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Old 08-04-2018, 08:06   #1
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Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Here's the set up. Dude has some experience and has seen a few things, so he first buys a hull to fit out then he decides to buy the tender so that the wife and his partner can get used to it and learn how to use it in calm waters.

Because it’s a tidal Mudflat area same EXTRA salty dude decides that he was having none of the problems of a second-hand inflatable and motor combi and breaks the piggy bank to buy a small but new zodiac and mariner outboard. Thinking that the tides and wind can be tricky in an inflatable with a low HP outboard he buys the biggest he can fit so we have an 8HP outboard on a 2.7 dinghy. C'mon nothing can stop that! right?

First day out the New Shiny Outboard has a bad case of death by unknown causes and the poor dude ends up on the middle of the mudflats on Easter Sunday wearing a bright red sailing jacket as camouflage that luckily prevented all the Easter Sunday walkers from seeing it all happen just in front of them. From here it’s just gets Murkier ... dude has to crawl on the mud, luckily in front of all the Easter Sunday walkers. Some of the youths were even nice enough to go get... their mates so they could all take selfies with the Hero Sailor dude crawling on the mud on the background. Luckily the Bright Red Sailing Jacket camouflaged the all thing against the dark grey of the mud. After about an hour the same poor dude manages to leave muddy footprints all across the marina into the showers to thaw and getting some plywood goes back for his friend and the boat and the NEW Outboard.

I'm off course posting on behalf of a friend as this would NEVER happen to me because I would just have bought a NEW outboard so as to not have that problem.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:14   #2
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

While I enjoyed your nice description....

A post like that deserves some photos of the incident. Mud and all.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:28   #3
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

hehe no pics or it did not happen. I was too muddy to make pics. Literally. I did manage to get a few minutes of video of that ..er .. “ friend” since I would NEVER fall into that situation, I would just go and buy a SHINY NEW outboard.







There be MUD... Arrrrr
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:36   #4
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Outboard Motor Stops Running?

Based on your brief description of an "early death" of your new-to-you and new outboard motor, and because you may be new to owning or operating that type of motor, I have these three troubleshooting tips for you. While you may already know one or more of these things, I am posting this in your thread because it may help you or others reading this topic.

Don't worry, even well seasoned salty sailors need occasional reminding of these points.

1. Make sure the outboard kill switch device is properly seated. If it is pulled out inadvertently (or someone forgot to put it in place) or possibly loose, the engine may not start, or may die during running.

2. Make sure the external (or portable) fuel tank air vent is OPEN. A common cause of early stoppage of an outboard on a dinghy is the fuel tank (portable) air vent is not open, causing a Vacuum Lock (a form of fuel starvation). Tip: Make sure you follow the proper procedure to assure the vent is OPEN during running operation so the fuel will flow. Do this prior to starting.

3. Another possibility is something called "Vapor Lock" and it is different from "Vacuum Lock." Google "Vapor Lock" for videos and description on how to troubleshoot it. It is related to fuel type, ambient temperature, etc. An easy temporary solution is to let the engine cool if it is hot. More things to check via Google research you can do on your own.

I hope that helps you get going.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:49   #5
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
Outboard Motor Stops Running?

Based on your brief description of an "early death" of your new-to-you and new outboard motor, and because you may be new to owning or operating that type of motor, I have these three troubleshooting tips for you.

Don't worry, even well seasoned salty sailors need reminding of these points.

1. Make sure the outboard kill switch device is properly seated. If it is pulled out inadvertently (or someone forgot to put it in place) or possibly loose, the engine may not start, or may die during running.

2. Make sure the external (or portable) fuel tank air vent is OPEN. A common cause of early stoppage of an outboard on a dinghy is the fuel tank (portable) air vent is not open, causing a Vacuum Lock (a form of fuel starvation). Tip: Make sure you follow the proper procedure to assure the vent is OPEN during running operation so the fuel will flow. Do this prior to starting.

3. Another possibility is something called "Vapor Lock" and it is different from "Vacuum Lock." Google "Vapor Lock" for videos and description on how to troubleshoot it. It is related to fuel type, ambient temperature, etc. An easy temporary solution is to let the engine cool if it is hot. More things to check via Google research you can do on your own.

