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Old 19 October 2021, 02:35   #1
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Auxiliary outboard

How many folks take one with them.
Just watched Chris Flannigan breaking down and swapping from his 9.8 to a 2.5 in an open sea and got me thinking about getting one
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Old 19 October 2021, 03:33   #2
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How many folks take one with them.
Just watched Chris Flannigan breaking down and swapping from his 9.8 to a 2.5 in an open sea and got me thinking about getting one


You'll get a wide variety of answers according to use and location. I doubt many folk with a main engine of 15/20hp and below carry one or has fitted one.

Smaller SIBs are generally used around the shoreline, the Gurnard being an exception, but I don't think even he uses one on the F-rib. Not enough space anyway. Look at Chris's boat. Anchor up or use oars. With a radio help is always close.
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Old 19 October 2021, 04:28   #3
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I absolutely do since Oars won't work and much of the solent is too deep for a "reasonable" anchor line.
And I always test it. I used it for a run up the hamble on saturday to keep the noise level down.

I don't go for the level of preparedness that some people do - but it's important to have the right equipment to prevent things escalating and being able to look after yourself.

My passenger killcord accidentally triggered on Saturday - but just a bit, so it wasn't obvious at first glance as the cord was still attached. In the middle of the solent. That sinking feeling as the motor shuts down and I didn't have a clue why!

Anyway - I fired up the aux and got the boat pointing in the right direction and making progress towards Cowes while I worked through the list. The thought of taking maybe more than an hour to get to the wrong harbour didn't fill me with joy, but I prefer that to needing to put a pan-pan call out.
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Old 19 October 2021, 05:30   #4
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>>>Just watched Chris Flannigan breaking down and swapping from his 9.8 to a 2.5 in an open sea and got me thinking about getting one

What interested me was the breakdown "cause" more than the swap process. Yet another example of a modern Mercury/Mariner/Tohatsu 9.8 4-stroke misbehaving and breaking down at sea. It seems once he tested it at home he found had he kept pumping the primer bulb it would have kept running. The dealer's report that they resolved the issue with a new float chamber gasket having found it had suffered "ethanol corrosion" seems a bit odd when related to the symptoms.

Interesting sibbing videos on his channel... by my standards his sib is a bit cluttered carrying elec start battery, transom wheels and spare outboard.
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Old 19 October 2021, 05:43   #5
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I believe it's absolutely a fact that when all the shit is hitting the fan, it's difficult to see the wood for the trees sometimes - you become fixated on one path of action.

I fired up my aux on sat to ensure I was in a stable and controllable situation first to give me time to think & diagnose. With hindsight, I shoulda checked the killcords first, but in my years of boating I've never had a killcord disconnect unless pulled, so it wasn't the first thing I thought of.

In fact, it came off a 2nd time later in the day (both an operational & a design change will be implemented!!), but the 2nd time, I had it flicked back on before the boat even came off the plane.
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Old 19 October 2021, 05:56   #6
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>>>a fact that when all the shit is hitting the fan, it's difficult to see the wood for the trees sometimes - you become fixated on one path of action.


Agreed. When our single OB on our SIB stopped between Plockton and Skye I went through an ever more frantic set of thoughts until I found daughter had rested her foot on the tank fuel connection and pushed the collar back enough to disconnect the fuel flow but not enough for the line to fall off which would have made it obvious.

By the time I realised I'd got the hood off the OB and tried every combination of choke and throttle pulling the cord until I was fit to bust.
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Old 19 October 2021, 06:15   #7
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I carry one I did have to wait until I found a Mercury 3.3 only 7 inches wide and just fits at the side of my Suzuki 25 hp on my sib I carried one on my rib and hard boat when I had them too as fenlander says with gurnard I do some long trips and real peace of mind having one.
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Old 19 October 2021, 07:17   #8
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When fishing, I often bring along a MinnKota Endura Maxx 45lb thrust trolling motor . It's powered by a 80 Amp hour Lithium Ion 12VDC battery.

Extremely Lightweight (8kg) , completely silent and will never fail.
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Old 19 October 2021, 07:58   #9
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Been a lot of discussion over the years

I do have one - main use is for trolling (no, not the online variety!) - and have used it twice in anger.
First was an oil line fracture on the main engine, not repairable at sea.
Second was a few years later & a main refusal to start after a long fishing drift. Got halfway in & tried a quick start of the main to see what would happen & it fired up perfectly happily and gave no further trouble. Only thing I can think is I'd flooded it.
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Old 19 October 2021, 15:22   #10
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Interesting video.

Space is tight on Chris's Honwave, so I think he does well. I'm more impressed he wasn't swearing like a trooper!

I've never had to deploy my auxilliary engine in all the years I've had them, but have had my share of engine woes. If in doubt, turn back.

My main engine came to a halt some years ago off Port Elphinstone, near Cruden Scaurs, but luckily it was calm. Electric starter was fine, plugs were dry (I keep tools on board) and I checked I was getting a spark. Fuel - literally gallons of the stuff and the fuel primer bulb was going hard. Turns out the 'rubber 'o' ring on the engine fuel connector had dislodged stopping fuel getting through. That's an important lesson as pattern parts just aren't the real deal, so dealer-only parts from then on. Plus you can have a perfectly good engine and foul your prop with nylon rope, like I did a few years later with trailing rope to a creel with a plastic bottle for a bouy.

