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Up a river without a paddle!

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I have been out on the open water a few times this year and shaking out the bugs from the winter storage and just wonder if any of the rest of you have had some early season woes. Mine started last Thursday night. Third time out with the Tincan and it ran like a top the first 2 trials. For the most part, the boat ran fine right untill it was time to head in for the evening. I had the river to myself with one other boat south and towards the landing. I went to start the motor and the choke assembly pulled out, no big deal, pull the cover and choke it manually. I then proceeded to do just that and couldn't get the motor to fire while attempting to manually choke it and pull the starter rope. No big deal, I am upriver and still have my trusty trolling motor to slowly glide me back to the launch. I started the trolling motor and was coasting slowly back downstream and then it happened. Crunch, clunk sizzle, sizzle, the trolling motor goes kaput. I have no paddle or oars with me so I am slowly drifting downstream but a ray of hope, one other boat that is downstream just fired up and was headed to the landing. I whistled and waved but to no avail. I thought quick, my cellphone, sweet, 2 bars when I usually have none. I called a friend whom I thought was fishing south of me. He answered and graciously said he'd drop his boat back in to give me a tow back. He proceeded to drop back in and started to come after me when I finally got the motor fired and was able to head downstream. Busted choke assembly, later I learned busted drive linkage and a trolling motor that had just had enough. Prodigy, I thank you for your efforts and for dropping your boat back in after you had pulled it. I learned a good lesson that day. I always figured no need for a paddle with a trolling motor for backup and a fresh battery but I was wrong. I did have a nice anchor and could have anchored up for a long night if need be and I could have used the motor as a tiller to guide my slow float downstream but with the darkness fast approaching I didn't relish that idea. So for anyone that is going to just drop her in and go in the coming weeks a few quick checks may save you some headaches. Check your batteries and make sure they are properly charged and have plenty of water, check your battery leads and make sure they aren't corroded. Check your inline fuses and boat and trailer lights to make sure they are in working order. Run your motor either with muffs or in a local body of water and make sure it is proper working order. Grease any of the zerts that might need a pump or two of lubricant. check any wires for fraying or nicks in the insulation. Run your trolling motor for 10-15 minutes to make sure the plugs, steering, battery are all good to go. Make sure you have the new registration, right amount of PFD's and a current liscense in you possesion. Check the trailer tire for the right amount of air pressure. There are a ton of preventitive maintenance type things that you can do before you hit the water that might save you some downtime while on the water. Yes, I went and bought a paddle. I also found that the front deck light on the boat through vibration had wiggled loose and snapped a wire which is now repaired. Check now while on dry land and after your first couple runs on the water and you may save some downtime when the opener rolls around. Just thought I'd share my mishaps to help someone else from running into the same things. Tightlines and be safe out there!


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All great advice Tunrevir, glad you ended up alright. Ours worked like a charm the first few times out, and that even included us putting a new water pump in it - knock on wood...

Also, make sure to check the air in the spare.... ours was about 25 lbs light...

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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