Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Outboard

March 1, 2015

We were pleased that a 10’3” Rigid Inflatable Boat (dinghy), known as an RIB and a 15 hp Yamaha outboard motor came with our boat.  There was some discussion that perhaps the motor had more power than we needed.  We really had no basis for comparison so we figured we would just wait and see.

Our sailboat has stainless steel davits on the stern which lift the dinghy out of the water, hold it up in the air behind the boat when not in use and then lower it down again when ready to be used.  There is also a dedicated davit and pulley system for the motor. 

Dinghy and Outboard on Davits
Our first opportunity to use the dinghy was our first night spent at anchor at “Hulk Harbor”.  Our plan was to go ashore and explore.  Despite many pulls on the starter cord, Jim could not get the outboard started.  A few grumblings and we just inflated the kayaks and rowed to shore.  Problem solved for the moment.

The consensus was that the carburetor needed a good cleaning.  But the real challenge was how to get the motor to someone who could work on it.  We discovered that it was close to 125 pounds and under ideal conditions Jim and I might have been able to manhandle it.  But given the lines and miscellaneous paraphernalia on the deck to work around, there was actually no way we could do it.  Turns out that Tarpon Pointe Marina picked it up by boat! That is not commonly done, but when I suggested it, they were willing.  We are just across the Manatee River from them.  I thought it was a brilliant solution!! 

Bringing Back the Outboard

 Helping to Mount the Motor on the Dinghy
Apparently there is a learning curve associated with “driving” an outboard!  After a few jerky starts, some rather erratic changes in speed, a few wheelies, going backwards in circles, and bumping into the back of the boat, Jim seems to have gotten the hang of it.  I am happy to be chauffeured. 

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