Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Marathon - Dinghy motor still not repaired

My poor outboard - awaiting parts
Today was the day the dinghy motor was to be repaired but it was not to be. After a long row to the marina in the bathtub with an excited dog (he's going ashore!), I found that in disassembling the motor to remove the carburetor. the technician had to cut the hose from the fuel pump to the carburetor since the hose would not come off otherwise. All was cleaned and ready for reassembly but then the tech discovered that the shortened hose would no longer reach between the fuel pump and the carburetor and, alas, nobody nearby had hose of the right size (metric?). The tech had to send out for the correct size hose, less than 6 inches worth.

It's a long row into the marina, especially with 88 degree temps and wind on the bow
So now it's another day of rowing a dinghy with a wiggly passenger. It wasn't too bad until the wind picked up this afternoon after a front came through. Luckily, I picked up a tow from a passing dinghy that made the trip much faster. They took pity on my poor attempts at rowing such a vessel. Of course I accepted all offers.

At last, a decent sunset
With the arrival of 6 inches of hose on Wednesday, the repaired outboard will be fired up for the first time. Hopefully, it will run. If not, it's more analysis to find out what's wrong, stay tuned. At least we had a decent sunset for the first time in weeks. It's still not up to the usual standards but it's a beginning.


Anonymous said...


We have a similar, although slightly larger, Merc 2-stroke OB and I have found that, when shutting down the engine, I need to disconnect the fuel line from the tank, allow the engine to run until it dies from want of fuel and then, remove the plastic sight bowel from the underside of the carburetor and clean and dry it with a lint free cloth, I have a very hard time getting the thing to run again the next time I need it. This is not the case for a day or so but any longer.... I have also found that the foregoing is particularly important if there is any possibility that you may have gotten fuel with ethanol in it. While many marina's dispense ethanol free gas, some do not, and the stuff can be deadly for a Mercury engine (likely others as well). If the engine is going to be out of service for a week or more, I also pull the plugs and inject fogging oil into the cylinders and turn the motor over by hand a few times. When they run, Mercury engines run well, but they are (or at least mine has proven to be) very cranky/temperamental compared to our old 1960's era Evenrude which always started and ran, regardless of mistreatment, and I sincerely regret having given up in favor of the "new", larger, Mercury.

Regarding your dinghy, you might find the addition of removable skegs to the tubes adjacent to the transom makes rowing the thing a bit easier.


Scott'n Kitt
s/v HyLyte

Bob423 said...


Thanks for the advice. I've been very lazy over the 10 years I've owned the motor. All I ever done is just turned the motor off and never disconnect anything. It has, until now, always started on the first pull and idled well. Certainly what I've done is not the right procedure but after a long day between anchorages it's fast. Even when returning to New York and putting Fleetwing at dock in May over the summer without running the outboard at all, in September when I started my next journey down the ICW and used my outboard for the first time in four months, it has always started right up. Of course, maybe all those bad practices have finally caught up with me and I'll have to change my ways.

To add insult to injury, I've used whatever gas was available, both ethanol and non ethanol and I've used the gas left over in the tank in May for the trip in September. Certainly the 6 hp Mercury has been mistreated but it seemed invulnerable until now. The tech is supposed to be finished with the motor by today, let's hope.

Unknown said...

Those of us with 2 stroke outboard engines are working hard to keep them running. The thoughts of having to deal with a heavier, more cumbersome and much more expensive 4 stroke is enough to give me a stroke!! We just had our 8hp Tohatsu rebuilt for that reason. Always started on first pull, and purred like a kitten. Beautiful sunset.

Fred Brillo said...

Ethanol will do it every time... We've got an old Boston Whaler canal cruiser here in Ft. Lauderdale with a 1994 Yamaha 50 on it... Ive had to rebuild the fuel system completely, twice from Ethanol. Im a hard head as well.. and a bit lazy... and like you, used whatever fuel I could find that was convenient.

For the past two years, Ive been using only Non Ethanol Marine fuel and it makes a difference..

Bob423 said...

Janice, I loved my Nissan 2 cycle but it eventually died. The Mercury 4 cycle was great for 10 years, oh well.

Fred, I've switched over to only non-ethanol gas now for my new outboard.

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