I went out one afternoon by myself in my 1955 12′ boat with an old evinrude 15 on it….It was cloudy and the wind was up….temps in the upper 30’s….Just nasty. I had gone to the camp by myself that weekend for some reason and was 2+ hours at a minimum from anyone that I knew that had a phone I could call.
I made my way across the lake to the northern bank to run the slack water and see if any ducks had started to congregate….About 20 minutes into my run, I noticed that it had started sleeting and the clouds were getting worse. Well, I jumped some mallards that were back in the edge of the flooded woods and I slowed and killed the engine.
I watched the mallards pour out and after a couple of minutes of listening to the ice hit the boat, I tried to crank the motor……
No Go….I pulled and pulled and pulled some more…..Until I was so hot that I had to start shedding clothes. I decided to let the motor sit for awhile and I called my Uncle, some 2+ hours away to tell him what was going on….He wasn’t too happy with me and of course, i was already upset with myself.
I was drifting with the wind, but I had an island in between me and the actual lake shore and I was completely out of site of anyone from any direction by any means. Not a good place to be. Of course, I didn’t have a paddle either.
After getting my butt chewed out, I told him I would call him back and hung up the phone to go back to pulling on the engine….After a couple of more pulls…..yep….the line broke….
As far as tools go, all I had was a leatherman…By now, it had started to snow and I don’t mean just little flakes, I’m talking snowing like I had never seen before. Well, i did the whole wrapping the line around the top of the motor and finally by the Grace of God, it started.
When it did…..I juiced that 15 for all she had and I went across that lake like a bat out of hell in the middle of the Perfect Storm in a rowboat and didn’t let off until I hit the dock. I loaded up and took it back to the camp and worked on it for hours and never got it to start again that day.
Couple lessons learned….
Don’t leave the dock without a paddle
Don’t go by yourself
Make a tool kit that stays in the boat/include flares/whistle/horn
If you don’t know any neighbors in this situation, make it a point to meet them and stop by and tell them where you are going and when you should be back before you do something as stupid as what I did. Had a couple of other things happened, I might have died in that boat that night.