Got a call Monday afternoon from fellow TFer dayjtradr ( John ). His friend - also named John had lost a 25 HP outboard off the transom of a crabbing skiff near Hart / Miller island.
John wondered if I could try to find it with scuba gear. He was certain he could get me within 100 feet of the location.
We agreed to meet Weds afternoon as time was of the essence. The longer it was on the bottom - less likely it could be restarted. Got to his house and saw tools laid out. Liked his confidence that we would find it.
Left John's dock about 2:00 after loading the dive gear into his other boat - 16 foot rowboat. Ran out to the location - he had already placed a marker with a cinder block. Water was flat.
We looked the area over with a regular depth finder and saw a sharp drop from 4 to 12 feet. John was sure the engine was in the deeper water - narrowed down the search area. Noticed current was running fast - outgoing but hoped it would not hinder my search.
Hats off to the fellow TFers who volunteered side scan units
on such short notice.
Went over the side into the warm water and down to bottom. Pushed a long metal stake into the sand and then tugged the line so topside could pull cinder block out of my way. Visibility was only about 6 inches but better then true zero conditions.
Pulled three feet from reel and crawled a circle. No luck - pulled another three feet. Still no luck - pulled another three feet of line to expand search area. Current on bottom was strong but helped me navigate. When I was facing it - knew to let more line out.
Found the edge of the sand bar and now could search from 6:00 to 12:00 positions - like a 180* arc. Going into current was awful - tough to keep line taut. The other way - had to drag flippers to act as a brake.
Bumped into a few rocks about size of bowling balls - each time thinking it was the engine. My hand felt a few smooth objects - glass bottles on bottom.
Had a fair amount of line out and took a few seconds to check air gauge. It showed 900 PSI left from 2,900. I come up around 500 but had another full tank in the skiff.
Going up current - right hand felt steel and I pulled myself to the engine
. Tied a 1/2 inch rope around the lower unit and sent rope up with lift bag. Followed that to surface and my son Tyler and John came over.
They tied the skiff to the rope while I went back under to reel in my line and pull the metal stake.
In mean time - John's friends came over with a larger boat that had a swim platform. I handed in the metal pole and went down the rope with another 1/2 inch line. Tied that one to engine as well - did not want to risk losing it.
Tell me TFer's are not good folks. While securing second line underwater - 5th Tutition swung by but guys told him we had found it.
Marty has a side scan unit and made a trip to offer help. He was gone when I surfaced.
The guys on the bigger boat had their hands full wrestling the engine onto the swim platform. Tyler took some action photos.
Once the engine was on swim platform - both boats headed back. Once on land - looked like a Nascar pit crew as everyone pitched in to get engine cleaned. Plugs were pulled and fogging oil sprayed in.
Engine was gently pulled over and fuel lines were taken off and blown dry. Carb. bowl was emptied and new plugs put in.
First few pulls and no luck. Plugs were pulled again and cleaned of fogging oil.
Next few pulls offered a teasing cough but no start but then the engine sputtered and was idling - burning off the fogging oil.
John planned to let it run about 90 minutes to help dry it out fully and plans to use it next day or two - after securing the transom clamps better.