I've been going through the same problem for the last few months.
The engine died only once, but other times would run strongly and then suddenly struggle. Revs would drop, some smoke would appear, hardly any power, of course same time there'd be no wind
and a coal ship coming up the harbour (of course).
Then mysteriously it seemed to fix itself, bizarre.
Changed, replaced all hoses and filters, bleed it, etc and it's all good.....till...
Last time it happened I realised I had to get into the fuel tank
. Completely glassed in, so we had to cut inspection
holes and drain and scrub the tank. Disgusting job. Some floating crud in there, maybe enough to block the pickup.
Installed a new pickup and a new separate breather line, no longer teed into the return line, and now let's hope I've fixed it.
By the way, I also put in a small deck
filler opening into the tank so I can use a dipstick to actually know how much fuel
I have. It'll be a lot, the bloody tank is 130 litres and it's only a little 32' yacht! A range of over 400nm is good I guess, but I only motor
a few hundred metres from my pen. 😀
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