Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Revenge of the Whaler

Yesterday was a mixed bag.  A little bit of everything.

As I sat at the dinette table with my first cup of coffee, I noticed  a beautiful Great Blue Heron by the marsh.  I grabbed my camera, but it was foggy, something unusual here.  I took the shot anyway, but the result is... well... foggy.

Then I heard the rumble of big gasoline engines.  Spirit was leaving, embarking on it's trip north to Buffalo, New York.

You might recall this pic from yesterday of the Whaler's outboard.  Upper right center in the pic below, you can see a half circle.  That's supposed to be a complete circle.  It held part of the linkage, the part that advances the timing.  I went to the local Evinrude dealer to learn the part is no longer available.  I decided to McGiver the broken linkage.  

Down in my junk work room, I took a flat washer with a 1/2" hole, stuck it in my small vise, and took my Dremel to it.  After grinding and testing, grinding and testing, and grinding and testing some more, I got a good fit for the plastic grommet insert.

I spread some epoxy on it and vice-gripped it to the linkage.  There's not much pressure on it.  Maybe it will hold.  Maybe not.

I had called a place in Darien the day before looking for a used outboard.  They didn't have any at the present time, but the person who answered thought his brother-in-law might.  His BIL was retired, and his hobby was rebuilding old outboards.  I gave the guy on the phone my number, and just as I finished clamping on the washer, I had a call from Robert.  He'd come over and have a look-see.

I wasn't the only one working on boat projects.  Pam had cleaned some of the teak on Drift Away using straight ammonia, which is an excellent teak cleaner, by the way.   She was now brushing on Semco, a sealant that we used with great success at Sound Sailing Center.  Great stuff.

Robert and his friend Gary arrived.  They came down the dock and looked at the Whaler.  Robert said that he had a 50 HP Johnson that he had totally rebuilt that would bolt right on.  I'd really like to get something smaller and lighter, I told him.  He said he had a 25 HP Mercury, but the mounts and linkages would have to be totally redone.  Then he asked what the problem was with the Evinrude.  I told him about the broken linkage, and how the part was no longer available.  Robert said he had a few laying around, and for $75 he'd go get it and put it on for me.


He and Gary were back a few hours later.  Robert had the new linkage on in short order, and then did a compression test.  Both cylinders were fine.  He then fired up the Evinrude, made a few adjustments, and it was purring like a kitten.  We took it for a spin and it ran fine.  But back at the dock, before they left, I got his telephone number.  One burp out of that Evinrude and that 50 HP Johnson is going on.

We had a five o'clock dinner date with Mike and Cyndi.  Pam worked with Cyndi at Belk.  After a great dinner at Fox's, they came back to the boat to see what living aboard is like and to meet the dogs.  They like dogs, but can't have any in their apartment.  The dogs didn't disappoint, especially Chevy.

And then, as our day was winding to a close, was another beautiful Golden Isles sunset.

Today we're waiting on the A/C repairman.  Once that's done, we can rent a car, drop our car off at Green Cove Springs Marina, come back to Brunswick, and head out to Cumberland.  Finally.  

We also plan to run the Whaler of Death a bit before we leave too.


  1. Does the whaler have oar locks, Dave?

  2. It does, but no oars. We have two paddles. We might need them. The Whaler would paddle better if it was lighter. 187 pounds lighter. Undo the steering cable, take off four bolts, and the Evinrude can become a fish haven.

  3. Hmmmmm I wonder how many outboards would join yours in the fish haven. Are you thinking about taking the whaler north with you?

    1. No. Not this trip, anyway. When we come back after the holidays next year for a few months cruising, we might then.

  4. Your evinrude will probably join one of many in the fish haven!! Darn things. Do you think it's the change in fuel?

    1. I don't think it's fuel. I think it's possessed by demons.

  5. David, You can probably get the parts you need, online. This link is to the parts page for my 40 hp Johnson, which if it is in the same year range will probably fit your 40 hp Evinrude.

    If not, you may be able to find the model of your Evinrude on this site. Outboards are funny things. The first motor I had for my runabout was a 1969 40 hp johnson. I threw over $1,000 in parts at that thing and never got it right.

    I found the current motor on craigslist for $1,000. All I've done to it is replace two water pumps in three years. That seems a little extreme to me, but otherwise the engine had started and run every time as it bloody well ought to.

    Good luck with it.

  6. What are you feeding those dogs? Chevy looks like he is bigger than your guest, Mike!!