After a few days of some pretty horrific weather we all clambered out of the boat after having been holed up because of the Nor’easter (for some reason boaters love saying that word but not experiencing it.) Rain and cold kept us inside the boat almost the entire time. This morning we woke to sunshine and a high pressure system moving in… meaning, nice weather. We decided on what to do with ourselves. Cadence rode her bike some, we showered and had breakfast. I have been eying our dinghy and it’s motor for the last couple weeks planning on getting the inflatable in the water and mounting the motor which had yet to be started, ever. The previous owner said all was fine with the motor but of course I took that information with a grain of salt.
After showering I went to the marina office and asked where I could dispose of old gas. There was no way I was going to use gas that I knew to be over a year old especially with an engine that I had never even seen start. I would pull my arm off trying to start it with the old gas… I am betting it would not have started at all. I was told the boatyard next door takes old gas… easy… right next door.
After we were all ready and fed we brought the fuel tanks to the car and drove over to Saddlers marina where they were happy to take the gas. OK, so that was done… I saw a dock neighbor at the boatyard working on his sailboat that was on the hard. He said that I could score some ethanol free gas at the gas station we frequent. They had the clean gas that works great in these old outboard motors. We went and filled up, came back to the boat, added some outboard motor oil at a 50:1 ratio and removed the motor from it’s stern rail resting place where it has sadly sat since we purchased the boat 400 statute ICW miles North, in North Myrtle Beach 10 months ago.
I took the motor cover off, inspected the inside of the engine, brushed some cob webs out and cycled all the mechanisms to loosen everything up… The motor seemed good to go as far as I could tell. I then removed the motor and clamped it to the back of the newly registered dinghy. I was missing starting fluid which has been my savior for years many times over but was still going to give the old motor my best shot.
Shawna and I then lowered the whole enchilada into the water… I climbed in then Shawna handed me the fuel tank and hose… I plugged in the hose to the motor, made sure it was in neutral, choke on, throttle in the start position then pumped the heck out of the priming bulb. After a bit I really could not tell if the fuel line was primed but proceeded to start pulling the starter cable anyway. Nothing… but… sweat. So I primed some more all the while wishing I had picked up a can of starting fluid. More pulling and more sweat but not even a hint of combustion. I then picked up the fuel line so it was at a different angle and primed some more… then I felt the bulb go hard. Bingo. I then knew it was primed and all the air was out…. I pulled the starter cable a couple times and she lit right up! Damn I was happy. We let her idle for a while and systematically revved the crap out of her to burn out the junk in the carb… Lots of smoke (2 stroke) but it continued to just keep on spinning like a top. After about 20 minutes of idling and revving the motor I pressed the kill switch. We were all very happy campers. See, a dinghy to a cruiser is technically a car. A much needed vehicle for reaching shore while anchored for whatever it may be that we need… shell hunting on the shore? Yup. Finding food or hitting nearby restaurants? Yup. Scouting for deep water to anchor in? Yup.
So as of now the dingy is in the water tied up and ready to go. Tomorrow morning we are going to apply our registration stickers to the side of the inflatable and go for our fist “motorized” ride.
Cadence was great during the whole thing and helped hold the dingy still and was very happy to see the motor start up (nobody was as happy as me.) Anything would have entertained the girl after having been cooped up in the boat for the last 3 days. I guess I could say that for all of us. All in all a great day with great weather… FINALLY.