September 10, 2017
With the very much appreciated assistance of John Albertine who kindly taxied us around Eastport (the training captain who had earlier helped us understand many of the systems on Exit), we were able to round up everything we thought would be needed to fully resurrect our outboard.
The Norfolk trip had revealed a crack in the dinghy’s fuel container so that was already on the replacement list. And, while the gas in the container had checked out clean and water-free, I had failed to consider the fuel line which ran from the container to the engine. Rookie mistake… when I disconnected the small hose leading to the inline fuel filter to verify fuel was getting to the engine, what came out looked more like a latte than fuel. Water had somehow or another worked its way into the hose and ruined the fuel. Fortunately, it wasn’t pumped into the carburetor (at least I hoped so…) so I optimistically concluded we’d dodged a bullet there.
Whatever opening had allowed water into the hose also appeared to be preventing a good seal, effectively killing the suction in the hose. Even the bulb failed to move any fuel… so a new fuel line was added to the purchase list as well as 5 gallons of fresh petrol, just to be sure. Replacement spark plugs and a new fuel filter rounded out our arsenal.
After switching everything out, the moment of truth was once again at hand. Only this time, the fuel was flowing. First pull… nothing… shit! Patience grasshopper…couple more squeezes on the fuel line bulb… ya… choke is out… ya… good connection on the fuel lines… ya… transmission is in neutral…second pull… the engine roars to life! A cloud of white smoke… and… it keeps running!!! Aliiiiive Igor… it is aliiiiiiive!
As a self-acknowledged possessor of two left feet combined with a sometimes challenged sense of balance, a victory dance in the dinghy was out of the question… but that made the moment no less glorious.