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post #41 of Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
The boat has an outboard. Do I understand that in general people don't really repair their own outboards, they take them in for servicing? Not like an atomic 4 or something where you more or less have to know how to repair it to have one?

It's a Suzuki long shaft in good condition. But if it went south I would not have a clue.

Any guides to outboard ownership you'd suggest?
Having an outboard serviced regularly or doing it yourself once you know how is the best way to keep stuff from going wrong with it. I had an issue with the outboard in question, which was mounted on my fish and ski boat, due to the fact that I was testing it after I had recently purchased it. The PO had not done maintenance, although he claimed he had, and I had taken the boat and launched it, had it running for well over an hour, and then decided to take it for a short spin. The little timing advance spring came off and messed me up so that it had no power and would not run above an idle. I had to take the cowling off and then manually advance the timing to get back to the ramp, it was getting dark, the tide runs very strong there and it would have put me right into the middle of the Houston Ship Channel if I had not gotten it under control. Moral of the story, either check things out well before it gets dark, or have a mechanic in the boat...lucky for me I was the mechanic, unlucky for me I was also the only person on the boat and it is not easy to steer, rig a string to a timing advance and then get to safety while you are drifting very rapidly towards VERY large ships that would never even know you were there.

At least it was still light enough to see the stupid piece that gave up and fell off, any darker and it would have been a lot harder to figure out under pressure.

Lucky for me I had several people come along who helped me get things sorted out about the time I was getting it back to the boat ramp, of course luckier would have been them coming along a little earlier haha.

It is good to learn from your mistakes, but much better to learn from the mistakes of others...
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