Longtime fellow Woody Boater Andy in Middletown helped out with a great story. Wow, Kidney Stones is a little extreme to ask for stories, but whatever works I guess. Ugh. many of you know Andy in the comment section, and now.. Here he is, in all his vacation glory! Take it away!
For several years our family has taken a vacation to Deep Creek, Maryland and towed our two 1950’s family 15 footer boats along. They are a 1956 Lyman 15′-0″ Center-Steer and a 1958 Norris Craft 15′-0″ fiberglass boat. The 1956 Lyman runs a 1954 Evinrude Big Twin 25 HP outboard.
The Norris Craft runs a 1958 Johnson 18 HP outboard. This year started out great with a good trouble free trip from the public boat launch to the dock. After tying up and getting everything set, my brother set out in the Lyman with my other brother following in the Norris Craft. As Matt often says, it isn’t a good day of boating without someone needing a tow, and this vacation started with a bang.. or more like a dying whimper, with the Norris Craft returning to the dock with the Lyman in tow about 45 minutes after they had left. My brother attested that the engine just started losing power and then died out.
Out came the tools, and an afternoon of mechanical diagnosis. Compounding this was the cowling design for the 1954 Big Twin that is more frustrating than a Rubik’s cube to get on an off as I am sure any seasoned OMC mechanic can attest to. Let me assure you, the mechanic-ing was engineered with surgical precision and not a screw, or needle valve was lost! Cutting to the chase, the culprit ended up being the little rubber cam-follower wheel that opens the throttle as you advance the spark. The little pin that holds that wheel vibrated out and fell with the wheel to the base of the powerhead, not to be found until about 2 hours into the ordeal of ‘fixing it’. How it didn’t vibrate a little further and fall into the water, we will never know. The lady of the lake must have been looking out for us!
After that event, the remainder of the vacation has been great! The motor is now running like a top and we are all taking turns cruising the Lyman up and down the lake. Boy, a 25 HP motor is PERFECT for this boat and puts her up on plane nicely. As long as it’s not too choppy, the ride is smooth and feels faster than I am sure it really is.
It’s so rewarding to have fun with these vintage family boats, on a nice big open lake, as… a family. Whether it be a big Chris Craft inboard, or a dinky little 15 foot outboard, I think that’s what woody boating might be about. Fun, family times on the water, cruising in style. Hope you guys enjoy the photos and get your own hulls on the water!
Signed, “Andy in Middletown”