More than a decade ago I installed an outboard bracket to carry the dinghy motor on the back of my 40 year old Nordic Tug. The transom mounted bracket allows me to store the 5hp Honda and easily transfer it to and from the dinghy. Thinking way ahead, I mounted the bracket down low so that if I ever needed an emergency push or trolling kicker, I would lower the motor, connect the fuel line and away we'd go.
Well it finally happened. Last month, the tug made a strange sound so I shut off the motor and began drifting. Because I had forgotten how the mechanism worked and fiddling with it while hanging over the back end was a little uncomfortable, it took me a few minutes to get the prop in the water and the fuel line connected. After about ten pulls the motor came to life and we were ready to go.
Holding the cowling I pointed it at what I guessed was straight ahead. I shoved the gearshift into forward and twisted the tiller to a medium fast idle. At first we didn't move but then it was apparent our nearly ten thousand pounds was actually making headway. Because I was hanging over the back, I yelled to Linda, asking if we were pointed okay or should I try steering. Her answer was not helpful.
I made my way inside and determined we were indeed headed for a mud flat. I turned the wheel and observed an agonizing slow response. The gps showed we were making 4 mph but our smallish rudder is designed to have the force of the diesel engine pushing our 18" prop wash against it. The outboard is far over on one side and actually behind the rudder. Never the less we began turning away from the shallows.
So, the system worked. I can't say I am impressed with performance but it will beat using the canoe paddle that I keep on board. The two gallon fuel tank will be very limiting and I am aware that the outboard can't be lowered with the dinghy on its davits.
I know others have get home plans and motors, I thought some may benefit hearing my experience.
Oh, and the tug, as always, it was fine.