Happened to me Saturday at the other end of the River by Belle Isle. Let me tell you, it was not enjoyable. I pity whomever also had this happen. At least he made it to the guaranteed money day. I didn't hit anything. I was in the middle of the channel.
I had to throw back over 16 pounds and one over 5. Worst of all, Madman probably had enough to make the co-angler cut too and I cost him. He has been extremely gracious and kind. He stayed with me until 11:30 Saturday night when the ordeal finally ended to help get my boat back on the trailer with the big motor laying on my back deck. I wasn't going very fast when the motor mount broke so the steering and control/gas cables held the motor under the boat. We had a fair amount of excitement after that, but that story will have to wait for another time.
Only 1 boat passed us right after the motor came off and he apparently didn't see Madman waving at him.
What a mess. I won't have a boat for a while now. They tell me they build these mounts strong and that this rarely happens, but it sounds like twice just this weekend maybe and I've seen it happen before to other guys. Maybe they need to build a Great Lakes version of motor mounts out of stainless steel or something similar?
Holy fecal matter!! Sorry to hear that Dano!! Hope you get everything sq'd away before long,...if you need a boat to use for any upcoming tourney's let me know,.....you're welcome to use mine and I don't lend it out to anybody very often!!! Call me if you need it!!
In one of our tournaments a month back on St.Clair at team ran to erie and this is a brief description of what happened...."They were cruising along on their way to a fishing spot when all of a sudden something broke at the rear of the boat. When you go from about 55 mph to 0 mph in less than a second its pretty obvious what will happen. Neither one of the team members remembers going into the water but that is where they found themselves. One must have bumped his head on something because he was unconscious and face down in the water. The other member managed to get him turned over and then back to the boat. I don’t know if he was conscious at this point or not, but somehow she got him back into the boat. They were able to flag someone down and get towed in and from there they both went to the hospital. He was released with a mild concussion but she was admitted with a broken leg and kept overnight so that they could do some more tests. Had it not been for the lifejackets and the kill switch, I believe we would have been faced with a much different scenario".............it seems to be happening too often, My partner and I have been battling a problem with our jack plate loosening all year.......maybe we should be going way overkill?.....or the manufactores need to start increasing there safety factor when designing equipment and accessories for high horsepower and torque.....just a thought......anyways sorry to hear about you luck Dan.
Not good. Seems that is happening much more often than previously. Now, why? People running their boats harder? Making them cheaper? Optimizing parts to reduce weight has increased fatigue? Lots of questions butno many answers.
Dan...That was the essex county tournament.Did they find out what caused that to happen.Very lucky to be alive.Now we hear more motors coming off.Makes me wonder about my 250hp every time I give her gas.
Last Saturday would be the day bad things would happen with those big winds.I watched a few boats trying to make there way up river bouncing in the big waves around Belle Isle.A friend told me some guys even went to Erie in 8ft waves?
the procedure is cheap, the mount is light weight, and casting is fairly strong. but it will snap as dan and i seen on saturday.
i am a steel worker, i deal with cast iron and cast aluminum parts all the time. and everytime i see them, its only because a customer wants it reproduced out of solid steel.
casting is a cheap procedure which is why it is so popular. but once someone has the same problem with breakage, they usually pony up the extra money to have it done right.
i have talked to a few friends in the industry about a stainless steel motor mount. no doubt it will be expensive. but i dont think anymore expensive than what you would probably pay a tow service, plus your insurance increase, plus any additional costs.
i am surprised no companies offer something like this already ( and im not sure that none do ). if it isnt ridiculously expensive i will probably have one made and put on my boat. since i will be spending most of my time on st clair and erie i think i will feel alot safer knowing my "aluminum cast" motor mount is sitting in my shed at home and my new stainless steel mount is holding strong.
the only thing i am concerned about is whether or not a stainless steel mount is something that would have to be approved by the coast guard or anything like that.
the idea of a great lakes addition boat is awesome. how many other things can you all think of that need beefing up for the type of fishing some of us do. how about trolling motors??? i know more than a few guys who lost a trolling motor after spearing a wave. better jackplates is a good one too.
what do some of you guys do to keep your boat and your accesories safe on the big water? i know some of you have some good home made rigs for keeping the toys safe. lets hear em.
Thanks so much for the offer Mac. I really appreciate it. It's late enough in the year, that the few small opens left were probably going to be out of other boats anyways (since I didn't make New York). It's nice to have options.
