So I'm out solo the other day, very nice 3 hr reach in modest wind. It's going on early afternoon as I come about for the return trip and the wind seems to die a bit on the new tack. Decided to crank up the engine and motor sail - put the key in and turn - and the key breaks off with a good sized piece stuck in the ignition. And I didn't even turn it hard - really!
Hmmmm. Get out my smallest screwdriver and try to tickle the broken piece out of the ignition but no dice. Try to put the remaining key in on top of the broken spot and wedge the turn - nope.
Winds picked up and I'm making good speed but to get back into marina will eventually need to go directly into the north breeze so I really have to fix this. No hurry though, will be hrs before I'm back, so time to mull things over with a beer.
After thinking it over for 20 minutes or so I decide to remove the entire engine instrument cover - its mounted into lower side of my cockpit. Ignition is a cylinder with 5-6 wires coming out of the top. Hmmm. Two of these must be connected by the key switch - which two? Oh well, get long screwdriver and try connecting them in pairs. Success! 4th pair cranks the engine right over and it starts up. Time for another beer.
Later back in the slip I was able to tap back of the ignition cylinder and get the broken bit out. Reassembled and it still works fine. Sometimes it all works out