Take the good (advice) with the bad.
Asking for troubleshooting or repair advice is a bit of a double-edged sword, especially when done openly over the internet. Hand in hand with the many excellent suggestions that we receive, we also find that we have to contend with an assortment of less educated or even silly responses, the most annoying of which are the ones telling me to take whatever I’m working on to a repair shop, as if I wasn’t capable of coming up with that solution on my own.
Even more true when you tell me that “I” can’t do something!
For those without cruising experience, Home Depot and the Apple Genius Bar are not a short drive away. In fact, nothing is a short drive away when you don’t own a car! Even when we are in spots with qualified service personnel in relatively close proximity, St. Martin possibly being one of those spots, there are many reasons why we may choose to tackle problems on our own. To be clear, “on our own” does not mean without advice or assistance. Rather, it means that we don’t drop our problems in someone else’s lap along with a wad of cash and then go sip umbrella drinks while they do our work for us.
Anyway, with that off my chest, our outboard engine is now working. Let it be known that, having done it so many times, I am now a master at removing and disassembling the carb on our 2-stroke outboard! Did I get some help with the repair process? Absolutely.
- Our neighbor, Phil on s/v Rum Runner, dinghied over after seeing us struggling with the engine. He not only ferried me in to the Yamaha dealer, first to purchase a carb repair kit and the second time, to order a spare carb, he even lent us his spare outboard to use while ours was broken. How cool is that?
Carb repair kit purchased from the local Yamaha guys.
- John from s/v Manuela responded to my request for assistance on the morning radio net and dropped by yesterday to lend a hand. Unfortunately, he really seemed more interested in taking the outboard to fix it himself than helping me to do it. When I told him that I was really just looking for some advice, he did offer me some valuable suggestions.
- After still having less-than-perfect results, I radioed Mike from s/v Guilana, another cruisers who had responded to my request for help. Mike dropped by within minutes of my calling him and right away, it was obvious that he knew what he was doing with Yamaha outboards. I wish I could say that there was something extremely obvious that we did to fix the engine but it seems as if it was simply a minute piece of something or other clogging one of the carb’s orifices. Mike could tell that there was a blockage simply by blowing into one of the holes. Further blowing seemed to dislodge it even though none of us actually saw anything come out. The fact is though, something must have come out because after Mike went through that process, the engine worked perfectly. In fact, it functions better now than it did before the problems!
Problems solved, lessons learned and new friends made. That’s got to be worth a bit of stress-induced hair loss, don’t you think?
Yeah, I’m pretty familiar with all of these bits and pieces now.