Sea Trials 2008.12.10
So, we finally got a great day, warm with no rain and someone who could come with me. This time of year, I didn't want to go alone. Given the water temperature and the fact that since I have lived here, I know of 4 fatalities where presumably good sailors went overboard and never got out.
My neighbor Mike who is a birder agreed to go along and off to Cambridge we went. There's a very protected creek to start out in, followed by a short slow run to open water and the all important test to try and find top end...
Starting out, first thing we did was swap out the old rollers and the skid boards for new ones, then started the engine and puttered away. Well, sort of... Turns out she wouldn't go into reverse. So we pushed off so we could drive away in forward. After a slow and particularly sweet sounding engine motored us out the creek, I opened up. The best I saw on the GPS was 23.2 mph. I'll have to check, I assume it was mph, by default. All my other gps have been. If so, I'll have to switch it to knots.
Anyway, we established top end, then turned for the marina entrance. When I slowed it down at the marina entrance, we got a wash of water flooded forward. Having checked for water incoming before opening up, I hadn't thought to check while I was going flat out. Somehow, either when we were going flat out or when we pulled back the throttle, we took on a lot of water. Good thing I had installed that bilge pump...
After pumping her out and motoring around the marina a bit, we headed back out. This time, looking back to see what was going on while going flat out. There was a gusher of water shooting up between the engine and transom, bouncing off the bottom of the engine and falling into the boat. This old boat not having a splash well and drains, that presented a problem.
On return to the ramp, I adjusted the tilt of the engine from maximum to minimum and hopefully that will do it. Hopefully the transmission issue will be solved with a couple of turns adjustment on the cables and that will be that. We shall see.
All in all, a very pleasant and successful afternoon. Many Thanks to Bill Dykes, who got my my old outboard running!
The result of the Sea Trial was that we ended up shortening the shaft. I bought a shaft shortening kit from Motor Recyclers in Burnsville, MN and turned the boat back over to Bill. My luck with Two Stroke engines just has not been good. And, since Bill had taken such good care of me the first time around, I let him handle the shaft shortening, even though it had nothing to do with the engine per se. I'm glad I did, too. It turned out that Bill ended up fabricating a new end to the linkage rod and I wouldn't have had the tools to do that, anyway.
Jon Conley and Aaron were along for a second sea trial. This time out the engine was running spectacularly and not a single bit of errant spray was messing with our ride. It was cold and Aaron wanted to go home after a mile, but we had seen and heard enough. The engine was running and sounding great and she handled real sweet on the calm waters of the Nanticoke.
Now, if we can just do something about that pitiful 21 mph top speed... sigh.