Thursday, November 12, 2009

Egg on my Face

Eau Gallie, FL
28 08.03 N 080 37.40 W

Reader alert: If your favorite posts on this blog are the stories of disasters, this is one of them.

Remember last summer when Libby sunk the dinghy with the outboard motor attached. I had to rescue them, dry out the motor and then do the immersion procedure on the motor to save it. Well, just to even things out, I dunked the motor in the water.

The dinghy was tied to Tarwathie. The motor was stopped and tilted up on the stern. I was working on the dinghy. I stepped to one side, the dinghy heeled left, and the motor hopped off and disappeared into the water. What the heck???!!! The only way that could happen was if the screw clamps that hold the motor were loose. I was sure that they were tight a few days ago. Oh well, can't think of any valid excuse; negligence on the part of the skipper.

I went diving with snorkel and mask but couldn't find it. Libby went to shore and fetched our friend Peter. Peter came with his scuba gear and within 5 minutes he hauled the motor up. Thank you very much Peter.

Next, I drained the oil and water from the sump and filled it with fresh oil. I removed the spark plug, it was dry. I checked the gas tank, it had been shut off and vent closed; no water there. I removed the carburetor; no water there. I put it all back together, and pulled on the cord. Nothing. Yesterday and today I tried again and again to start the motor -- nothing. That's not good. It should be started and allowed to run a long time to evaporate any moisture inside. I'm not sure what I'll do next.

Anyhow, we are in Melbourne, at the Eau Gallie Bridge. This is the site of the SSCA gam (Seven Seas Cruising Association, annual convention). We'll be at the gam Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'll write up our experiences.


  1. Dick,
    You didn't say so I will ask, did you check to make sure there was spark at the spark plug.

    If there was none did you check the kill switch ?

    Bill K

  2. Dick,

    Do you have shore power where you are? Do you own a hair dryer? You may want to give the engine a good going over with that focusing on the ignition parts, coil, points & wires or electronic module if there is one.

    At any rate, you should be able to find some help at the gam. Surely someone there has dunked an outboard before.



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