Monday, March 28, 2016

Marathon - Disaster (if you have a dog), outboard won't start

Marathon - the sun set behind a cloud bank, not a good sunset for color
I think the subtitle of my next book on cruising will be, "I make all the mistakes first so you don't have to!" My outboard set unused for two months on the back of the boat. In retrospect I should have mounted it on the dinghy and tried it out before I left Key West - but I didn't. Now, all our plans of reaching Marine Stadium by Wednesday go by the wayside. There are only anchorages between here and Miami and having a dog means one requires the outboard to work. The reason for that is the 1 to 2 kts of current through the anchorages not to mention wind. The dinghy rows like a bathtub and steers about as well, one needs a motor.

All went well at first. We left Key West at 8:00 and pulled into Marathon at 2:00 pm. The sun was warm, the seas were calm and we made good time. We refueled and easily found a place to anchor. Marathon is not so full anymore. In fact, we saw some empty moorings but we just anchored anyway.

I did some minor diagnostics to no avail. I pulled the sparkplug and saw a spark when pulling the starter cord so I put the sparkplug back in but it still would not start. Midway through a 10 minute pulling exercise the motor started up but quit after 5 seconds but would not start again. Thinking I flooded it, I let it sit for 1/2 hour but it would still not start, groan. So now it's off to find a mechanic for the outboard (bad fuel pump, bad fuel?, carburetor bad, spark not strong enough, plugged filter, etc.) I guess we get to explore Marathon some more.


Leigh said...

It's likely there is water in the fuel :-(