Today it was finally time to take the Dorsett over to Newport Dunes on the back bay to give her a test. Reading the forums about loading-in at the Dunes suggested that you don't do it on a weekend and no matter what don't do it on a Holiday... but my boat is ready!
My son and I drove over at about 11:00 A.M. and paid the load-in fee. We parked the boat and got everything ready for load-in. We loaded our gear, removed the tie downs, inserted the drain plug, turned on the batteries, primed the fuel line, and discussed our launching strategy. (Thanks to Mike Whitehead of the Daily Pilot for the checklist.)
After letting it warm up for a minute I threw it in reverse, did a nice 2-point 360 and idled away from the dock. The sea-trial was going great... until I cleared the dock area about 100 yards out. I decided to push the throttle down as I was still just idling... then the motor died. I restarted the motor, revved in in Neutral to 2500 rpm (to make sure it would spin up) and put it in gear. As I pushed the throttle up it died again. I did this 3-4 times. I went to the back of the boat to stare at the motor (like I'm going to fix something out there) and I noticed there was no tell-tale coming out of the motor. Which meant the cooling system was not working. I put my hand on the side of the lower housing and it was hot, hot, hot!
The Scott McCulloch motors have a tell-tale which is a stream of water that spits out of the side of the motor so you can see that the cooling system is circulating. The motor has a water pump in the lower housing with a rubber impeller that circulates water up to the top to keep the motor cool. No circulation, no Tell-tale, no cooling.
I decided the sea-trial was over and I started it again and idled it back to the dock. I called my son who was almost home (to store the trailer for the day) and told him to come back and to tell the family to cancel the dock rendezvous we had planned. When he got back we loaded her up and took her home.