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Rope starting an outboard

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by reel, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Has anyone tried starting a 50HP or larger outboard motor using a pull starter rope ?
    I was thinking about taking along a can of rapid start but wonder of the wisdom of that thought.

    My lawnmower put me in the Cleveland Clinic a few years back.

    I guess I'll ask the motor specialists, and the Coast Guard at the IX boat show. The "ether use" might be illegal ?

    PS If anyone has any similar questions, I would be glad to report back from the boat show. I plan on being there monday.
  2. I alwas thought that rope in the engine cover of larger engines was to help tie your distress flag to something :)

  3. Whaler

    Whaler Whaler

    Back in 1974 when my boat was new I had taken a friend and his little boy fishing at West Branch. I had a 70 HP Evinrude on my boat at that time. I only had one battery in the boat which I used for the main motor and for the electric trolling motor. We had been fishing for quite awhile and when I went to start the big motor the battery was about dead and wouldn't turn it over so I said we'll start it by hand. I set the choke and gave the rope a sharp pull and it started right up with no problem. I had to replace that motor in 1984 when it blew up. I've tried starting the new motor ( a 70 HP Johnson )by pulling on the rope a couple of times with no luck.
    Either I'm getting too weak or the rope is too short?
  4. Started an old Johnson 50 once and vowed never to do it again. I have talked to others (bigger than me) that have started even larger motors but some say it is not the greastest thing to do. :rolleyes:
    Just think about it. If a five horsepower lawnmower caused you pain, what could something ten times more powerful do? :eek:
    Buy a small kicker and be safe or carry a paddle and stay off the big waters.
    I always had a paddle on my inland lake boat just in case it was needed to get me to shore. The Erie boat has a 9.9 kicker plus the electric bow mount and a marine radio.
    As far as the starting fluid goes, I wouldn't use it except to clean the plugs and then see if the motor fires. If not, give up and start paddling. :)
  5. jeffmo

    jeffmo officially unofficial!!!!

    this has got me wondering now.i know my 125 merc has a pull rope on the inside of the cover and i always thought it would sure be a pain to have to use it but it would be better than not being able to get the motor fired up at all. if it didn't work it sure wouldn't be for a lack of trying.
  6. "J"


    Truck hit on the nose!! Anyone trying to start anything over a 35 horse is fooling themselves, A friend of mine and I were fishing a tourney on the river when the cranking battery went dead, needless to say pulling on that rope was a joke, the motor is a 225 EFI and it just laughed at us, now I always carry jumper cables in the boat, only took once to figure that one out.
  7. ncraft150

    ncraft150 Buckeye-Basser

    I've used the rope when my batteries died on my 35hp merc. I didn't have much trouble, but it would definatly be difficult for some who don't have as much strength. Even if you get it started it could be dangerous. Make sure you have a good rope. Mine got old and broke the last time I needed it.