Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Needham, MA
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Outboard quit after wet sail
I went sailing Sunday and my 12hp Tohatsu quit just as I reached the channel back in to my home harbor. It's an older model (late 80s or early 90s I think) but has been very reliable for me. After using it successfully to get out of the harbor in the morning and motor into and out of anchorage for lunch, it started right up, ran for about a minute, then quit. After that it cranked normally but would not catch.
A very similar thing happened last year, both times I neglected to raise the outboard out of the water while sailing in seas of 2-3 feet. My father's theory was that the wiring got wet, I was thinking a problem with the fuel supply. When it happened last year, the next weekend I went down to the boat, cleaned the spark plug & fuel filter and the engine started right up, though I did not try the engine before executing those tasks, so I'm not sure if that helped or if it just needed to dry.
Any ideas what's going on? I'd like to understand (and avoid) this situation in the future, especially since the channel to my mooring is narrow and usually directly to windward when returning in the afternoon. I will be at the marina this weekend and I'm hoping the engine will start.
Thanks in advance for any advice...