Antique Johnson Outboards

For pre 1975 outboards and race motors only.

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Rapier
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Re: Antique Johnson Outboards

Post by Rapier »

Today was like christmas...found an old empty US 3 lever arch file languishing in the print room at the office - now can file my master OMC manual. Small things... :D
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Rapier
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Re: Antique Johnson Outboards

Post by Rapier »

I renovated a '67 3hp Johnson a few years ago - fast forward to Cardiff and I'd managed to put it on Mike Tarry's barrow boat...We made an hilarious trip back from the yacht club, where his bilge pump was adding water to the boat and neither of us could work out why our feet were wet. Since then, the motor had sat unused on my outboard rack. On a recent trip to africa, and with a generous 2x23kg luggage allowance, I decided on a whim to strip it down, wrap it and pack it to take it with me. At the same time, I went through my toolbox and wrapped every small tool, drill, + bits that I no longer used, or had duplicates of, and packed those. My hand luggage consisted of everything I needed for the flight, an alpine-style walking stick and my trusty vernier guage, a multimeter and a small OMC flywheel removal kit - the latter is expensive and might have gone missing - however the various security / x-ray searches (10 in all) made me wish I'd left it all in my suitcases. The walking stick telescopes and has a vicious pointy metal end hidden under a rubber cap, but no one seemed to notice.

On arrival I unpacked it all, gave the spare tools to the african staff, and put the motor together - the points were dirty so I had to remove the flywheel (there were few imperial spanners available -I had to trawl the local village for a 2nd hand 11mm spanner that I paid a £1 for and which was an extremely horrible 'made in china' version) and clean them with ethanol based local gin and a business card.

All came together fine, but having drained the outboard gear oil from the gearbox before I left, I then found that there were no suppliers in the city. I bought plain EP90 instead and found later that's all the repairers use anyway. Having no way to pump it in to the case I had to fill it from the vent screw, which took hours before the last air bubble was expelled.

The boat you see below is one that most of us grew up with there...designed in the late 60s..I think in either Rhodesia, or South Africa, they're still made new. The great thing about them is they're a proper planing boat, with built in airspace bouyancy under each thwart and the transom and in my day (the 70s) were typically powered by 9.8hp Mercs through to 18hp OMCs with remote steering and controls for kids to mess around in. There were no health and safety people around, so we had a blast in them, tearing about and irritating people having their post lunch kip. No matter how much I pestered my folks, I never was allowed to graduate from the Scottish-made displacement hulled dinghy and late 60s Aspera MAC 3hp I had inherited.
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Rapier
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Re: Antique Johnson Outboards

Post by Rapier »

A few days after we'd been boating a crocodile came out and basked in the early morning glow. They're quite common now, but when I was growing up only ever saw 3 in 20+ years. Generally they get stressed and avoid human / habitation / contact if they can. The africans appeared unconcerned and spent the morning bathing, swimming and washing clothes.
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