Today was the day.
- Old engine out.
- New engine in.
We don't have a car. So, this was complicated. CA prepared a minute-by-minute plan.
09:00 Stage the old stuff on the dock
10:00 Call for an Uber ride to a U-Haul place in Stuart
10:30 Drive U-Haul van to West Marine to get 5 HP Mecury Outboard. Plus some things we needed, like fire extinguishers and teak oil.
11:30 Drive U-Haul van to Lowe's to get a Blue Rhino 20# propane tank. We need a way to keep it from cutting up the floor of the dinghy. A big-old plastic planter base will do nicely.
12:00 Back to the boat with the new motor, propane and stuff.
12:30 Test. Add oil. Hook up the propane. Connect up a set of "flusher" earmuffs I have to supply cooling water.
Make sure the new motor runs. I had some flusher earmuffs.
These don't actually fit the current Mercury 4-strokes: the cooling water inlets aren't on either side of the ahaft.
With some mushing I got the earmuffs sort-of into place. Water was all over the intake.
Pull the handle a few times. Quite a few times, actually. She starts. She runs. We're happy.
Something like the Sea Sense Flusher looks a lot better for flushing. This might actually fit over the water intake on the bottom of the "anti-ventilation" plate.
13:30 Load the old stuff into the truck, bound for Outboards Only. They agreed to graciously take the old stuff and charge me a minimal disposal fee. When we go there, the mechanics were delighted at having 6 gallons of premixed two-stroke, plus quarts to two-stroke oil. They somehow charged me nothing. One of the mechanics thought he could actually use the outboard. More power to them. Many thanks. Can recommend them as pragmatic, thoughtful folks who talked me out of trying to keep on fixing the old two-stroke.
If I had a home base -- perhaps with a shed where I could tinker with the motor -- it might make sense to keep it alive. Since our agenda is a lot of travel, fixing an outboard in exotic places is expensive.
Really expensive. We spent more on dockage here in Stuart than we did on the outboard.
14:00 Make an unscheduled trip back to West Marine for the thing we forgot: oil for Mr. Lehman. We need a few loose quarts of 30-weight for our main engine.
14:30 Turn in the truck.
14:45 Uber back to the Marina.
16:00 Early dinner (or late lanch) at the Tide House. Hummous Wrap. Fish Reuben. Fries. Desserts, too.
So. We have an outboard. It seems to work. Pix will follow. In particular, I have a bunch of home handicrafts to transform the plastic planter base into a plastic 20# propane cylinder base. There are nice bases available. The Camco Stabilizing Base for example looks like it would prevent damage to the dinghy floor.
The Samdew Propane Carry Bag looks even better for moving propane on and off the dingy.
For now, it's going to be a re-worked planter base. Stay tuned.