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Old 11 February 2013, 17:15   #1
Daibheid's Avatar
Country: Ireland
Town: Cork
Boat name: Excalibur
Make: Excalibur + Zapcat
Length: 6m +
Engine: Merc120TDI,Tohatsu50
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What's the biggest you've ever pull started at the pier and at sea?

I always look for an easy access pull start option on any electric start outboard I've owned. It certainly got me out of a jam years ago when a stuck trim switch flattened the battery on a Mariner 75 while under way.

My Zapcat's Tohatsu 50 is an easy starter but I still need to be well braced and using two hands to start it from cold. I have pull started my Yamaha F100 but that was no joke standing on a trailer. An attempt to see how it would work out at sea made me realize the chances of going over the side while trying it in a chop are better than 50/50. The high compression means the manual start pulley is very large diameter and I nearly had to run the length of the boat to turn the engine over
As Mythbusters say plausible but not a confirmed option!

A few words of advice include:
If you think you'll ever need the facility - try it before you really need it.
You'll need some tool to undo a couple of bolts on most Yamahas while my previous Mariner 90 used a couple of plastic wingnuts.
You'll also need an actual rope the right diameter or you won't get enough onto the pulley.
Don't wrap the rope round your hand(s) a backfire will do you damage.
Don't use something longer than necessary in case it snags the flywheel and starts getting wound into the engine after it starts - e.g. a ski rope.
Make doubly sure the engine is out of gear as interlocks only lock out the starter relay and won't prevent pull-starting in gear.
Make sure you have the ignition switched on.

I'm sure there are a few more tips to be addedd so feel free.

Best of all as the British Navy advises should one find oneself bearing down without way upon a Lee Shore, avoid the situation.

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Old 11 February 2013, 22:31   #2
m chappelow's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: yorkshire
Boat name: little vicky
Make: avon ex RNLI
Length: 3m +
Engine: tohatsu
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Before pulling on the starter cord Make sure that its all clear behind you & that everyone keeps clear you don't want to knock out your wife's or the kids front teeth with your elbow ! Or knock someone's glasses into the side of their head & you can get a good straight. follow through pull action .

A lot of engine instruction manuals will say to make use of a screwdriver or the spark plug socket / tube / Box spanner as an emergency pull handle ( not a good idea if the engine missfires /backfires or the rope comes off the flywheel you can stab yourself if using the screwdriver ! Or Rapp your knuckles ,
Lets face it a lot of flywheels don't have much in the way of a rope grove to begin with & it's easy for the rope to jump out of the groove especially in a rocking about boat or in a panic or stressed out situation.

Good idea is to Make up a dedicated emergency pull rope with a proper pull start handle from an old redundant engine ( you can usually also get a better pull as the grip goes between your fingers and the palm of your hand or a short piece of dowl wood .

And best not to use stretchy rope such as nylon .

Also make sure if the engine has a recoil starter ontop of the flywheel that the bolts can be removed either by having the tools available or the bolts are not seized up or been over tightened .

Not that outboards have a starting handle if your engine has one say on an old diesel fishing boat ,,,keep a spare onboard ,, I know one of 2 incidents where the engine backfired & sent the starting handle over the side with one boat drifting 30 miles out to sea before being found .

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Old 12 February 2013, 00:29   #3
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Make: Zodiac Hurricane 733
Length: 7m +
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90 Merc 2 stroke at sea. Took everything I had, of course all that power gets delivered to the person at the bow when the cord whips them.
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Old 12 February 2013, 08:05   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Blackpool
Boat name: Magic II
Make: Tohatsu 6.1
Length: 6m +
Engine: Evinrude 115 E-tec
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Found this on utube rope starting a 200HP V6 e-Tec.
20122011064.mp4 - YouTube

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Old 12 February 2013, 12:58   #5
Country: UK - England
Town: macclessfield
Boat name: Reach Out
Make: Quicksilver
Length: 4m +
Engine: 30hp Tohatsu EFI
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 301
I have pull and elect start... Do I need a spare rope...
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Old 12 February 2013, 15:30   #6
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
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Originally Posted by Bigmuz7 View Post
Poly has probably locked out the server cos he's still downloading the image
Ah, so it was nothing to do with a dodgy signal then.....

Jumping mometarily back to the original thread, Yam 55 2 cyl Long stroke - F***ing hard work, but doable at sea. Merc Clamshell, much easier - once you have the right length of string to pull on!

Measured up an official merc one & built a replicawith chunky wooden handle - Now lives under the seat, and (touch wood - if that isn't an oxymoronic similie) not had to use it again in anger....
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Old 12 February 2013, 15:33   #7
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Engine: 115,50 & 15Hp Yams
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Pull started my old Johnson 100hp V4 years ago took some doing but managed it, thing could be a pig to start even with a good battery!
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Old 13 February 2013, 17:41   #8
Nasher's Avatar
Country: Other
Town: Principalite d'Chaos
Boat name: The Nashers Revenge!
Make: Ocean & Bombard
Length: 6m +
Engine: Suzi DT200EFI, DT9.9
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My DT200EFI (1998model) comes as standard with a small pouch under the hood containing a pull cord and tools to remove the plastic cover from over the flywheel, once you're removed the main cover of course.

I tried it once with the boat on it's trailer and it was surprisingly easy to start.
It is of course a 2-stroke which helps, but with a completely flat battery you'd need to spin it hard enough to generate enough power to run the high pressure fuel pump, ecu etc etc.

Never have got around to trying it at sea with everything moving around though.

RIBBED For extra pleasure.
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Old 14 February 2013, 05:45   #9
Waterman's Avatar
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Boat name: Joy Ride
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Length: 6m +
Engine: 200 optimax
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 145
I mentioned this a while back in relation to a 200 opti max.
Bottom line from the experts on here was that you won't do it unless you have fairly good power going to the ignition to run fuel pump, ecu etc. I'd imagine this is the same for most modern 2 stroke outboards.
I never actually attempted it though!!!
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Old 14 February 2013, 15:15   #10
Daibheid's Avatar
Country: Ireland
Town: Cork
Boat name: Excalibur
Make: Excalibur + Zapcat
Length: 6m +
Engine: Merc120TDI,Tohatsu50
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 261
Despite my careful titling of this thread I knew I was taking a chance and the spin-off thread shows there's plenty of ribbing going on despite the time of year and even if it's not on the water.

Seriously even with fuel injection pumps etc you'll most likely still have enough juice in the battery to start the engine after the starter can't turn it so it's worth checking out the pull start option. I carry the Yamaha emergency pull cord tied on to the handle of the spare fuel can. Anywhere else I've found it tends to work its way out of sight and get knotted round something or other.

Looks like Nasher you take the title at 200Hp!

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