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Old 18-05-2020, 16:59   #1
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Outboard for a cape dorry 22

I have a wonderful old Cape Dory 22 that I had been powering with a mostly reliable 4 hp Suzuki that was stolen last year.

I bought a new 3.5 hp mercury that has been nothing but trouble. I only use ethanol free gas and always run the carb dry each time it is used. I have cleaned the carb and had it professionally cleaned no joy. In over 40 years of owning outboards this is the worst.

I have 2 questions

1 how large a motor do I need before it becomes more reliable and less prone to clogging carb needles?

2 is propane or electric a viable option?

Ok 3 why can't an outboard be as reliable as my cheep lawn more that gets no love or winterizing.

I use the boat on a lake in MN. The motor is for convenience not safety. I have owned and raced many sailboats that did not have a motor.

Maybe I should just give up and learn to use a sculling oar.
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Old 18-05-2020, 17:21   #2
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

I would replace the carb, for whatever reason they don’t always clean up anymore, I don’t know why.
Short of a Suzuki 9.9 fuel injection or other fuel injection motor, they all have carburetors, and the Suzuki is big, heavy and real expensive, it’s that way because it’s the same as the 15 and 20 HP Suzuki.

Get yourself a ultrasonic cleaner if your going to be in the carburetor cleaning business.
Once you get a new carb, you can use either airplane gas or something sold in home improvement stores and called tru-fuel. Expensive but supposedly doesn’t mess up carburetors and if you don’t burn much fuel may be your best bet.
Honda generators and other small motors are converted to propane, I don’t know why a small outboard can’t be. Used to be a line of Propane outboards nut is was never impressed with the quality, and as I assume parts are no longer available I wouldn’t buy a used one. Lehr I think.

I’m going to guess a new carb and tru-fuel is your best bet. I think it comes in pre-mix for two strokes and straight gas for four strokes, I have never tired it myself but think the cost is similar to propane. People will argue that, but you have to burn twice as much propane for the same energy as gas.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/TRUFUEL-110...-Fuel/50328935

On edit there are better prices for carburetors than your local dealer
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Old 18-05-2020, 17:26   #3
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

Is the Merc a 4 stroke? Might need to trade it for a used Yammy 2 stroke!
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Old 18-05-2020, 18:21   #4
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

It is a 4 stroke.

The big Suzuki would be too heavy.

I will look at a new carb.

Thanks
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Old 19-05-2020, 10:49   #5
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

I have a 4 stroke mercury outboard on my Cape Dory Typhoon. Runs as smooth as silk, once I get it started. Most times I have to open the throttle all the way to start. Don't know why.
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Old 19-05-2020, 11:45   #6
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

My experience is the same as a64 - just get a new carb, they don't seem to clean easily these days. To prevent it from happening again, use stabilizer instead of running it dry.
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Old 19-05-2020, 11:59   #7
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

yep, I've taken those little carbs apart before...there is a super fine mesh fuel filter in there about the size of an eraser end...if you didn't know what you are looking for, you'd miss it, especially if it's gummed up, as it will look like a little plug..
even running ethanol free fuel can gum it up...you can pry it out with the end of a pin or needle....give it a clean, I spray it with carb cleaner...and re-assemble.

You can also order a new carb online, but really all you need to do is clean it properly. Besides that fine mesh, there are several miniscule holes in there that need cleaning out. Again, with the carb cleaner...just spray that stuff in there....

finally, take a close look at the float assembly, if it has one....there is an equally tiny little spring loaded plunger in there covering a minuscule opening....another portal for dirt and debris.

I'm a big fan of the small Yamaha outboards....never had a lick of problem with them.
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Old 19-05-2020, 12:40   #8
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

I love that Cape Dory of yours. I used to have a Typhoon Weekender. What lake or lakes in Minnesota do you sail on?

On my dinghy I run a similar outboard, a Tohatsu 3.5 four stroke. Yes the clogged up carb jets are a recurring problem. I am very conscientious about running the carb dry after each use and always, always adding Sta-bil and not keeping even stabilized gas for more than a few weeks. All that helps but still at least once a year I have to take it to an outboard shop to have it cleaned by ultrasound. For the cruising I do here on the Pacific coast I found I was not happy with an electric outboard but for sailing on a lake in Minnesota I think it would be a viable option, trouble free, silent and easy to recharge at home. And a charge would you last long enough for most weekend cruises.
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Old 19-05-2020, 13:04   #9
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

Thanks for the feedback. New carbs seem to be around $100 which isn't too bad if I was confident this problem won't just come back again.

We sail on Lake Minnetonka just west of Minneapolis. After a lifetime of racing scows, Ynglings, MORC, Lasers, J's it is nice to be just cruising and relaxing for a change.
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Old 19-05-2020, 13:49   #10
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

Lake Minnetonka is a beautiful place to sail. Although you have a shorter season than I enjoy now in Southern California. Enjoy.
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Old 19-05-2020, 14:02   #11
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Re: Outboard for a cape dorry 22

Supposedly with the tru-fuel it won’t come back again.
I am pretty sure it won’t with Avgas, I ran this for years on Avgas as I put it in my airplane in the baggage compt. and have never had a carb problem and I’m pretty sure that it’s about the smallest carb there is.
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