I hope that helps you get going.
That's why I came to confession… I did ALL of that. I ended up getting the spark plugs out and they were brown like 10 year old racing sparkies. The outboard did smoke a bit before it died. I saw the smoke coming out of the water. And I grew up with my Grandpa ALWAYS on my case about outboards (and anything related to the sea) were wearing ALL the gear, 2 portable VHF radios, Life jackets, we even have tools, water and an extra kill chord. Lights etc. Its like a curse having learned from my grandpa that “you need to bring it with you ‘cause you can’t go get it now can ya?”
We’ve been told it’s the Fuel, which I highly doubt. It looks to me more like a problem with engine getting hot and creating fuel problems.



I ended up exactly where I did NOT want to end after doing all I thought was the right thing.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:08   #6
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

I watched the video.

I enjoyed your sense of humor about the adventure on the mud. Keeping a good sense of humor is essential.

From your later comment about having the proper gear with you, it sounds like you were better prepared (thanks to Grandpa) for the outing than many people.

Good luck on your future outboard outings.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:37   #7
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Already posted by the OP...

The NEW tender and outboard MUD DISASTER... Got to love outboards !
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:38   #8
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
I watched the video.

I enjoyed your sense of humor about the adventure on the mud. Keeping a good sense of humor is essential.

From your later comment about having the proper gear with you, it sounds like you were better prepared (thanks to Grandpa) for the outing than many people.

Good luck on your future outboard outings.
Hehe thanks, I think I'm gonna go dinghy somewhere else after this Murky story. My Grandpa was a Hell of a sailor, not a gentleman sailor, but a proper sailor, he passed when I was 16, but since then I credit him with saving my life twice and a few other people.
I had a declared Pam Pam with Helly over me and destroyer following close on seas that you normally should only see on TV. The Portuguese coastguard escalated to Mayday and sent everything out. I was on a 16 m power boat with the owner of the vessel as crew. Fast Atlantic storm that decided to turn the coastline into a washing machine while we had a crippled engine and were fighting to stay away from land. A New trawler being tested sunk with the loss of all hands 4 miles from my position. I credit my grandpa and the endless drilling of “you do it as the sea commands you” for surviving that thing. We made it safely to harbour with the boat after they used a super tanker to give us some leeward to be able to enter the Tagus river in Cascais, Portugal. They could not have helped us in any other way and just kept watch. So yeah, my grandpa was right in drilling me over and over that the Sea is your Master and you need to be prepared.
I see people doing things this days leave me speechless… like the Sea was an amusement park.
I feel pretty embarrassed and humbled by the lesson anyway.
I even tested the stupid outboard and dinghy in the sluice pond in the marina for about an hour. I do realize I need a better anchor and a foldable blanket thingy on board. We were freezing amazingly fast.
So because it was funny, and humbling .. I NEED to come to confession.
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:05   #9
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

NEW does not equal CORRECT or WORKING. I learned that many years ago when running a maintenance organization. Many things I’ve had brand new spares on the shelf that did not work as specified, if at all when installed.

Further, I just had to replace a carburetor on a BRAND NEW Yamaha 8hp 2 stroke. It would not run right, soaked the plugs. As we are cruising And other circumstance I could not take the engine back to the original dealer. When I did get to a Yamaha dealer he accused me of “tampering” with the engine and refused to work on it. But he was kind enough to sell me a new carb. Well, I actually had to beg an plead and promise I would not try to return it if it didn’t work and such. Oh, and that’s after another Yamaha dealer, who apparently specializes in bikes but also sells outboards, refused to look at it becaus “We don’t service outboards, take it to Joes.” I could go on. Great motors, horrible service.
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:31   #10
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Yeah, my Dad always carried spare spark plugs. Did you guys have oars?
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Old 08-04-2018, 17:18   #11
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Quote:
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Yeah, my Dad always carried spare spark plugs. Did you guys have oars?
we did, but against wind and tide it was like using ping pong rackets to row the dinghy. I've already got some new spark plugs to keep on the dinghy... lesson learned.



they look great on the sides of the Zodiac tho.
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Old 08-04-2018, 17:22   #12
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
NEW does not equal CORRECT or WORKING. I learned that many years ago when running a maintenance organization. Many things I’ve had brand new spares on the shelf that did not work as specified, if at all when installed.

