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Yes it really is essential to run the carb dry after each use, or better still to drain it.

Also essential is to keep the gas fresh. How old is yours? After a couple of months use, I pour mine into the car and buy fresh. Adding Stabil helps.

It really sounds like your carb keeps gumming up, or the jets block up via some other mechanism. Dirt in the fuel system?

When I replaced the carb on my Yamaha 8, I noted with surprise that there is no real fuel filter, so I added one before the carb.

All I can say is, with the above good practices, mine just started on the second pull after a year, and idled purring like a kitten.
 

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I looked, I have been using a Mercury fuel stabiliser, Quickcare, on the advice of a Mercury service tech. Is it the best, I can't say, but I've had no problems since I started using it.
 
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