in-kind donations to Camp Anokijig are tax-deductible at their fair market value. Just remember the old saying, "The two happiest days of a boat owner's life are the day they get their boat and the day they get rid of it."

I couldn't think of a happier ending for a boat owner, than to know their boat will be enjoyed by thousands of children and families. Call Anokijig today at 920-893-0782, if you'd like to add a boat or engine to the Anokijig Armada.

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