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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, member pjr71, Capn dave penrose,
needing help 10 am friday , 12 june
cell phone 410 200 0529. Dave

boat in distress. unknown electrical problem,
dead batteries, unknown cause.
This is not a drill


thank you
tom granger
cell 410 627 0504 for more info.

again thank you
and God Bless
your day and your fishing

tomglenburnie,
glen burnie maryland 21060

background: Dave called me 15 mins ago.
he is trying to wave down help.
one fisherman was rude, said
" call a tow buddy, it is your problem"

Dave is smart and sober. He is an electrical engineer, so it is not a stupid, sloppy problem.
A failure can happen to anyone.
 

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If it is outboard - take off cowling and look inside it for a pull rope. Many outboards have this item - often in plastic pouch.

If so - wrap it on fly wheel - small groove will be on top for this rope.

TURN KEY TO ON - it must be ON.

Pull rope and see if engine pops. If so - try 4-5 times , engine should fire and run.

I've pull started 200 HP outboards before - it is not too hard if they have been running ( warmed up ). Not too easy if cold.

If no luck - just keep waving at other boats , lot of good folks out there. Only downside - week days not as many out.
 

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On the same lines, if the battery is too weak to crank the motor it still might engage the bendix of the starter. I have had to have someone engage the starter at the same time I pulled the rope and she fired up. Tricky and takes good timing but it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all who helped or tried to help.
David got in safely, by using a tow service.
Don't know why start circuits failed - yet.
 

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For some reason my update post didn't show up.
Thanks to Tom for putting this out there and some of the advice. I have a 2007 Yamaha F225 on the back end. No pull rope. The outboard has acted like the batteries were bad a few other times and always assumed it was the batteries and would charge them.
Dale from TowboatUS showed up. Great guy. I was a little upset since I just rewired the entire battery system over the winter to add a battery isolator so I'd never drain my starter battery. GPS and radio worked fine but trim for outboard was very sluggish going up and barely wanted to drop so assumed it was dead starter battery. However, even in parallel nothing happened.

Anyway, we tried to jump a few different ways at the battery and nothing. We pulled the cowl and tried a few things and nothing. When I turned it over you just heard some clicks like the outboard wasn't getting enough power. So, after messing around for a little bit Dale towed me to Ventnor. What was great is he only charged me for coming out to try and jump me since I was so close to the marina and he said he disn't have any other jobs.

Sunday I went to the boat with my jump starter/charger. Took off the batter cables at the outboard and connected directly to the outboard hoping it was just the cables. No such luck. Just a single click. I put my charger on both batteries and they are both at 100%. I did some research and found a few possibilities based on the fact that the outboard acted like it wasn't getting power.

1. There is a 3 prong harness on the port side (black with yellow rubber) that is known to go bad
2. Relay under ECM
3. Main harness isn't making good contact

Has anyone else run into an issue like this?
 

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Can you see if the starter gear is coming up to engage the flywheel ?

I've seen starters get stuck and make a click when key is turned. Gentle tap with wood handle of hammer often frees it.
 

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I'll check the ground since that's 1 thing i haven't.

Skip, thought it was possibly starter at 1st but with the trim acting like a dead battery I'm leaning away from that. Though, it could be that plus. When I go to fix the bolt I broke off I'll get at the starter.
 

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UPDATE: INSTALLER ERROR "ME"
As an electrical engineer I always have to be honest and admit I made a mistake and correct it. Well, this was all on me. In the spring I rewired the power at the batteries. Installed an Blue Seas Isolator/combiner, a negative terminal block, a fuse panel for the items that are straight off the battery, etc.
1. Positive conductor at starter battery was almost out of the terminal. So, I stripped more insulation, stuck it as far in as possible and smashed the hell out of it. Problem 1 fixed. Boat still wouldn't start.

2. Isolator switch wired incorrectly (Honestly didn't think this was the problem but I knew I needed to fix it). Fixed that and still nothing.

3. Negative lug and conductor to outboard was corroded. This was the 1 terminal I didn't replace when I rewired the back of my boat. So, I bought a new lug
stripped about 2" of insulation back and reterminated. Boat fired right up!!!

Lesson learned that being humble always helps you out in the end. I kept telling myself it couldn't be my wiring and I was dead wrong. The boat ran great for months after the rewire so that's why I figured it couldn't be that.
 

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Understand! I'm also a EE (WPI '1969) and often do the same stuff. By the way my sport fisher inboard does not have an isolator. My son-in-laws fancy new boat has one and it crapped out after about two weeks so I'm not inclined to add one. I almost never connect to shore power since I know our marina has lousy wiring. Take care.

UPDATE: INSTALLER ERROR "ME"
As an electrical engineer I always have to be honest and admit I made a mistake and correct it. Well, this was all on me. In the spring I rewired the power at the batteries. Installed an Blue Seas Isolator/combiner, a negative terminal block, a fuse panel for the items that are straight off the battery, etc.
1. Positive conductor at starter battery was almost out of the terminal. So, I stripped more insulation, stuck it as far in as possible and smashed the hell out of it. Problem 1 fixed. Boat still wouldn't start.

2. Isolator switch wired incorrectly (Honestly didn't think this was the problem but I knew I needed to fix it). Fixed that and still nothing.

3. Negative lug and conductor to outboard was corroded. This was the 1 terminal I didn't replace when I rewired the back of my boat. So, I bought a new lug
stripped about 2" of insulation back and reterminated. Boat fired right up!!!

Lesson learned that being humble always helps you out in the end. I kept telling myself it couldn't be my wiring and I was dead wrong. The boat ran great for months after the rewire so that's why I figured it couldn't be that.
 
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