Originally Posted by Chris
I think the point of an aux is it needs to be there when you need it. The 2 times I have needed to use mine had it not been on the transom and ready to run in a matter of 10 seconds I would have been pushed onto the rocks of the island we were stopped at to watch some wildlife.
I view an AUX as something that can be quickly deployed to give you steerage and enough speed to move you away from immediate danger so that you can drop anchor and sort out your main engine or get the coastguard on the radio.
Me too and like you the only time I have had to use it in anger, I barely had time to start it and avoid the rapidly approaching rocky beach and jagged rusty shipwrecks (strong onshore wind) when the main engine cut out. Mine lives on the transom, it doesn't get started every time I go out but I always give it a run if I am going any distance to make sure it will go when I need it to, and I try to run it for half an hour or so every couple of months just to make sure it stays happy.
When my father was being taught to fly, the instructor told him there were three things which were useless to any pilot in an emergency: runway behind you, height above you and fuel in the bowser. An emergency aux which you can't use in a hurry sort of falls into the same category on the water