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Scoot

Can't start my boat!

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I finally got out on the water tonight- I was VERY excited to give the 'eyes a shot. However, when I got my boat in the water I turned the key and got nothing. I figured the battery was dead (I had no idea why it would be dead), but I jumped it from the trolling motor battery and got nothing. There are three fuses near the battery and all of them checked out fine. I checked the fuse panel and the only one that was bad was for the radio- so that shouldn't have been the culprit. The guages on the dash are dead as could be, but when I got home the battery showed up as having a decent charge.
My boat is a 1700 Alumacraft tournament pro (1998) with a 115 four stroke Yammy on the back.
Does anyone have a likely culprit for my problems?... or is this too general of a problem and I just need to hunt down the spot where the wire no longer carries power?
Thanks,
Scoot

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Hay I'll trade ya headacks! Maybe not?

I have seen the spring tension on the fuse link too sloppy and then the juice will not make it past the fuse. They can heat up and loose their tension so you can remove them and add a bit of resistance by stretching the spring a bit. Good plan to touch up the fuse connections with some fine grit emery cloth too while your in there.

If the gauges are dead too and you have juice in the batteries it must be in the primary leads or ground?

That is my best guess Scott?

Good hunting bud!

(Ah….I am still waiting to get my Blazer out of the shop, maybe today? God help me if they find anything else! GRRRRR!) frown.gif

Ed

------------------
Backwater Eddy..><,sUMo,>

Backwater Guiding
"Ed on the RED"
(701)-281-2300

backwtr1@msn.com

http://home.talkcity.com/ResortRd/backwtr1/index.html

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Maybe your main battery is shorted. Jumping it with another may not work if it is. Connect just your spare battery and try that by itself.

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Sure the throttle was in neutral? smile.gif Seriously, I have seen this a lot with people at the launch (and myself too). It's common to put the throttle in forward gear when traveling (to keep the prop from spinning). The forward-neutral-reverse switch inside the throttle casing can get a little sticky, try moving it around in an out of gear until it clicks into neutral position. Try turning the key and holding it in the starting position while moving the throttle around. I had a boat that I had to do that to start it.

I have the same boat, different motor. The fuses near the starting battery have nothing to do with the starting of the motor. I have learned the hard way by cutting the main power wire when my console frame/brackets broke and cut the wire, and the motor functions still worked fine...just no electronics whatsoever.

There are fuses under the hood of the motor too. That could be another possibility. If you can't figure it out, you'll just have to bring it in to a pro.

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Those are all good suggestions and they have all happened to me. I am with CD on the motor being in gear. I would think the gauges should still work in the rest of the cenarios. With my Yamaha, if my throttle is in gear nothing works. That may not be it but I have done that so many times I had to mention it.ScottS

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Thanks for the replies, guys. Unfortunately, I've tried almost all of them. The boat was in neutral (I've made that boo boo before), the kill switch was locked out as it should be, all looked well!
I'll try the fuse suggestions- I didn't check Ed's suggestion specifically. I [PoorWordUsage]ed around with the master power switch, but I didn't know what the heck it was! I'd never seen one of them before, but figured it must be a main power cut switch. I'll check the fuses under the motor hood and see what's up in there. As for the battery being shorted out- I don't think that's it. It runs a spotlite just fine and takes a charge from a charger ok.
Thanks for the suggestions- I'll do some digging and see what happens.
Scoot

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A guy at work did mention his ignition switch acted up once in awhile. Don't rule out a broken ignition switch.

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I took my boat out earlier this week and had the same problem. I turned the key and had nothing, no starter or guages. I thought the battery was dead too. I switched batteries for the starter and still nothing. I found out that a plug behind my key had come undone, thus breaking the circuit to the battery. I plugged it back in and away I went. Good luck.

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A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work.

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I didn't get a chance to go play with the boat tonight, but I'll head over there tomorrow after work and put some of these great suggestions to work.
I really appreciate all of the feedback- hopefully I can put it to good use.
Scoot

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Scoot,
Same thing happened to me a couple years ago. What I found was a blown fuse on the motor itself near the starter. I'm talking OMC, so not sure where the fuse would be on your motor. I now carry a spare with me just in case. It should be a large red fuse somewhere near the starter.
Good luck.

------------------
>"////=<
Gull Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/gullguide
Brainerd-Mille Lacs-Willmar
Bemidji-Ottertail

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Scoot,

Get a multimeter and check continuity from the battery to the ignition and from the ignition to the starter.

