Author Archives: Mark Stopha

Outboard School Tuition: $55

The kicker we got with our boat would not start.  It would fire, run for about 3 seconds, and die.  Then I would pull and pull and pull and it wouldn’t start.  If I tried an hour later, it would fire for the 3 seconds, die, and the same story as before.  I thought it was the fuel pump because it seemed like it was starved for fuel.  I bought a new one for $55 and replaced it.   It seemed to help a little because it would fire more often, but it would not stay going. So I started looking at the carb.  I drained the bowl, and found that it would not refill by squeezing the bulb.  I had fuel to the fuel pump, so it was the carb it seemed and not the fuel pump as I thought. I cleaned the carb as best I could without pulling the float and needle valve, and put it back on and still no fuel to the bowl.  Now, it was getting serious, so I pulled off the float and needle valve.  I used to be in a constant battle with the oil stove on the Dutch Master, so I’d seen a float and needle valve.  After I got that off, I started unscrewing things that had a slot for a screwdriver (I later found out these were jets) and snooping around.  Then I went back to the house and found a youtube for the same carb.  Bingo.  It showed me a few other recessed jets to pull and other areas to pull and just blow out with compressed air and replace.  I never saw any gunk or debris, but hoped for the best.  I poured gas in the bowl when I put it back together to prime the carb, then put the carb back on and gave it a whirl.  This time, the outboard started and when I put the choke in, it stayed going.  And going.  I had the earmuffs over the water intake so I thought I’d let it run for 15 minutes to be sure it wasn’t just running on the fuel I primed the bowl with.  A cup of espresso later and the outboard was still running so hopefully  it’s fixed.  Now I have an extra fuel pump just in case it really does go out. Yesterday, I changed out the throttle cable on the 115 main Yamaha.  The engine starts right up and runs smooth but the throttle had been giving me fits.  I would flex instead of pushing the throttle wide open.  It seemed like I had to adjust the new cable further out on the threaded fitting than I felt comfortable with to make it go out to wide open but we’ll see next time we go out if it’s a fix or I should have adjusted somewhere else and end up with a good spare throttle cable. 

Old Trucks

The bearing went on Ted’s 1986 F250 diesel last week.  Sara and I were on our way to a roadkill deer for the foodbank when without touching the brakes, the rear drivers side tire locked up going about 45 a mile from the house.  It freed up, and we nursed it back to the house.… Continue Reading

Message from Paul

Paul left a message today.  His sister had just left Petersburg for home.  He said “She enjoyed just looking out the window.  She saw shrimpers go by, deer, charter boats, orcas, humpback whales, seals, sea lions, and all kinds of waterfowl and sea birds.  Who knew?  I should look out the window more often!”  Continue Reading