What’s Your MacGyver Moment?


Fellow WoodyBoater Paul Widmer late last night asked a fun question and had a suggestion for a story. And it’s Saturday morning at 5AM and guess what? I am going to make a MacGyver story.

Using a Cushion so the finish doesn’t get damaged during a Tow. Thats a Jimmy Idea!

Do you have one? We all do I suppose. We all have used some duck tape to make it home. A little JB Weld on stuff. Stood back in the engine compartment with your hand on the throttle to get home? Used a paper clip to save the day? Coat Hanger?

Its all part of the fun! I think a coat hanger solved this issue.

Come on! Let it all hang out today, show your creative problem solving pride!


18 replies
  1. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    A guest once gave me his plastic hospital bed urinal/receptacle after a ‘gall stone’ operation. It’s the most useful bit of kit in my boat for those emergencies.

  2. Anonymous Please
    Anonymous Please says:

    Front seat bottom in a 17′ Deluxe is a poor substitute for a forgotten paddle. DOH!

  3. Bud
    Bud says:

    The boat stopped running one day in the middle of the lake. After popping off the distributor cap and discovering there was almost nothing left of the end of the rotor, a Bud Light can saved the day. After cutting a strip of aluminum out of the can and twist tying it to what was left of the rotor we were off and running – well up into the 3000 RPM range!

  4. Syd
    Syd says:

    Responding to a report of a boat fire, back when I was in the USCG. We had the 21′ Boston Whaler with a pair of 70 hp Johnson’s and on engine had no throttle response as we left the dock. I went back and pulled the cover while running and discovered the cotter pin was missing for the throttle linkage. It was awful load holding the throttle wide open and we had a distance to to, then it dawned on me that I carry tooth picks in me wallet. Dug one out, put the linkage back on and stuck the tooth pick in the hole. It got us there and back.

    • Phillip Jones
      Phillip Jones says:

      You would have to see this guy attack a steak to understand why he keeps some tooth picks in his pocket. :):):)
      Also as a Despro owner he is required to have these skills:):)
      Just saying.

      Happy 4TH SYD

  5. Syd
    Syd says:

    It is for times like this why I carry a small pouch on my belt, it was a Gerber multi purpose tool, a 4″ crescent wrench, mini mag flashlight, and a small straight and a small philips screwdrivers. Through the years I have gone boating with people and they see that hanging on my side and say why do you have that, then later in the trip I hear I am glad that you brought that. It is important to have tools with you.

  6. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    And I gave you minejust i yesterday telling how we made vice grips out of plyers with an elastic hair band.

  7. Garry
    Garry says:

    I had just received my new old boat and wanted to get it running and launched. There was no spark when cranking. The pints were so bad it was no wonder.
    Out comes my < 2" swiss knife and the file for fingernails then over to the car to burnish on the fan belt.
    It ran and we launched and we found more problems to keep me happy.

  8. Bob
    Bob says:

    I took a boatload of family and friends and kids to see the fire works in the Niagara River (think current and lots of anchored boats) We decided to avoid the rush and pull anchor and leave a little early. Boat started but no transmission. I had my friend drive while I jumped into the motor compartment and became the transmission. We were like a pin ball in a giant boating pin ball game. We made it home fine and now have the story.

  9. Rick
    Rick says:

    This great old woody pulled up on Fire Island yesterday and the owner was immediately working on his engine and didn’t have time or inclination to talk as he worked.


    THE STEERING ball brok off the drive I wrapped rope
    around the drive and pulled from each side to steer
    it got usback to the dock

  11. Old Salt aka Phil Widmer
    Old Salt aka Phil Widmer says:

    One day I was motoring along in our Chris Craft Scorpion Skijack (with the family) when all the sudden it died. Knowing the wife was already not keen on boating and it being a cold rainy day with our littles boys on board I knew I had to figure this out fast or risk mommy not ever wanting to go boating again…. As the boat died I looked to my left and saw my three year old holding a bright orange wire that was leading to under the dash board. I quickly realized it was one of the ignition wires that he must have pulled off of the ignition switch. The plastic connector had broken loose from the contacts on the back of the switch. With only a flat head screw driver and a pair of vise grips I was able to strip away the old connector and using the vise grips I clamped the wire to the existing terminal. The boat started right up and I made it back to the dock and more importantly the wife is still willing to go out boating…

  12. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    A dog bowl and lake water can be useful for cooling a fuel pump and fuel lines all the way to the carb and intake manifold to quickly cure a bad case of vapor lock.

  13. warren
    warren says:

    I was running my first Glen-L boat up a river marsh area (quite a ways from the launch ramp, and no boat traffic up that far) when my old Mark 55 Mercury stopped. The screws from the distributor cap had fallen out and were lost. luckily the holes on the body weren’t drilled blind and went through, so I took my shoe lace off and threaded it through the cap and body in two places and made it back.
    Teleflex Steering cable came off when rounding a turn on that same day and I slid up the bank!!! It really was a fun day though

  14. Bill Hensley
    Bill Hensley says:

    Late 1950s, mid Long Island Sound, my dad’s 26′ Chris Craft sedan cruiser with “flying bridge” for the helm. The 105 hp Blue flat head 6 with down-draft carb. Vapor locked. Adrift.
    Opened the hatch in the cockpit to access the engine. Held big chips of ice against the carb to cool things down. It worked!

  15. T Horn
    T Horn says:

    I ran over a submerged piling and put a good size hole in the bottom of my little 16 ft boat. I had to pull it up on the beach and look for something to hold the water out and make it back to the ramp. With the help of last years boat show tee shirt off my back and the upholstered side panel out of the cockpit, I roped it under the boat over the hole which slowed the flow of water enough we could run both bilge pumps and make it back.

  16. Jim Alexander
    Jim Alexander says:

    We were replacing the components of the distributor on my ’67 M151A1 military jeep when we discovered the rotor was broken. No replacements at any local auto parts stores.
    “Wait a minute”, says my friend, “this looks just like that cap I took out of that ’41 16 foot Chris Craft last summer.”
    After a 20 minute shop crawl, bingo! Jeep still running that rotor 2 years later.

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