We have been without a working outboard since we left Puerto Rico on Dec 20, 2021. Now, on Dec 27th in Saint Maarten, the Dutch side, we bought a new Yamaha, 15 hp Enduro Short Shaft. We bought this from Island Water World but later found out they buy them from Outdoor World which is the authorized Yamaha dealer. Still, the price was fantastic, $2600 and no tax or duty. The nice aspect about Island Water World is that they really cater to the cruising yachtsman. They are boaters and they are here to help. They even installed a set of planing fins for free. What a great service.
What happened to the Dinghy?
We last bought our Yamaha 15 hp two stroke in Abaco Bahamas in 2012. We have run that one 10 years and never had to service it at all other than normal items. What led to the failure was the impeller. When I launched the dinghy in Nov in Puerto Rico it started up on one pull like always, but it did not pump water. No problem, I will replace the impeller. Well in the process of this, I busted a bolt that holds down the impeller housing. So, I decided to take the lower unit to a certified Yamaha dealer, Fajardo Outboard Parts. Four weeks later I am given the motor back in parts and told they can’t fix it and they did not have time to fix it. That was after 4 weeks and $350 in parts.
We tried to buy a motor
Now, with only a few days until we depart, Dec 20th, we tried to buy any outboard motor in Puerto Rico and also in USVI, St. Thomas. Like you all know, there is a supply chain shortage and nobody has any motors in stock or even any used motors. The service shops also were all backed up and they would not take our repair until the end of January at best. That is when I learned about Dutch Saint Maarten and how they have everything in stock. Of course, they are DUTCH and they love to trade. Island Water World had 15 Yamaha 15 two strokes in stock. So, we made a plan to move to SXM as soon as we could. We needed a working dinghy because we never dock and we anchor out every day.
The Run to SXM was calm.
As you know from the previous posts, the run to Saint Maarten was calm and we arrived on Dec 24th at 11 pm. We met up with John of IP420 ADVENTURESS and shared Christmas together and New Year together of Simpson Bay. John kindly towed our dinghy into shore where Island Water World installed the new motor. We finally, on Dec 27th had a working dinghy after a week on anchor without one. What a relief.
What a difference
Imagine not having a car while living at home in a snowstorm, well that is similar to not having a dinghy while anchored out in a harbor. You are stuck and can not get out and you can not go for supplies. It is a very confining feeling and it is not safe. If you are going to be anchored out in remote harbors, you need a way to get to shore, hands down. So, now we were whole again with the new outboard and the running dinghy. Sint Maarten is THE PLACE to buy yachting items. They have the inventory and the goods. The best in the entire Caribbean hands down.
The Old Yamaha
We traded it to a kid on the docks and he was able to fix the lower unit in ONE DAY. Do you believe this? YES, a kid fixed it who lives on a motorboat at the docks with his Dad. Hereafter 4 weeks with a certified Yamaha dealer, FAJARDO OUTBOARD PARTS, who could not fix this in 4 weeks, this kid fixes it and has it running in a day. UNREAL. But buy this time, we already had a new motor so we made a deal with this kid and it all worked out fairly for both sides.
Breaking in the new motor
I have done this before and it is simple. You need to run a rich oil mixture, 25:1 for the first 6 gallons. During this time you need to not run ti wide open but for a minute. You need to vary the RPMs and you need to run it for a good 6 to 10 hours. Then after the initial warm-up and running you need to run it wide open for a full minute then back it off. At wide-open, I am guessing the boat is doing 25 knots, it is crazy fast. Almost too fast for a 125 lb boat. It wants to lift off the water and fly while just standing on the prop and airfoil fins. I will clock this and get a full speed test on the boat and motor. I believe this Enduro is way faster than the 15F Yamaha. The speed test will tell.
LOCKS and Security
We tried several styles of motor locks and finally went all-in on the very expensive STAZO Lock from the Netherlands. This is a solid piece of stainless steel that totally encloses one motor bracket spindle. The way pirates rob motors is that they simply cut the spindles off between the bracket and the transom. They use portable power tools and can cut a spindle in a minute. Once cut the motor can be lifted off easily. So this lock prevents the cutting of a spindle. To get the motor off they would have to cut the entire transom off, and that they do as well. The other item we use is a 25 foot 1/4″ stainless steel cable and a master lock. This cable goes thru the dinghy transom eye then the outboard than the fuel tank then the dock. So now they have to cut the cable and then also deal with the massive STAZO lock on the motor. We hope this will prevent theft. Then at night, we haul up the dinghy in the davits and lock it to the stern of Island Spirit.
Thank you for reading about our dinghy motor and all we went thru to get back up and running. We are currently in Antigua and will be here a few weeks before heading back to SXM.