Madman had offered his boat for Sunday if we could have gotten a ride in on time Saturday. It just didn't work out.
I don't drive as hard as a lot of guys. My back just won't take it. It didn't even get sore Saturday so I know I wasn't hitting the waves as hard as I have before even.
The reason the motor probably wasn't totally lost was because of my low speed at the time. The service people think the motor is probably toast. I haven't heard anything yet, but they seem to believe that if the motor doesn't have gas and oil run through it within 2 to 4 hours after it's pulled out of the water, it's too late. They were telling me to leave it in the water Saturday afternoon, but I wasn't sure how I was supposed to do that. I didn't want to lose it altogether, but I wanted to get my boat back to US shore. It was late Saturday night, so I'm not sure what I could have done.
The closest marina to the accident told Jeff to tell me not to bring it there. We couldn't get the boat out without either completely removing the motor or bringing it into the boat.
I haven't heard anything yet. I'll just wait and see what I hear. They also seemed to think that it was probably bad because it was running when it went into the water. Don't know if the motor will be recoverable or not, so I don't know if I need another one yet.
It does seem like this happens too much regardless of our weather. I do everything I can to be safe, but it makes you nervous wondering if today will be the day your motor snaps off with no warning. I check my boats every week, so those were tight at least. I do have a VHF radio, but for the first time in several years it decided not to work so I was left only with the cell phone which is less reliable, but mine worked just well enough, thank goodness. Everything else worked including my two bilges.
I didn't have to use my emergency backup bilge I made out of wire, large alligator clamps, a switch and long hose, but after the two freighter waves went right over Madman, I thought I'd need a couple more, but we pumped out okay. We even had to let back in a lot of water through removed bolt holes on purpose to lower the back end to be able to winch the motor high enough to get it on the deck - the old lower the boat trick. Worked like a charm although the boat only sank so low because of the level floatation.
i wish i had that moment when those two monster waves came over the boat and onto my back on film. i could show my girlfriend exactly why it was necessary for me to spend $450 on a 100mph suit. that thing rules, i didnt feel a drop, luckily dan saw the wave(s) in time to give me a heads up to put my head down.
that was crazy. still had a good time tho, and thats all that counts right?!?!?
Hearing stories like these only reinforce the fact that we all need to be carefull and have the proper safety equipment on our rigs when on the big waters (or on ANY body of water for that matter). This situation could have been much worse than a (potentially) lost motor...
Truely sucks Dan. Especially worse with a nice sack in the livewell. I was close to losing mine opening day last year. Snapped a connecting bolt, bent another, and was hanging by the bottom two. We got it bolted back down to fish on Sunday (and finished 2nd
). And I always check my mounting bolts and jack plate bolts after every trip, so something just happened that day. As some of you pointed out, these boats are just not designed with us Northern fisherman in mind. Just scroll through the manufactureres plant locations. They could take a few lessons from the auto industry, but 75% of there customer base has no issues.
A couple of things I have done. First was had Jan's put on an aluminum backing plate on the transom. Previously my moter was mounted directly to the tansom, which I never did like. Most of you probably already have this, my mistake for not specifing it up-front. Second, is I double nut all of my bolts and give them a solid dose of lock-tite. It's not lock-tite but some high-potent derivative. Especially the jackplate. Many of the bolts are threaded directly into the aluminum casting, not good. I'm not sure if the lock-tite makes a differnece on such a large/high torque bolt, but I have not had a loose bolt since last year, and have better piece of mind. Always check those bolts!
Freighter wakes.Does this make you mad.Is there a law about the size of a wake a freighter can leave behind.Some leave almost no wake while others are just dangerous.About 3 weeks ago a gas freighter went by me at Fighting island & this guys wake had to be 5-6ft.That's the initial wake,for another 15 minutes there were 3-4 foot rollers just coming out of no where.Talk about a hazard to navigation.
There are laws and regulations I've been told on what they can and can't, but they generally get a lot of leeway. One of these days, I do plan on researching that topic, but I don't expect it to do a lot of good. I can't recall ever seeing one pulled over by the sheriff water patrol.
Someone told me it was Bob Suci that lost his motor Sunday on Erie. I think this happened to him before too a few seasons ago on St. Clair, but I never got the direct story. I'm thinking we need a Great Lakes version of motor mounts/brackets. Maybe Madman will invent it and get rich.