by Dan Tannehill
Lonely Little Motor - Part III
30, 2000 was the date set for the Yankee Chapter formal meet to be held in
Sanford, Maine. It was also the deadline for completion of the Martin
happy to report that we pulled it off.
With the motor back together, I drove through the pre-dawn hours and arrived early at the specified location.
We stood around and swapped stories while waiting for the chill to lift. I went ahead and unloaded some of the other motors I had brought along while we chatted. When enough people had shown up to officially call it a meet, I walked to the back of the boat and removed the canvas L.L. Bean outboard motor cover that had protected the motor on the drive up from the woods of Warwick. The complements started soon thereafter.
When it had warmed sufficiently, I went up to the boat ramp and launched. I paddled out past the rocks, then opened the fuel valve, set the choke to prime for 5 seconds then back to choke and grabbed the starter rope. On the first pull, the steel cable encased in a cotton sheath broke. My heart sank, but luckily, I had the tools (a Leatherman and a spare piece of rope) to fix it. So, I removed the recoil plate and wrapped the broken rope around the flywheel. A few tries and the Martin sprang to life. The motor ran as advertised and we both knew it had found a home.
I motored down to the meet area and
immediately set to work repairing the broken starter rope. I had lost
one of the screws that holds it on, but my good friend Bud Bowley also
had a Martin at the show and let me "borrow" the needed
screw. I got the new rope on to where from the outside it looked
The judging of all the entries took most of the day. But when it was time to pass out the trophies, the Martin was awarded Best 1940s motor.
The Maiden Voyage
A week passed before Esperanza and I had some time off on the same day. In that time, I was able to replace the starter rope and fix the tiny scratch the old rope had made when the frayed end came out of the hole. After the launch, I pulled a few times and was beginning to wonder if maybe something had gone seriously wrong for the motor didn't hit once. Then I remembered I had closed the tank vent for painting and had never needed to open it.
unscrewed the little knob and the little motor fired right up.
About 50 years ago, a fisherman bought a little motor to push his boat to the places where the big ones waited. Over the years, the motor was used and cared for. But as the years passed, the outings became less and less frequent. At an estate auction, AOMC member Dean Purcell spotted the motor and bought it. Dean passed it along to AOMC member Bill Wright. At the Yankee Chapter formal meet 1999, Bill passed the motor along to me. The Martin 40 was once a lonely little motor, but now it has regained the title of a Fisherman's Pride and Joy.