Maybe its as simple as a bad wire.

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John K., a.k.a. wastewaterguru
Prior Lake, Minnesota

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Between my Blazer and it's starter and your boat it apears we have forces conspiring to keep us of the Red?

I am guiding on Friday and if the Gods are with us all will go well? Sure do hope so!

Hope your boat gets sparked back up for you soon Scott.

Do you get power to any of the lights or is it just dead to the ignition and gauges?

------------------
Backwater Eddy..><,sUMo,>

Backwater Guiding
"Ed on the RED"
(701)-281-2300

backwtr1@msn.com

http://home.talkcity.com/ResortRd/backwtr1/index.html

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I think the fuse on the motor as GullGuide suggested could be your problem. They can be difficult to find unless you know exactly where to look and what it looks like. Ask your dealer if your motor has one and how to find it.

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Thanks to all for the suggestions and info.- we got it! Gullguide was right, Ybone, it was the fuse on the motor. The main fuse on the motor was out on both my big motor and the kicker. The more I thought about it the more I wonder if I touched the negative jumper cable to the red post and vise versa for a second- it's a dam being color-blind! I often find out which one goes on which by touching them and seeing- no big deal on a dead car, but that's probably what popped the fuse (yes, I realize this is a dumb thing to do, but I keep forgetting to label the cables since I can't tell red from black).
Now the question of why was the battery so low remains. I can't think of anything that may have been on, but I probably did leave something on. I'll get it in the water and see what I can see.
Ed, did you get your Blazer figured out? Maybe next week we can get on the water? Don't get the wrong idea- I'm not trying to avoid you! I have just had a tough time scheduling play-time lately. I've had major work, school, and wife obligations for the past little while. If I have anything to say about it we will fish together soon. I'd really like to hash over that idea you mentioned- my dad would like to hear more about it too.
Scoot

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Scoot,
Good you found the problem! There are fuses all over the place, eh?

One thing to mention, that I have have done, and it's a costly mistake. I've had a 60hp Johnson and a 40hp Johnson, so I'm talking OMC...don't know about Yamahas. If you connect the battery cables to the opposite terminals, you will not only blow a fuse, but also possibly blow out the alternator device that charges the boat battery. On my OMC's it was a small circular device with 4 wires coming out of it, and it was attached to the side (near) the cylinder blocks. If that thing frys then your motor will be sucking the juice from the battery to run the motor....until there is no juice left and that will leave you stranded.
Check to see the proper voltage is getting to the battery. Your voltage meter on the dashboard should tell you too (I would hope!)

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Good to hear you found it Scoot.

Scoot my Blazer is on its way BACK into the shop today, I hope. MAN am I sick of that deal eh! The mech. had a loose harness and something shorted the day after I got it out, now it won't start again. It was to be fixed yesterday but he didn't get to it, today I hope he will for sure. GRRRR!

What I do to make sure I don't accidentally cross the polarity on the boat is to mark the posts on the batteries and the connectors too.

My color vision is poor too so this is how I cover that problem. I take a Phillips screwdriver and mark the positive by lightly tapping it with a hammer and leaving a (+) mark on the positive post top as well as the connector. You can see it and even feel it in the dark if need be. Do the same on the negative (-) with a large regular point screwdriver and you got it covered.

I keep a double set of fuses taped to the inside of my engine cover just in case.

I am guiding Thursday and again on Sunday so those days are busy for me Scoot, Friday may work to get together? I am surprised Monday isn’t booked up yet, it usually is one of the fist days of the season that is booked up for me? That could change real fast too.

------------------
Backwater Eddy..><,sUMo,>

Backwater Guiding
"Ed on the RED"
(701)-281-2300

backwtr1@msn.com

http://home.talkcity.com/ResortRd/backwtr1/index.html

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Scoot --

I can relate -- we do computer work at our company, and I had an intern set up a new machine. When he plugged it in and it started smoking, I realized he had reversed two leads and I said "What, are you color blind?!?!?!!!".

He said "Yes", and I felt like an one-who-thinks-I-am-silly, since I'd spent a long time showing him how to hook up the leads correctly by the red/gray color coding!

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It's not the worst disability that I could ever imagine, but it does come into play more often than a lot of people might think. I can't complain though- two arms, two legs, 10 fingers, 10 toes, and a brain that sometimes works... things could be a whole lot worse.
Scoot

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