Filed Under (Boat Docks and Boat Ramps) by Debbie on 20-09-2007

After a scare from my doctor, which turned out to be nothing…I realized I didn’t want to wait until we were done power boating to buy a sailboat; a secret dream of mine.  I told my hubby I wanted to buy a sailboat, something small and inexpensive to see if we liked sailing.  We found a nice little rarely used Macgregor 26 sailboat, very reasonably priced and bought her.


We took her out for the first time towards the end of winter several years ago.  The lake we chose has a courtesy dock but the water was so low that the dock wasn’t floating.  Noooo, problem!  We launched the boat, keel up and no water ballast in; I parked the truck and clambered over the bow to get in.  I’m sure that was something to see!


The day was beautiful, 45 degrees, blue skies (a rarity in Oregon), Mt Jefferson could be seen with a nice blanket of snow and there was just enough wind to push us around.  We all had a great first day.  Then it came time to bring her in….


We sailed back to the boat ramp and my hubby dropped me off, again I’m over the bow to the rocks.  I get the truck and back the boat’s trailer down and wait.  Here he comes now, the little outboard humming along.  There’s family fishing near by and they smile and nod in my direction.  He’s getting closer to the trailer and I step on the trailer, a take the bow strap in hand, ready to hook her up.  Suddenly the engine coughs, sputters, quits and she drifts away.


My hubby pulls the cord several times and restarts the engine to try again and gets within reaching distance of the back of the trailer.  Cough, sputter…the engine dies again.   I look at the water…45 degree air temp….I know the water is cold!  Now my hubby is yelling that he doesn’t like the boat and wants to get rid of it as he restarts the outboard yet again.  I’m thinking I’ll just roll up my pant legs, walk down the trailer, hook up the strap and winch her in.


He makes his next try now and I carefully move down the trailer, OMG the water is cold!  Just as I reach out to clip the strap to the bow but haven’t clipped it yet, the engine again quits…I make a desperate grab before she has the chance to drift away.  I almost reach her but she’s a tease and I start to loose my balance.  I step towards the cross bar on the trailer to help stay upright.  My foot slips…I wave my arms and think about my not water proof watch…my hubby is yelling…I flay about for a moment and think I’ve got it, I’ve saved it….then SPLASH!  Yep, the water’s cold.


I came up laughing and I waded over to the boat and walked her to the trailer.  I was amazed at how quickly the family that been fishing was able to pack up and leave.  By the time we had the boat on the trailer they were gone, most likely they thought an argument was brewing.  Past experience had shown me; I always end up in the water when we have a new boat.  So, I changed into the clean dry clothes I’d brought once we had the boat out of the water.


Learned a great lesson…vent the gas can for your outboard!

1 Comment posted on "Outboard Engine Trouble"
winterize your outboard marine engine on October 5th, 2007 at 10:59 am #

[…] a Johnson outboard engine.  This was a wonderful little engine provided we used it correctly, see article about using an outboard.  Right now it’s fall and time to think of winter and doing your engine lay […]

Post a comment