Hercules, my Mercury 9.9 outboard was definitely not feeling well. The last season, we had the problem of not being able to shift from forward to reverse in low RPM: when we tried it, the engine quit, and wouldn’t start again for another 10 minutes. This made for very challenging approaches down the fairway and into our slip.
The boatyard called and said “It’s fixed,” so I went to the slip, started up Hercules and moved Ilya out of the marina and toward our home marina — only to have Hercules die about 300 yards away. The marina staff pushed us back to the slip and they announced that Hercules wasn’t pumping water (that wasn’t hard to figure out), so they needed to order a water pump kit which included the impeller.
So, the boatyard called and said “It’s fixed,” so I went to the slip, started up Hercules and started out of the marina. About 1 minute later, I thought to look at the engine and saw it wasn’t pumping water. So, back into the slip. Called the boatyard, and they said they would fix it.
So, the boatyard called and said “It’s fixed,” so I went to the slip, started up Hercules and started out of the marina. The engine was pumping water, I was happy, the engine was happy, until it wasn’t. Somewhere around Zahniser’s marina, I noticed that instead of a steady stream of water, it was putting out steam and smoke, and about ten minutes later, I wisely tied up at the Calvert marina fuel dock and called for a tow from BoatUs. After about a half hour, they showed up and towed me back to the marina. I am very thankful I decided to get their unlimited towing.
Well, this situation clearly had to change, and after three previous tries, Hercules — reliable and steady as ever — powered Ilya to her regular slip at the West Basin Marina. I would have loved to sail that day, but the wind simply wasn’t cooperating.