Trouble on the Willamette River

We took the boat out again on Saturday, this time with my parents. This was their second attempt for the season. The first time we had motor troubles (the starter blew up and we never left the boat ramp).

Today we launched from Meldrum Bar on the Willamette River just downstream from Oregon City. My Grandpa was with us too, so we had four generations aboard.

The day started out terrific. It was going to be another hot day, but it was early enough that it was still comfortable. We cruised upstream to see Willamette Falls. They were still flowing strong.

Willamette Falls from the bow of our boat     Willamette Falls

After visiting the falls, we headed downstream. As we came into Milwaukie, I was on the wrong side of the red buoys. I wasn't thinking and the water is too low this time of year to go that way. All of a sudden we heard a loud crashing noise as we came to an abrupt stop. We had hit a rock. I raised the motor and quickly realized we were done for the day. We must have struck a rock and it ripped the lower unit apart. Luckily the motor still ran and we slowly putted over to the Milwaukie boat ramp that was only a couple hundred yards away. We called Katie's mom who lives nearby and she came and shuttled me back to my truck at Meldrum Bar.

Busted outboard lower unit from hitting a rock

All-in-all we lucked out. It could have been much worse. The rock didn't touch the hull of the boat and nobody was hurt. We have insurance too, so I imagine we will be back in business in a few weeks.


Post new comment

Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.