Further, I just had to replace a carburetor on a BRAND NEW Yamaha 8hp 2 stroke. It would not run right, soaked the plugs. As we are cruising And other circumstance I could not take the engine back to the original dealer. When I did get to a Yamaha dealer he accused me of “tampering” with the engine and refused to work on it. But he was kind enough to sell me a new carb. Well, I actually had to beg an plead and promise I would not try to return it if it didn’t work and such. Oh, and that’s after another Yamaha dealer, who apparently specializes in bikes but also sells outboards, refused to look at it becaus “We don’t service outboards, take it to Joes.” I could go on. Great motors, horrible service.
Yeah.. NEW does NOT indeed mean working right or at all. It was just a momentarily lapse of reason and me thinking for a second the world was perfect and you could just buy something new and it would work.


well we got out with only our pride in tatters and laughed our heads off.

BUT lesson VERY well learned.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:01   #13
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

A different twist on "new isn't always better."

I was not going to post this story from shear embarrassment, but seems appropriate here. After three years with the big boat I considered myself a little salty. My old dingy engine was a little 5 hp and was always a problem, stalled a lot and never idled. After more that a few times of taking apart and being disappointed again I broke down and bought a new 9.9hp Mercury at a boat show on discount.

So as a good responsible skipper, I took it out for a test run in calm waters doing all the slow engine break-in stuff with my spouse. All went well and got back to the boat, she gets up on the big boat while I am holding the big boat with one hand and for some reason the tiller on the engine with the other. She gets safely aboard.

A bit of history is my old engine always stalled upon arrival at the big boat, so I didn't really have a shutdown procedure. On this instance the shiny new engine just purred waiting for it's next instruction. I still haven't pieced together ( just 10 days ago of this posting) what caused me to lean back and turn the throttle or why I held onto the big boat trying to hold it back, but this new shiny engine roared to life and made a hard turn to starboard away from the big boat.

In an instant I lost grip of both boats and into the water. Silly me thinking "that dingy is going to run away" and as it came around for the first time I grab it by the bow handle and off we go. The dingy at top speed stayed hard to starboard clearing the big boat to do perfect circles in the anchorage with me now dangling underneath. All this while my bride is on deck of the big boat frantically screaming with nothing she can do. In a flash my mind calculates the length of my dingy 10'-6" and how long i am 6'-2" plus the extension of my arm pondering the length of safety between my extended toes and the shiny new propellor.

Fortunately, I was able to hang on for 15 circles or so. While I was having my ride other boats came and tried to stop the dingy by ramming.. grabbing and generally trying anything to stop this before things could go terrible wrong.

Just for the record, as you have already guessed, I did survive the experience. While under the bow I was able to tug one side to the other causing the engine to suck some air out of the fuel tank and kill the engine. The engine was so new I hand not even bought fuel for it yet, I was running out the test gas that came with the free fuel tank. Thankfully there wasn't much in it, allowing the gulp of air.

Now I am sure most of you by now are screaming "where was your lanyard?" As I mentioned i saw myself as a little salty.... pffft.. who needs a lanyard..just out for a test run...yada yada yada. My old 5hp would not start without the clip on the lanyard in place. For some reason my new Mercury does not require this to start. But does have a fancy lanyard that works a kill switch. Now I doubt I would have had attached it to me as I didn't with the old one. Not as salty(wise) as I thought.

I have always been the pain in the arse skipper about safety including briefings about man overboard drills before departure with new people on the boat. I suspect that now I will be even more committed to safety including wearing my lanyard.

Now although my new engine is a world better than the old one, i am the same old skipper set in my ways. Even a Old Dog needs to learn new things. Happy to report still in one piece despite all my best efforts.


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Old 09-04-2018, 12:57   #14
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Whitney View Post
A different twist on "new isn't always better."

