Home Boating

Row The Boat Home

gogittumgogittum Nature CoastPosts: 3,022 Captain
Tuesday I did yet another water test with my personal jinx - the 25 hp Johnson on my 16 ft Starcraft.  Here's a copy/paste of what I said about it on another forum:

The water test Tuesday went to hell in a hurry, with no definite answers yet. My locked propeller hub made a big difference in the feel of the boat, so the hub was definitely spinning. I made a couple of runs on the river and got about the same readings as the last time. I'm going to hafta re-mount the tach - can't read it thru the reflections and nearly got myself wrecked.

Best I could see was 6000 rpm and gps of 25 mph. After a couple of runs, the engine noise changed and became more high pitched, esp. since I had the cover off to tinker with idle adjustment. No matter what I do with that idle adj. it won't smooth out. I can get it sounding good, with 1/8 turn adjustments, but it still pops when idling - rrrrrrrPoprrrrrrPoprrrrrrPop. Frequently it'll quit when it pops, but re-starts instantly.

As I increase power it continues to pop and miss and doesn't start to smooth out till well over 3000 rpm. Even then, I can feel jolting or jerking in the tiller telling me of a high speed miss, even at 5000 rpm. Electrical ??

When I bought the motor, the charging coil tested bad, so i pulled the flywheel and replaced it. That showed me that the wiring from the....timing ??....coil was a real mess. Some kind of solvent at some time had eaten the insulation off the wiring, so I re-wired it with tinned copper marine wire and used all crimp connectors with adhesive lined heat shrink - and I do mash those crimps. I use a heat gun on the heat shrink. I've tried the heat shrink/solder connectors with mixed results and don't trust them now. I've had too many that failed/didn't work well.

That miss at high speed has me baffled. I'll pull the flywheel again and double check everything, but don't expect to find much. I built my own flywheel puller that works very well.

After a while, I suddenly lost power. It would idle, but that's all. Found that the connection between the throttle cable and the motor lever had broken and wasn't moving anything. A piece of heavy cord got that work-able to give some power.

Ecoregion Map Black World Rectangle

I was at the Hwy 48 bridge near Papaw's, where the red dots start, and started home. Got less than 1/4 mile and it really started to pop and miss and slow down. ?????? Slowed down to try yet another carb adj. and it quit. This time it wouldn't re-start. Pulled drain plug out of float bowl and it had plenty of fresh gas - no water.....so, something electrical.

All I could see seemed tight and secure so checked the kill switch on the control. Ummm....?? Fooled with it some, got it solidly connected under the clip and hit the starter. It started, then quit. Tried again and the starter screeched at me. Now what ?? Checked and the bolt that holds the bendix return spring had come loose and the flywheel had slung bolt and spring over the side. It does have a groove on flywheel to wrap a pull rope, but I had none on board and doubt I could've made it go anyway.

From where I was was an even mile north to the blue line at the entrance to the canal leading home. A brisk north wind was blowing up-river - of course - so I broke out the oars and started in at it. Big clumps of weeds wrapped around the oar blades frequently. I got into the canal and now just 1¼ miles to the launch ramp. Canal is more east/west and trees helped with the wind.

After 1/4 mile, with a mile to go, where the yellow dots start, the rivets sheared on the starboard oar lock. Scheiss ! ! ! Now WTH ?? Boat has a 63" beam and paddling is difficult, so kneeled on a life jacket on the bow seat and used one oar as a paddle. Awkward, but I moved at about a slow walking speed. It took 2 hours total, but I finally got to the ramp and loaded the boat.

I didn't see another boat all day, so no hope of getting someone to tow me in.

I'm 80 years old and that's too da m ned old for this sh it....I'm stiffer and more sore this morning than I was the day after. I'm about ready to take some dynamite to that thing. It's been nothing but one obscure problem after another from day one. I haven't even washed the thing down - don't want to even look at it yet.


  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 11,786 AG
    Time to bite the bullet and buy a new motor with warranty. Finance it if you need to.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Gary SGary S Posts: 3,050 Captain
    Or invest in a sea tow account. At your age and the amount you like to go it would be good insurance.
  • gogittumgogittum Nature CoastPosts: 3,022 Captain
    Time to bite the bullet and buy a new motor with warranty. Finance it if you need to.
    That was the idea behind the 4 stroke Suzuki and it crapped out.  I can't afford another one and there's no money for payments on one.  Uncle is real stingy if you're not an undocumented alien.  Starting to think it's too bad I did it legally.

    Gary S said:
    Or invest in a sea tow account. At your age and the amount you like to go it would be good insurance.
    Yah....if I ever get to the salt, I'll be looking into them.  I'm beginning to despair.  Don't think it's available on the river.
  • billybob11billybob11 Posts: 1,132 Officer
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 1,059 Officer
    Me thinks I would be looking into an electric trolling motor for this boat. It is sure easier than rowing
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now