$20 Boneheaded Mistake...

Discussion in 'Bubba's Outboards' started by Mr.T, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    (I post this in hopes that someone else won't go through the aggravation and embarrassment that I went through last weekend... Plus it might be good for a laugh.)

    Got the fish & ski boat out of storage on Saturday and proceeded to the lake. I've had it for about a year; it's a 20 ft ProCraft with a 200 hp Merc EFI - both are 1994 model year and the engine *always* runs like a top, cranks right up and never gives me any fits.

    Well, we loaded the boat up, backed the trailer down the ramp and I started cranking (before unhooking from the trailer, as I always do) -- the engine cranked and cranked but wouldn't fire. And after every couple of times I cranked it, the computer in the engine would go "beep beep beep" until I turned the key off.

    That's a clue, I said, so started digging through the manual for troubleshooting information. I skimmed through it quickly and found that the beeping might mean there was water in the fuel filter, but there a warning light would be shining. It wasn't. Then I read that it might be low on oil for the injector pump. It wasn't. Then I read that it might be that the injector pump had failed. Holy cow! This was going to be the day that my perfect engine let me down!

    Well, I pulled the boat back up the ramp and loaded my disappointed kids back into the truck, breaking the news that there'd be no boating today. As I was headed back to the storage barn, I decided to take a long shot and see if the local Mercury dealer had any mechanics on duty (late Saturday afternoon).

    Turns out that, yes there was a guy and he'd be with me in a minute.

    He walks over to the boat as I'm describing the problem ("cranks just fine, but won't fire").

    He casually leans in over the side of the boat and reconnects the lanyard to the kill switch and it fired right up. I just stood there with my mouth open, too embarrassed to say a word.

    He wasn't going to charge me anything, but I offered him $20 for his time, figuring the education I just got was easily worth that much.

    Lesson learned: The first thing to check is your kill switch.

    And read the manual -- the first item on the troubleshooting list was to check the kill switch. But I ignored that, assuming that the kill switch would render the engine completely dead (as in "no cranking at all") but all it does is disable the ignition.
  2. Ace

    Ace New Member

    Gastonia N
    Thanks for the info .:big_smile_2:


  3. Larry

    Larry New Member

    Ouch.... kinda.
    At least it wasnt a major repair. Best part of this is you will never never make that mistake again. AND I bet, you will do like I do. Fire the engine in your driveway before you take off for the day. A few times it has save me the agrivation of getting to the launch and not having tools or parts for something that can be taken care of.
    Thanks for sharing the story
  4. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Warsaw, Mo.
    Marty, Marty what can I say LOL. Better than the plug though aint it ...:wink:
  5. sgt_rob

    sgt_rob Member

    Bossier City, LA
    OK, now that almost takes over the lead from the "I forgot to put the plug in" stories. Good info!
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I've already done the "forgot the plug" thing...
  7. Georgiajack

    Georgiajack New Member

    I'm like Larry, I have made it a habit to start mine at home before the trip also. All too often, we made things out to be worse than they really are. It's easy to do, and most of us have done similar things. Good thing is lessons learned this way are not soon forgotten. Thanks for the post, good fishin', Jack.
  8. samh

    samh New Member

    Been ther done that, except mine cranked and I ran 4 miles, fished and got readdy to leave and it wouldn't crank,worked on it for an hour and gave up,trolling motored all the way back, took a while, then just as I got back to the ramp it hit me, sure enough I pulled the kill switch when I got up to fish at the first stop.
  9. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    That happened to me one time on the lake. I was a couple miles from the boat ramp and the boat wouldn't start. I couldn't get the dang thing to fire up so I ran the trolling motor across the lake for almost a hour. The whole time I was checking out the motor, trying to crank the motor nothing seemed to work. I look over at my daughter who was playing with the layard kill switch in the water as we trolled back to the ramp.:lol:
  10. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Conway Arkansas
    Me too, me too, I had just gotten my brand new rig and the maiden voyage was over to the river to break it in like it said to in the owner's manual. There were a few people at the ramp and I was strutting and thanking everybody for the compliments on the new Yamaha. I cranked and I cranked and I cranked. You see, I had rearranged my dry storage before I left the house and I didn't want that little red lanyard thing to blow out of the boat so I put it somewhere nice and safe. I did figure it out but not until all the folks at the launch had left. I feel your pain Bro.

  11. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Kill switches do work don't they. Been ther done that. won't do it agian .
  12. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter New Member

    Kentucky, Rush
    Been there to ,as a matter of fact ive even got the same motor u have . I didnt have to go thru as much as you but sat there in the seat for a while totally confused as to why my motor was acting that way and finally figured out it was because it was supposed to lol. Flipped the lanyard back in and embarrisingly went on my way
  13. Rookie12

    Rookie12 New Member

    Kannapolis, NC
    I've done the same thign a couple of times. My son flipped the switch one time and I bumped it with my throttle hand one time and the thing cut off going down the lake and I couldn't figure it out. oh yeah, I did the plug thing too, but caught that in time. It happens to the best of us.
  14. GoFish_Tony

    GoFish_Tony New Member

    Big Rock, IL
    Been there... done that.

    I have a I/O open bow ski boat. Did the exact same thing. Would turn over and not start. I tore into it and found out I had no spark. So I replaced the coil! DOH!

    Years later I almost made the same mistake... with the same boat! (Once again, I had forgot about that kill switch!

    Thanks for the reminder!
  15. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    I have NOT had that happen, but I will add it to my "oh crap, what else can I check now that it won't start" list.