Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The king is dead. Long live the king!

After our beloved Evinrude 2 hp outboard passed on, we had room for and admitted a new resident into the Eolian Sunset Hospice for Seasoned Outboards.

He is a Tanaka 3 hp (rebranded as a Sears Gamefisher), which makes him 50% more powerful than the Evinrude.  And about 600% stronger than the Evinrude was when last it breathed.

The outboards we choose to admit into the Hospice must be lightweights - because I leave them on the dinghy while hoisting it up on the davits - in fact the outboard lives on the dinghy full-time.  Our new resident weighs in at a sprightly 22 lb - not bad.

At this end of the weight scale, frills and amenities are not allowed - in particular that means we have never had a dinghy outboard with a transmission.  They have all been direct drive - that means that you must have the dinghy pointed in the direction you want to go when you pull the starter rope, because when the motor starts, you're off to the races!  The Tanaka is slightly different - it has a centrifugal clutch.  That is, until the engine RPM reaches a certain point, the engine is not connected to the prop.  Woo hoo!  We now have the civilized option of starting the motor, and then leaving, as two separate and independent steps.

It is also an air-cooled engine, which means there is no water pump to maintain (yea!).  But it also means it is noisier (boo) - in a water-cooled motor, that water jacket soaks up quite a bit of noise.  Jane says it is like having a chainsaw running on the stern of the dinghy.  There won't be any gas-powered wine cruises...  but I don't think that's going to be a problem.

The Tanaka will be receiving loving care (actually, more like loving neglect) here in the Hospice until it too passes on.  Hopefully, like its forebears,  not for a few years.


Anonymous said...

I like your approach to these little gasoline conveniences. I don't own one - my dinghy is oar-powered or sail-powered - but if I did, I would follow your lead in acquisition style. The price point and service expectation seem just about right.

bob said...

Middle Bay -


Tho we are usually the final owners for outboards, I sold the dead Evinrude for $40. But I assume it won't be resurrected. Instead, I presume it'll be an organ doner.


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