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It's June 6th, we've been in the water since the end of April, and we still haven't been able to go for a sail due to outboard issues. We tried to trouble shoot it ourselves but then decided to get the mechanics at the marina involved.

We put in the work order on Tuesday, May 27th. They said it was a pretty simple thing and we'd be up and running after they took care of it. It's now Friday, June 6th and they still haven't looked at it. We've been calling and keep getting a variation of, "We'll try to finish it today" or "We'll do our best to get to it tomorrow." Called again today and they were vague about tomorrow.

I know that with a short season it's probably always busy, but frankly I'm watching our season go by and I'm starting to get really ticked off. This is only our second year owning a boat, so we don't know if this is typical. Is it? Should we be pushing harder?
 

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Dude,it's an outboard. Take it off the boat, stick it in the trunk of your car, and take it to the best and most reputable repair facility in your area.

Seriously....get moving and get sailing. Your yard has already demonstrated to you that they are the LAST place to consider for this repair.
 

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Don't think I haven't thought of that. I'd be happy to take it off of the boat if the two of us could manhandle the thing without dropping it in the water (although I'm tempted to throw it in there at the moment).

It's 90 pounds and it barely fits into the lazarette. I don't think we can get it out of there without blowing a disk or two. It was difficult enough when it was on the hard.

If you have any leverage suggestions for getting it off of the boat and into the dink, however, I'm all ears.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Get one of these https://outboardlift.com/ or contrive one out of rope.

Connect it to the end of your boom and use the topping lift on a halyard winch to lift it and swing it onto a cart on the dock.

Alternatively find a strong young back and ask them to lift it off.
 

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While well beyond your needs 20 bucks in 2 x 4s some screws and your mainsheet will get it done



all the strong backs in the world are worthless compared to the right tool homemade or not
 

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Yeah, they're heavy, and it's awkward to remove them with the boat in the water, but it can be done. Friend with a pontoon boat. $20.00 to some big beefy guy to pull it off for you (attach line to engine in case gravity prevails).

I'll bet you can give me a long list of reasons why you can't get your engine off your boat, but in my world, I don't let minor problems create a situation where others (your yard) can take sailing days from me.

And, my experience with yards is that they are the last resort. If they ever get around to getting your motor off your boat, how long are they going to be screwing around with it? Doesn't sound like they are good communicators and/or not well versed in customer service. What makes you think they're going to improve? Just be glad you don't have an inboard, or you'd be at their mercy.

I've been in the same situation as you with outboard repairs. Only a "can do", "get it done" attitude is going to get you on the water.
 

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Windseeker
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What's wrong with the motor anyway? If it's a well known brand I'd imagine parts are easily available and you could probably dismantle it yourself and end up with a better understanding of how to fix it in the future.*

*most of my boat projects end up taking way longer than expected - including outboard repairs...
 

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It's June 6th, we've been in the water since the end of April, and we still haven't been able to go for a sail due to outboard issues. We tried to trouble shoot it ourselves but then decided to get the mechanics at the marina involved.

We put in the work order on Tuesday, May 27th. They said it was a pretty simple thing and we'd be up and running after they took care of it. It's now Friday, June 6th and they still haven't looked at it. We've been calling and keep getting a variation of, "We'll try to finish it today" or "We'll do our best to get to it tomorrow." Called again today and they were vague about tomorrow.

I know that with a short season it's probably always busy, but frankly I'm watching our season go by and I'm starting to get really ticked off. This is only our second year owning a boat, so we don't know if this is typical. Is it? Should we be pushing harder?
This is not a typical spring in the NE. Many launch dates were missed due to weather and this throws a crook into yard scheduling. Many New England yards are way behind this spring..
 

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Hey CT,

Without looking or knowing anything, here's my guess. It won't start this year...pull and nothing happens.

OK, if this is so, looking at the picture in your profile the motor is in a well. If you can get the cover off and reach the carb., that's most likely your problem.

Get some tools, and remove the carburetor. Take it apart, it's not hard start by removing the bowl on the bottom. Get some carburetor cleaner at your local auto parts store. You'll see a couple of jets or small orifices, spray in those.. wear something to protect your eyes. Put it back together...bet it starts.

Someone is going to suggest you get a carb rebuild kit, and replace all the plastic/gaskets and stuff when you do this. Yea, you probably should...but don't waste this good weekend waiting for
parts. Should take you less than 1 hour, then go sailing.

Good luck. You can do it.
 

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I agree with Capecodda, do the simple things first.

Check for spark, if that is OK then next is fuel, then fuel/air mixture.

My outboard started OK this year but would stall when RPM increased, problem was clogged fuel filter.
Maybe old gas in the line and filter was gumming things up?
Changed the filter and is now running fine.
 

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If it's a 2 stroke just put a fresh spark plug in and work from there.
Even here where the season is year round I don't expect much from the yard mid May thru mid July they are just overwhelmed with work.
 

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As the others have said, do try some PD on your own. There are two main reasons for this, one is that if you wait for the yard you will never sail. Look at if from the yard's point, they can do a $150 job for you, or they can do a $1000 for someone else, something like this is just not going to be on the top of there list. This one thing may get fixed, then it will be another issue. If you just get in there and fix it you will be out. And you wallet will think you as well. The rates they charge it may not be more than a few hours of labor before you spend more than you boat is worth! Second what if it happens when you are out in the water? Call Tow Boat US? Have fun waiting. The whole nature of boating is to be self sufficient. Fix it, bodge it, tweak it, then get on your way. If you wait for others to do little things for you will never get out.

The small motors don't like the "new gas" especially the brand new 4 cycle motors. The alcohol content makes it phase separate so you end up with nasty goo. If you left any gas in the carburetor then that is likely going to be the issue. Pull off the float bowl, and douse everything in carb cleaner and you should be good to go. If you do not fully drain the carb out after use this may well become a weekly process. It might not be a bad idea to look on line for a used carburetor and keep it clean an rebuilt and just swap them out and then during the week clean up the one you pulled off. It may sound scary but it is not as long as you go slow the first few times. Just be careful to not cross any threads and you should be good. Best thing is to make sure you cut off the fuel and let it run out. It may still gum up but at least you have a fighting chance.
 

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What tqa and Siamese said.

Bear in mind that if the yard sees you removing it or trying to fix it, they might have a hissy fit and then if you want them to work on it...wind up taking a month to do a poor job, in petty spite. That's not uncommon.

Before you try fixing it yourself (outboards may be alien but they don't need watchmakers, either) or pulling it off...How old is the engine? Was it winterized or pickled or at least, run dry, before putting it away? Away how and where? for the winter?

If you need a dink to land the engine, you must be on a mooring. In which case some patience and good wx would let you go sailing, just under sail. Or sail into the dock, and remove the engine there instead of in and out of a dink.

And a local outboard shop just might be able to make a house, ergh, boatcall.
 

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Whenever there's a chance my outboard could fall in, I have a safety line attached. That way I can always get it back.
 

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You always tie a line through the handle before taking the motor off
 
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