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Old 07-27-2017, 06:51 PM   #1
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Plan B for a dinghy motor failure?

Had a problem with my dinghy motor about 20' from the dock when returning from an extensive run at Isle Royale a week ago. No problem, rowed to the dock. Contacted the manufacturer and received a replacement carburetor under warranty. Installed it today; ran great for 50 minutes and then died.

Not going to disclose the manufacturer as it's not relative to the thread. What I do regarding the current motor (repair or replace ), also isn't relative to the purpose of the thread.

Rowed and let the wind push my RIB back to the mother ship. An hour to go maybe a half a mile. I think I could row a cast iron bathtub faster.

I use my dinghy to go exploring off the beaten path. Getting towed back or having cell service may not be an option (wouldn't have been available at Isle Royale). So as I was struggling to get back, my mind is going, "The first one was easy. This second one is your wakeup call. Hey stupid, what's plan B when you're 5 miles away? "

So I'm open to suggestions.

Ted
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:56 PM   #2
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I would suspect bad fuel.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:15 PM   #3
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I would suspect bad fuel.
And you would be wrong.

That's why it's not about why it failed, but what is plan B for a dead dinghy motor. Some failures aren't preventable.

Ted
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:24 PM   #4
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A small kicker off to one side on the transom or laid down on the sole? Takes up crucial space, but even a back up electric trolling motor would be better than having to row a rubber ducky. Been there, done that several times and in any sort of breeze ...!
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:29 PM   #5
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Yep Ted....scares me too in temote places.

Majorie often asks and most of the time I have had wind and tide with me back to the boat if something went wrong and that calms her.

Other than rowing, there is no good plan B when all alone. The hassel of a trolling motor is about the only option and a crappy one at that if you have many miles to go.

Its like spraining an ankle on a wilderness hike. Row till you drop.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:34 PM   #6
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Row till you drop.
If that's the answer, then I'm getting something rowable. Mine isn't for any meaningful distance.

Ted
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:36 PM   #7
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I rowed my duckie once.

Now it's a lifeboat.

If you have great expectations from your duckie you may be disapointed.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:36 PM   #8
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A small kicker off to one side on the transom or laid down on the sole? Takes up crucial space, but even a back up electric trolling motor would be better than having to row a rubber ducky. Been there, done that several times and in any sort of breeze ...!
A rubber ducky with a wing engine.

Ted
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:40 PM   #9
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Dump the one you have and/or get a back up. After 2 failures my confidence would be shot. Our dinghy is our car/truck. When we're cruising, I want dependable transportation.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:44 PM   #10
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I lay on the bow and pull with one paddle. I can go faster that way than rowing with the POS oarlocks.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:46 PM   #11
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I am not sure there is a good "plan B". If you want to use a dinghy to explore further afield, then you are risking the situation where you could get stuck. There are other options of course, but they won't necessarily give you the same features of a RIB with a moderately sized outboard.

A RIB with a 20-40 hp engine gives you capacity, stability, range, convenience, and speed. There are options which would give you better options if you have an engine failure, but none of them that I can think of will have that same combination of capacity, stability, range, convenience, and speed.

Options:
- A good rowing dinghy. If the engine quits, you can row home more easily than in a RIB. This will give you range and convenience, but you will sacrifice the stability of a RIB and likely speed and capacity.

- You could opt for an electric outboard such as a Torqeedo. This would be much more reliable but you would sacrifice range and speed.

- Carry a spare kicker in the boat. This works but you sacrifice convenience and some capacity since space in the dinghy would be taken up by the kicker.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:47 PM   #12
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There was an Active Captain article about this around the start of this year. Not so much on how to get it started again, but what you needed to have on board a dinghy until you could get help - which could be some time in remote places.

Do you carry a hand held?
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:52 PM   #13
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As was mentioned earlier, how about something like this stowed in a bag until needed. It weighs 30#.

https://marine.honda.com/outboards/motor-detail/BF2.3

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Old 07-27-2017, 07:57 PM   #14
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Do you carry a hand held?
I go places where the hand help won't reach anyone or I don't have cell phone service. Always travel with a PLB or an EPIRB, so ultimate rescue isn't the issue. Let's call them plan C. Still trying to figure out a self rescue plan B.

Ted
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:04 PM   #15
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I go places where the hand help won't reach anyone or I don't have cell phone service. Always travel with a PLB or an EPIRB, so ultimate rescue isn't the issue. Let's call them plan C. Still trying to figure out a self rescue plan B.

Ted
The article was based on needing to overnight until another boat or dinghy passed by, maybe two overnights. And what you need to have in the dinghy bag when exploring remote places.

Worth a read.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:06 PM   #16
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As was mentioned earlier, how about something like this stowed in a bag until
That's an option. Decades ago I ran a 4 pack charter boat with a single outboard and a "come home kicker". Ran the kicker every trip the last 100 yards down the no wake zone harbor. Only way you're sure it works is to run it regularly. Used it twice, blown lower unit and dead power pack (spark generator).

Ted
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:11 PM   #17
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The article was based on needing to overnight until another boat or dinghy passed by, maybe two overnights. And what you need to have in the dinghy bag when exploring remote places.

Worth a read.
Certainly worth adding, but still want plan B.

Ted
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:21 PM   #18
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Certainly worth adding, but still want plan B.

Ted
Plan B?

Get out and feckin' swim!
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:33 PM   #19
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Know what you mean....

Even dingies drive us crazy with compromises like the big boats.

I guess a stidy of electric trolling motor and battery capacity might tell if feasible and for how long/far...thete are the kind that bolt onto the transom or outboard so they are less in the way.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:54 PM   #20
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I went with twins! The first one is 12 years old and started to act up. So I bought an identical for spare part inventory etc. Now the old one runs great. I also use the new one as a kicker on my larger aluminum skiff.

Although in all the jungle river and outer reef exploration, if I had a failure, I don't think it would have been too long for rescue. Maybe would have had to leave boat for later, and get a dug out canoe ride back!
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