On my own auxilliary which is mounted on the transom, it's critical to treat it like the main engine. After a year of never using it, and occasionally firing it up I noticed the small impeller water-pump is prone to salt crystal build up with water spray, so run 'em with fresh water just like the main engine after every trip, regardless of whether you've used it or not, and replace the pull-cord rope every couple of years.

If I was running a SIB, I'd still consider it. If you're on the west coast as in west coast of Scotland, absolutely unless you travel in company. You just can't rely on VHF for a signal.

The Mercury/Mariner/Yamaha 3.5hp 2-stroke is hard to beat in terms of size to weight ratio.
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Old 19 October 2021, 15:48   #11
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Interesting video.

Space is tight on Chris's Honwave, so I think he does well. I'm more impressed he wasn't swearing like a trooper!

I've never had to deploy my auxilliary engine in all the years I've had them, but have had my share of engine woes. If in doubt, turn back.

My main engine came to a halt some years ago off Port Elphinstone, near Cruden Scaurs, but luckily it was calm. Electric starter was fine, plugs were dry (I keep tools on board) and I checked I was getting a spark. Fuel - literally gallons of the stuff and the fuel primer bulb was going hard. Turns out the 'rubber 'o' ring on the engine fuel connector had dislodged stopping fuel getting through. That's an important lesson as pattern parts just aren't the real deal, so dealer-only parts from then on. Plus you can have a perfectly good engine and foul your prop with nylon rope, like I did a few years later with trailing rope to a creel with a plastic bottle for a bouy.

On my own auxilliary which is mounted on the transom, it's critical to treat it like the main engine. After a year of never using it, and occasionally firing it up I noticed the small impeller water-pump is prone to salt crystal build up with water spray, so run 'em with fresh water just like the main engine after every trip, regardless of whether you've used it or not, and replace the pull-cord rope every couple of years.

If I was running a SIB, I'd still consider it. If you're on the west coast as in west coast of Scotland, absolutely unless you travel in company. You just can't rely on VHF for a signal.

The Mercury/Mariner/Yamaha 3.5hp 2-stroke is hard to beat in terms of size to weight ratio.
Had exactly the same re the connector o ring split letting air in spare line since then
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Old 19 October 2021, 15:56   #12
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I too am surprised at just how calm and patient Chris was. That boat was rammed and if it were me something would have gone overboard due to impatience! I'm glad for his sake the sea was calm.

I managed to get a second hand 6hp mercury 4 stroke, which only weighs 17kg, on my transom as well as the main 50 Evinrude. Just made sense as my Evinrude is second hand and I was not convinced it had been properly looked after. Broke down on Loch Awe (operator error - didn't release the fuel breather valve) and couldn't get it going again. There was a strong wind and the loch was rough. I was very grateful for the 6hp. Was just enough to get us up to 5 knots in a strong wind and back to shore. Wouldn't go out without a spare motor now. But then I am a newbie...
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Old 22 October 2021, 15:05   #13
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I believe it's absolutely a fact that when all the shit is hitting the fan, it's difficult to see the wood for the trees sometimes - you become fixated on one path of action.
Absolutely right. Once in northern Australia, probably 10 miles or more from the nearest human, we had 5 minutes or more of increasing unease until we realised that the reason the engine wouldn't start was because it was in gear! I think having two of us at the time somehow made it worse, because we probably both assumed the other had checked the obvious stuff. We were close to putting a call out on the radio, which would have been rather embarassing.
A laminated check-list of all the obvious stuff might help in these cases. There is a reason the IT support desk will always ask if your PC is plugged in before moving on to the other stuff!
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Old 24 October 2021, 13:20   #14
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Ran with a aux engine on all my Sibs for the last 5 year. it is extra effort. but paid off a few time.

On my Honwave T38 i kept the spare engine on a wooden bracket strapped to the spare seat. mainly due to space on the transom. but also due to the trim tabs.

All other boats I used The Gurnards idea and remove part of the splash guards and clamp it there. with enough space to it misses the tube and can be started quickly if required.

I do alot of inshore fishing so getting it runny in a hurry is key for myself.
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Old 24 October 2021, 16:57   #15
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It's admirable that he thinks of safety and carries a spare motor but in my opinion it's then foolish to continue to go out further to go fishing.
Better to abort the trip and return home and get the main engine repaired, particularily as he says the weather had changed.
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Old 24 October 2021, 20:44   #16
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Never had one in 44yrs of owning outboard powered boats. On the water most days both commercially and recreationally and yet to have an issue at sea I haven't been able to sort out while out there. I fish far enough offshore (80-120k) to be well out of phone reception and have never owned twin engine vessels.

My engines are regularly serviced. Stick with the leading outboard manufactures and you should get thousands of reliable hours from it if looked after correctly. Problems tend to come from those who only occasionally use their boats and funny enough its their aux engines that get used even less used obviously.

If people feel happy using them, then go for it. I can honestly say I see hundreds of trailer boats launched from our local ramps daily and don't remember seeing anyone with an aux on the back. Maybe people are happier to rely on the marine rescue incase of a breakdown over here (which Im a member of).
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