While I have been working on Redemption in the day, I secretly have been playing small outboard restorer guy by night. I know, I should have told y’all but sometimes the surprise is better, right? Anyways, I aquired an 1989 Evinrude Yachtwin 8 horsepower two-stroke outboard a couple years ago by way of chance. There was a half sunk inflatable washed up in the marsh that appeared to have an anchor in the water, and by anchor I mean the outboard engine. Yikes! Could have been a great white that tore the boat up like on Jaws! Crikey!
I sent the engine off while I was at work to a local engine guy(though I could have done this myself, but it wasn’t time effective for me) while I went back to work on the ship. He got it running like a top, starts on one or two pulls. VROOOM! Well it sat in the shed for a while collecting dust after I ran the fuel out up until a couple months ago.
First, I needed to change it out from a long shaft that was used for a sailboat to a short shaft so it can be easier to handle and not stick so far down when on the AB Inflatable dinghy. Once again, my dad’s connections in the boatyard/mechanic/marine industry pulled through once again. I was able to get a 1984 Evinrude yard scrap engine that had the short shaft parts I needed. I removed the old long shaft spacer, shifter and drive shafts from mine and swapped them out with the donor.
Come to find out the two engine’s drive shafts had different splines that inserts into the bottom of the engine. This required a little machine work. I measured the shaft on the donor and made the cut on mine. Had our machinist friend make a coupling and we spliced the two pieces together. Voila!
I figured since I had the lower unit pulled off I might as well change the water pump impeller, gaskets and seals for the water pump housing. I then drained the oil in the lower unit and pulled the propeller shaft unit out to change the gasket and put fresh anti-seize on the bolts. I slide the lower unit into the upper, which takes a little finagling with the shifter and turning the propeller shaft. Put everything back together and buttoned it up making sure I used ample amounts of anti-sieze on all threads to keep bolts from galling and corroding.
After the engine was once a whole unit, I hit the badly corroded areas at the bottom of the lower unit (usually where the bottom of the outboard rubs through mud/sand and the paint gets worn causing corrosion) and brushed on a little aluminium cleaner on the whole lower unit to clean the corroded areas and to slightly etch the old paint. A quick rinse and it was ready for getting taped off for paint. I wanted to prevent further aluminum oxidation so I sprayed the entire lower unit with a couple good coats of zinc chromate. Apparently, it only comes in fluorescent colors! Sure did brighten up things from the old blue! Next was the Evinrude light metallic blue that went on, I used about two cans of it on the what you see in the picture below which covered it well. I could have used less but the cans don’t come with decent tips that fan the paint well, so you have to put it on wetter than normal to prevent dry spots. Lastly, I sanded the engine cover well and gave it a lick of primer and spray it with International 990 Matterhorn white with a small touch-up gun. It layed out very nice…
Since the old two-smoker was used as a sailboat auxiliary engine it also had a very large diameter prop with little pitch. While this setup works great when you need the torque of the engine to move a lot of water with a bigger prop to move the boat, it doesn’t work well when you are wanting a dinghy to scoot around. So i changed the 9.5″x6″ (diameter x pitch) workhorse prop to a 8.5″x9″ prop for all out ripping it in future anchorages. This faster more efficient prop will allow us to explore farther, get to shore faster, and use less full when at cruising speed due to allowing for lower RPMs. I put the new prop on with a new sheer pin and new cotter pin for the cone cover as well.
When the painting was finished, I thought the glossy white engine cover needed just a little something.. Enter vinyl stickers.
Once the engine was ready to go, I got the gas tank and filled it up with some ethanol-free gas and two-cycle oil and loaded up the AB(Michelle is working on the dinghy name..) in the back of the truck and drove out to where Redemption was docked temporarily to make sure everything was going to work together. I ran the engine at the house with some outboard “earmuffs” so I knew the little animal could stand on its own, I just needed to know that the new prop was going to jive. I unloaded the dinghy, which surprisingly is very light and not to bad to move around given its size, and put the little 8 on the transom. Fuel line. Check. Prime. Check. With a couple pulls that little devil came to life again, and I loaded the boat up with my camera, some water, and my phone in a waterproof bag. I was off, and that thing rips it! I used a GPS app on my phone to check top speed and it got up to 16 knots! RIGHT ON!
A short video of me playing with my dinghy.. Wink.
What really made me happy was how little this thing sipped fuel. I ran it for probably 2-3 hours at mostly wide open and it barely used a quarter of a tank. It probably used less than that but I didn’t have a full tank to start and couldn’t really gauge that accurately. Only thing I can go by is weight, and the tank didn’t weigh much less than it did at the start. Nice! I bet I can get a solid day of shreddage with this gnarly little motor!
Can’t wait to explore island atolls and coves with the new whip. Michelle hasn’t ridden in the dinghy yet, so I’m excited to cruise around the Lake Pontchartrain and the Rigolets with her soon. We are both equally excited to load the tender on Redemption and sail south in the near future. Every week that goes by Redemption gets closer to clear waters, pristine beaches and relaxing sunsets with cool drinks in hand.
Until next time friends…