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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a new this season Tohatsu extra-long shaft 6 HP on our Beneteau 210 Classic. It worked fine for the first several sails on 93 octane with up to 10% ethanol. I always run the motor dry by disconnecting the fuel line.

We were away from the boat for almost a month, but returned last weekend. The motor started on the second pull, and seemed to run fine. I backed out of the slip into the fairway, paused momentarily in neutral, went to forward and twisted the throttle. The motor hesitated and then died. Back into neutral, pull the cord, and it started right up. Then into forward, and away we went without a single hiccup. Coming back into the marina the engine starts right up and runs flawlessly.

Today, we go through the same routine. I back out of the slip, pause in neutral, then forward adding throttle. We go about 60 feet down the fairway and the engine sputters, I twist a little more throttle, and it dies. We coast over to a finger pier and stop. I restart the engine without any difficulty. My plan is to return to our slip and see whats up. Half way there, in forward under light throttle, the engine dies again. We coast into the slip and tie up.

I restart the engine in neutral, making sure that we have pee. We do. It revs happily, but it's not under load. I cinch up the stern line, drop the motor into neutral, and twist the throttle. Then more throttle. I switch to reverse, goose it. Back to forward, goose it again. Everything works fine under load.

So, what puzzles me is this: the motor doesn't die consistently under load; it's intermittent. When it does die, it recovers quickly (so far). This sounds like foreign bits in the fuel, or some problem in the fuel system. Before dragging the motor off the transom and hauling it into the shop (where it probably will behave fine since there is no easy way to introduce load) what should I be checking/testing?

Thanks!

[full disclosure: also posted to SA]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, all!

We went out to the lake last Saturday; the outboard started right up and ran fine under load in the slip. Headed out to sail for a couple hours, then dropped the sails and the motor started right up to take us into the marina. Just as we started up the fairway towards our slip the motor died. Started right up, then died again. We coasted in with a little drama but no damage.

I'm now persuaded that I have to go through the entire fuel system. I took your advice, capecodda, and watched several youtube vids. I imagined that removing, rebuilding, and reinstalling a carb would be a real PITA and had resigned myself to hauling the motor to the shop and paying several hundred dollars. Not so, I can do this. In fact, what I am going to do is buy a second carburetor, a couple of rebuild kits, and a handful of fuel filters, hoses, and those fussy little clips. Seafoam for the gas. Maybe even a spare gas tank and hose. When the motor acts up, I'll be ready to replace the whole darn fuel system if needed.

Again, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You might try using the integral tank. If it works, the supply of fuel may be the problem instead of the carburetor?

Let us know what you find.

Paul T
Paul, my Sailpro 6 HP doesn't have the integral tank. But I appreciate your intention - I'm thinking of having a secondary gas tank and hose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad to hear it. You're biggest risk will be dropping something in the water if you do it in place.

FYI, most of the time I do this I don't go thru the whole process, with rebuild kit etc. Most of the time I just pull the carb, take off the bowl on the bottom, spray some carb cleaner up the jets, put it back on, and everything works.

So if it's driving you nuts, which they will, you might try this quick fix without waiting on all the parts....that's not to say doing the complete rebuild, filters and everything isn't the best way to be sure you've got it...I'm just saying that most times I just do this hack, and off it goes.

Good luck!
Thanks - definitely worth a try!
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
The stuff on the throttle plate won't cause problems for the carb think small passages use carb cleaner and clean everything out twice hen blood it clean with carb cleaner again reassemble and run it
My thinking is that if there is small crud like that on the throttle plate then it is likely it has made its way to the jets; so, yes, they have to come out and be cleaned along with everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I'm the original poster from almost two years ago. After all this time, I believe I might have identified the problem and the solution. Just to recap: the problem was the engine would stall out under load. A few pulls on the cord and it would start up, but soon stall again. And so on. Rebuilding the carb had no effect. Replacing the gas had no effect. Adding stabilizers and other stuff to the gas had no effect. Replacing the carb had no effect. Last season (2015) was pretty much wasted as far as sailing; every time we headed out the motor would stall before we could escape the confines of the marina.

One afternoon I was thinking over every component of the fuel system and googling around for ideas. I found a few posts on forums here and there complaining of problems with EPA compliant tanks and caps, including fuel starvation if the tank and cap don't properly regulate the pressure to 5 psi. Hmmm. Rather than taking a drill to the cap, I obtained a 'traditional' cap with an old-fashioned screw vent and put it on the tank.

No issues since. My fingers are crossed. I would feel guilty about the vapors escaping, but more gas is spilled disconnecting the line with 5 psi than using a traditional cap.

As for the ethanol issue, a gas station near our lake just began selling real (non-ethanol) 91 octane.
 
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