I was not going to post this story from shear embarrassment, but seems appropriate here. After three years with the big boat I considered myself a little salty. My old dingy engine was a little 5 hp and was always a problem, stalled a lot and never idled. After more that a few times of taking apart and being disappointed again I broke down and bought a new 9.9hp Mercury at a boat show on discount.

So as a good responsible skipper, I took it out for a test run in calm waters doing all the slow engine break-in stuff with my spouse. All went well and got back to the boat, she gets up on the big boat while I am holding the big boat with one hand and for some reason the tiller on the engine with the other. She gets safely aboard.

A bit of history is my old engine always stalled upon arrival at the big boat, so I didn't really have a shutdown procedure. On this instance the shiny new engine just purred waiting for it's next instruction. I still haven't pieced together ( just 10 days ago of this posting) what caused me to lean back and turn the throttle or why I held onto the big boat trying to hold it back, but this new shiny engine roared to life and made a hard turn to starboard away from the big boat.

In an instant I lost grip of both boats and into the water. Silly me thinking "that dingy is going to run away" and as it came around for the first time I grab it by the bow handle and off we go. The dingy at top speed stayed hard to starboard clearing the big boat to do perfect circles in the anchorage with me now dangling underneath. All this while my bride is on deck of the big boat frantically screaming with nothing she can do. In a flash my mind calculates the length of my dingy 10'-6" and how long i am 6'-2" plus the extension of my arm pondering the length of safety between my extended toes and the shiny new propellor.

Fortunately, I was able to hang on for 15 circles or so. While I was having my ride other boats came and tried to stop the dingy by ramming.. grabbing and generally trying anything to stop this before things could go terrible wrong.

Just for the record, as you have already guessed, I did survive the experience. While under the bow I was able to tug one side to the other causing the engine to suck some air out of the fuel tank and kill the engine. The engine was so new I hand not even bought fuel for it yet, I was running out the test gas that came with the free fuel tank. Thankfully there wasn't much in it, allowing the gulp of air.

Now I am sure most of you by now are screaming "where was your lanyard?" As I mentioned i saw myself as a little salty.... pffft.. who needs a lanyard..just out for a test run...yada yada yada. My old 5hp would not start without the clip on the lanyard in place. For some reason my new Mercury does not require this to start. But does have a fancy lanyard that works a kill switch. Now I doubt I would have had attached it to me as I didn't with the old one. Not as salty(wise) as I thought.

I have always been the pain in the arse skipper about safety including briefings about man overboard drills before departure with new people on the boat. I suspect that now I will be even more committed to safety including wearing my lanyard.

Now although my new engine is a world better than the old one, i am the same old skipper set in my ways. Even a Old Dog needs to learn new things. Happy to report still in one piece despite all my best efforts.


Captain Chris
SV Drawn to See
Now THAT was a confession hehe. It happens to the best Chris. I also fight very hard not to fall into the trap of my own ways. Yet here I am also VERY humbled by the Lesson Neptune saw fit to send my way. I can still smell the Mud.
I am really glad you did not hurt yourself or let go. And if your Fiancée is anything like my wife, she was VERY happy with you after it happened.
My wife may have been a tad miffed and escalated to slightly peeved when she saw flecks of mud everywhere.
I’m guessing you’re keeping a kill chord on at all times now. You were VERY lucky.

Greg.
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Old 09-04-2018, 13:14   #15
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Re: Old Sailor Wisdom and getting the exact problem I was trying to avoid!

Yea. Since I didn't die, she was ready to send me to "sleep with the fishes" herself. It was a challenge to get her out the next morning in the dingy/back on the horse. And the Lanyard was tight around my wrist.

A quote from the next boat in the marina "sailing can be the most boring moment immediately followed by the most death-defying." Which was that my experience that afternoon. Dead calm in the anchorage and we were back at the boat after the test ride was finished. Another boat approached later saying they started to capture it on a cell phone video but was worried about the ending and didn't.

Likely it was worse for the onlookers than me. Although my hair is a bit whiter if thats possible.

Thanks for opening the confessional.
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