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Thread: Season over for me

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    329

    Unhappy Season over for me

    Despite still having decent weather here, I've been put out of the game by a mechanical failure. Yesterday I tried to leave an island where we beached & found reverse wasn't there. (I had the same problem 4 years ago. It's not cheap.)

    Considering that I usually hit the sand at a pretty good clip so I don't have to bother setting an anchor, combined with the fact that my boat isn't dainty, made for an interesting situation. Myself & the other 2 males couldn't quite budge it. The 2 drunken women were more useful as ballast at the very rear of the boat. Did a little digging with the paddle, which helped a bit. Finally the only other person on the island (a guy on a jet-ski) came over & gave us the extra force required to shove off. Somehow I managed to park it in the slip w/o backing up.

    Now the river level is dropping & the mouth of the marina is just a little too high for me to get it out & on the trailer. I still don't know what I'm going to do yet. Fixing it will cost around a grand. Getting a rebuilt unit, about $1300. A new unit is around $1800. I've got a lot of hours on the powerhead, but it runs like a sewing machine & hasn't even hiccuped in 4 years (I really ought to check the plugs at least, it's just so trouble-free). I put at least 150 hours on it a year & have been doing that for 7 years, so I'm not sure if fixing it is the way to go.

    A brand new engine is a luxury I can't afford right now. I saw an Evinrude 135, 2 stroke v-6 for around $5k. It has only 841 hours on it. But I know nothing about this type of engine (problems, trust worthiness, etc), or what it'll take to switch over from a Mercury. I guess I'll have plenty of time to think about it.

    Any suggestions as to what course of action I should take? Money is kind of an object, but I prolly could swing the Evinrude if I eat cat food for a couple years. Would be only 1 year, but the woman insists on eating human food herself. The engine I found is an Evinrude 2003 135 hp Ficht Ram. My transom is rated up to 150 hp.
    1994 Tracker Party Cruiser
    115 hp Merc, 2 stroke

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Boat at Lake of the Ozarks Missouri
    Posts
    709

    Default

    Hey belercous:
    Sorry to hear about the engine troubles. Have you looked into any boat salvage yards. There used to be an outfit called F & A Marine in Camdenton MO., (by the lake of the Ozarks) and they always have O'B's with blown power heads that might have a good lower unit w/gears. Try google-ing marine salvage in Missouri/Illinois and see if there is something close by. Also I'd call around to a few nearby marinas to see if there are any lower units etc. Finally, craigslist always has something posted that might help. As to the swith from Merc to 'OLE Evinrude, I'd stay with the Merc. There are some really reliable Optimax mercs. in the 115 up to 135 hp. that might bolt right up to your controls. Good luck. We are planning to end the LOZ season in the next 2 weeks by hauling out the Summit and winterizing before the end of Sept. Don't like working in the cold.
    Captain Tony
    2005 Summit by Triton - 220T Platinum 3Log
    2005 115HP Mercury Optimax - 228 Marine Master Trailer
    St. Louis & Lake of the Ozarks, MO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,337

    Default

    It might be as simple as a cable or linkage adjustment or something that came loose in the linkage. If it didn't bust the housing up, the disassembly is not very difficult and the parts are available. If you will use them (I don't) used parts on ebay are dirt cheap.

    These gears don't wear out easily, maybe ask the people who fixed it before to look it over, 3 or 4 years of even heavy use should not wear out these parts.
    1992 Tracker Party barge 24 (new deck, carpet and interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 115 ELPTO
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Moser: I've had this same thing happen a few years ago. At the time I was able to get some more use out of it by lengthening the cable for reverse, but it didn't last long. I didn't know what I was doing, but it worked for a while. Now, I don't want to chance busting the lower unit altogether considering that I'm not on a lake & have an aversion to getting ran over by a barge if it should fail at the wrong time.

    I spoke with a boat mechanic who's helped me out before & he has a very low time lower unit he'll sell for $1,150 installed, including a 1 year guarantee along with getting my boat out & back in the water. He got it from someone he knows in AR who used it a few times before figuring out he needed a jet pump instead of a prop. It's not rebuilt, but new, even having a sticker from the factory still on it. That's a pretty good deal so I'm gonna go with that. As soon as the river comes up a few more inches I'll be able to get out of my marina & have it done in an hour or so.

    I'm not nearly so bummed now as I was yesterday.
    1994 Tracker Party Cruiser
    115 hp Merc, 2 stroke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colonial Heights, Va.
    Posts
    701

    Default

    Sounds like a deal to me! You'd better write that man a check before someone else needs a deal. Good luck!!!
    2012 Berkshire 230 CL LTD w/Tap Fins
    2012 90 HP Mercury on 6" Z-Lock Jack Plate and Stingray Stabilizer Fin
    2013 Load Rite Elite Trailer
    Located in beautiful Sunny, Central Virginia

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,337

    Default

    I keep forgetting everyone on the forum isn't on a closed impoundment like me. I never have to deal with current, tides, salt water, all the other stuff that pops up for boaters on different bodies of water.

    The $1150 done deal sounds like a complete winner, I would take that deal right away.

    I am friends with one of the better known boat service guys here at the Raystown. Just the pullout and putting the boat back in would cost you almost half of that $1150 if he were doing it.

    I'm not sure how your boat is insured, but a lot of lower unit issues are covered by boat insurance. Most catastrophic failures are the result of a collision with something, even if the LU stay intact.
    1992 Tracker Party barge 24 (new deck, carpet and interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 115 ELPTO
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    329

    Default

    A couple years ago I hit a rock while backing off an island & it caused a sudden stoppage of the engine, but it wasn't revved high. That might have weakened it, I dunno. A year after I had it fixed (same problem), the main drive shaft broke, just cruising along at mid-rpms. That kinda sucked considering that no one else was on the river & it was getting dark. Especially so when the paddle broke. And the sank. I just don't have faith in this unit anymore so I'm taking the deal. I put a $400 down payment on it today.

    I'm not sure if my ins. would cover this, but since I have a $500 deductible I'm not gonna bother then about it. I had to use the ins. once when I hit a submerged finger dike & I don't want to mess up my low rates by making another claim.
    1994 Tracker Party Cruiser
    115 hp Merc, 2 stroke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,337

    Default

    I'm not certain how it works with boat insurance, but most major companies will not change you car insurance rates if you have 13 good periods, (basically quarters) between claims. It might be worth a call to your agent.

    I have Nationwide, and I know that's how my car insurance is. I'm going to check about the boat insurance now that it's come up here.

    However you handle it the new lower unit deal is a good one, good luck and hope you are back on the water soon.

    The impact a couple years ago might be the problem, maybe you hit something and didn't feel it recently and that pushed it over the edge.
    1992 Tracker Party barge 24 (new deck, carpet and interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 115 ELPTO
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Whoo Hoo! River level came back up enough to get my boat out of the marina. It took 1-1/2 hours to get the boat out of the water, lower unit replaced, cables adjusted & the boat put back in the water & go for a test ride. (I also replaced the spark plugs I hadn't looked at in 3 years. Their gaps could be measured with a ruler.)

    Went out today (Thursday) for 6-1/2 hour cruise in 90 degree weather. Not bad for the first day of Fall. I'm a big fan of global warming; more please. Going out again Saturday.

    I got real lucky on this deal.
    1994 Tracker Party Cruiser
    115 hp Merc, 2 stroke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,337

    Default

    That is outstanding, glad you are back on the water.

    I love this time of year, the the lake is as good as abandoned, and the weather is still beautiful.
    1992 Tracker Party barge 24 (new deck, carpet and interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 115 ELPTO
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

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