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I am Ready for my FIRST SAIL in my New Tanzer 22

I was finally ready to take my boat out for the first time. The weather was glorious and I was psyched up.

The rigging and the sail was on and checked. My smallest jib was ready to be put on. The main sheet was happily attached to the floor. It was a beautiful day with a gentle wind, I was ready!!

The Tanzer 22 Motor Saga Continues

Our club is protected by a hill and so there is often not much wind to get out of the harbour, so we use motors to get out to the lake out of the breakwater.

The motor that came with the boat was a bit tired, but mainly I don't have much experience with outboards. This is a long winded way of saying that I simply could not get the motor going. I pulled, I choked, I pulled, I flooded, I waited, I pulled, nothing doing.

The motor was old but had been serviced. Nevertheless I simply could not start it. Since I like to have a bit of a safety margin I was worried. First sail had to wait.

I decided to go for broke and replace the motor. This again was a concentrated learning experience. After much research, I finally settled on a 6 horse power Mercury 4 stroke. It was interesting to find out that Nissan, Tohatsu and Mercury 4, 5, and 6 HP are essentially the same motor except for the decals. They use the same block for the 3 powers and change the carburetor. This means that the weight is the same for these as well. Price is different based on brand and probably service.

I found a Mercury on sale at the end of the season for the same price as Tohatsu and Nissan and took it home.

I put it on the motor mount, tied it to the boat, put on the key and checked that everything was fine. I was finally ready to take my little boat out for her first SAIL finally!!

New Tanzer 22 Motor

The motor started like a charm, I released the mooring, put the motor on forward, it jerked and broke the motor mount plate throwing the running motor down. Luckily I had tied the motor to the railing so it didn't sink to the bottom of the lake. It just dangled on the back of the boat making a big fuss and frothing up water.

I pulled the key off and the motor stopped.

The plate was a piece of 2x8 lumber but the grain ran horizontally, it had a big knot and the attaching bolts/nuts had been countersunk deeply. This made a very weak spot that snapped when the engine jerked forward

Lots of noise, frothing and a nasty jerk on my wrist, but no real damage. I lifted the motor into the boat and ran to drop the anchor because the boat was drifting towards the fancy Yacht at the Boulevard club.

I was pretty quivery by this time!

[Read my ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT ANCHORS article]Motor mount

I had my cell phone with me so I called information to get the club number. (service is provided by Bell). There were 2 numbers for the boat club but they REFUSED to give me both, they would only give me one. I explained it was an emergency, and asked to speak to her supervisor. He also refused to give me the 2 numbers. I was at this point being pushed towards other moored boats. Slowly because I had had a chance to get my anchor out but it was by this time quite windy and the anchor had not had enough space to bite in. I was also injured. BELL people also refused to identify themselves, fearing quite correctly that I would complain.


This is not my first bad experience with them, they misrepresented a cell phone and a plan when I needed my first Cell Phone. They had also been removing money monthly for my partner's account for web service that they have not provided for YEARS. ... OK that's it for the rant.

Luckily for me, the number they gave me connected to a person. There are not many people at the club during the day and often the phone is answered by voice mail. I got some help to get the boat back to its mooring and managed to settle myself.

I was lucky in my bad luck! No real harm done.

I get a new motor bracket

I now had a healthy respect for the force of a 4 stroke 6HP engine and the old motor bracket looked pretty puny. It was original and that means about 30 years old. So I decided to replace it with a mount that was designed to take the higher stress imposed by the new 4 stroke motors. I had chosen a 4 stroke because of environmental concerns.

My old mount was also very stiff and a bit tricky to lower and raise. So off I go to the fancy boat boutique for a new motor mount.

New Tanzer 22 Motor bracket

Installing the new motor mount means squeezing myself under the floor into the locker once again (I had spent a claustrophobic afternoon re attaching a bracket connecting the main sheet to the floor ) The bolts holding the old mount were quite solidly imbedded and it was tricky to get the old mount off. I also had to prepare an extension to the little wooden wedge that compensates for the tumble home angle of the transom.

All this I was doing with jolly waves rocking the boat at the mooring. Without a motor I could not get the boat to the dock which is better protected.

Finally got the new bracket installed, huffed the new motor onto the bracket, and tightened everything. I tied the motor to the boat and got my anchor ready just in case.

I went for lunch, fully anticipating that I would take my boat for its first sail in the beautiful afternoon breeze. I came back to the boat, put the key on, choked the motor, pulled the crank, and pulled, and pulled ...


Starting the Motor

I tried everything to get this motor started, following the instructions to the letter. I went online, read the manual, asked for advice. The motor was never near the water when the mounting plate broke, so it did not get wet. The gas was brand new with stabilizer and water remover stuff. I tried for several afternoons, as did a few helpful souls who took pity on me.

This went on for a couple of days. Just when I had resigned myself to hauling the motor back to shore in my little Skerry (being used as a row-boat this time) and bringing it back to the dealership, it started!! Tell me there is not an imp living in that motor.

After that comedy, it started on first or second pull every time. In hindsight I'm wondering if the really hot weather, combined with the sun shining on the cowling, could have caused a vapor block. Since I bought this motor at the end of the season it is also possible that the gas already in the motor had separated and was no good and when it eventually got diluted or used up it worked well.

My first Sail... Really

If you're wondering, I eventually got the little boat out and SAILING, and what a rush that was, even if there was only in about 4 knots of wind.

All the trouble and anticipation had finally passed and the boat behaved beautifully.

It surprised me how much knowledge had transferred from my sailing the little dinghy.

NOW I have a sailboat.

I managed to get out a few times and am gradually gaining confidence. The last time I actually put a regular jib up. Up till then I had only dared use the storm jib. It also came with a huge Genoa, much larger than the mainsail, but I have not had the chance or guts to use it yet.

I am now in the same boat (pun intended) as other Tanzer 22 owners. There is work to be done on the boat!

I had a survey done and got myself a TO DO list

According to the surveyor Michel Goudeseune the deficiencies he identified are pretty common to Tanzers22 and would make a good list of things to check when buying a boat.

UPDATE: I have a couple of seasons under my belt now and my little motor has worked like a charm. It starts first pull and I'm very happy with it. I disconnect the fuel line and let the motor run dry when I use it. I also change the oil, clean it and service it at the end of the season.

I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen.

email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine