We spent much of yesterday dealing with car trouble. Of course by car, I mean our dinghy, which is our only method of transport to and from shore when we are at anchor. When people on land have car issues, it’s a problem. They can often take a bus or taxi though, or hitch a ride with a friend to get where they need to go. Those kinds of things are sometimes available to us in populated areas, but not always. As we’re planning on going sailing next week, we really need to be self-sufficient.
The engine on our tender, a Yamaha 15HP 2-stroke, is one of the best models ever made. It ran very rough when we got it though, prompting me to clean the carb and change the spark plugs. After I did that, it ran great. Until I changed the fuel. I purchased some new gasoline and mixed in the appropriate amount of 2-stroke oil but since then, it has been acting very poorly at low revs. Yesterday, I removed and cleaned the carb no less than three times, alternating those bits of maintenance with trips to shore where we were never fully sure that we wouldn’t end up rowing (and inflatable tenders do not row well). It was quite frustrating for me not being able to get it running properly again.
I mentioned in a previous post that the dinghy is too large for our purposes. We spent a fair amount of time yesterday shopping, and debating what to replace it with.
- What brand of dinghy? (AB, Carib or Highfield)
- What length? (7′ 10″ — 9′)
- Aluminum or Fiberglass hull? (Aluminum is lighter)
- What size engine? (8 – 15HP)
- What brand of engine? (No debate — Yamaha 2-stroke only)
The challenge is that at this very moment, both local chandleries are extremely low on stock. They have some dinghies in a shipment that just arrived, but they are not yet in their stores to sell. Now this wouldn’t be such a huge deal but as I said, we’re going sailing and need a reliable tender. This means that I need to get ours fixed today, buy one today, or go borrow the one off ZTC. What to do?