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Carb Cleaning Numero Tres (not Trace)

Posted on Sat 05 May 2012 in Systems - Dinghy

Carb cleaning

The outboard has been running like poop. It will not run at anything but slightly above idle when in gear. In fact sometimes when you lower the throttle that little bit you were able to get above idle it even goes faster! Out of gear you run the darn thing wide open. Go figure!

Anyway, we can’t get any parts for our engine in Mexico. There is a Yamaha distributor in PV and everything just nothing is in stock and it would take 2 months to get anything from Japan. I think the person at IMEMSA (The Yamaha Importer) was trying to explain to me that this has to do with Mexico's import laws, but I’m not sure.

Anyway, I got another can of cleaner, and I’m going to let this stuff sit overnight. I don’t have enough cleaner to really immerse the entire carb and let it soak so this is probably all for not, but who knows. Last time I tried this I was unwilling to take the float off and this time I did that and there’s another pin\jet doo hickey under there, so maybe this is the magic time it will all work.

Wish me luck and if you have any expertise with 4-stroke Yamaha F8 outboards please do drop me some hints.

Cleaning the Carb on your Yamaha F8 Outboard

Posted on Fri 23 March 2012 in Systems - Dinghy

I was going to make a video or shoot some pics of me cleaning the carb on my Yamaha F8 outboard, but this guy’s video about his Mercury is perfect already. Its not a Yamaha, but all the bits looked the same to me and the disassembly was exactly the same. Enjoy!

Dinghy Gasoline Fuel Filter: Blame it on the E-E-E-Ethanol

Posted on Mon 13 June 2011 in Fuel


That is not a new layered drink I’m perfecting. It is a picture of what my newly installed inline fuel filter for the dinghy outboard caught on it’s inaugural run.

Last winter we were bad outboard owners and did not winterize the outboard, nor did we dump the gas into the car. So this winter the outboard wouldn’t run. I took it to the dealer to have the carb cleaned and we dumped the fuel. Roll forward several months, with new fuel (<1 week old) and supposedly clean tank and with clean carbs and after about the first hour of use it was conking out unless you left the choke open or closed the choke and quickly gave it half-throttle. It would not idle in gear.

I checked the inline filter in the engine and it was clean, but it only collects particles, not water. I decided the fuel was bad, but couldn’t prove it, so I got a RACOR 025-RAC-02 filter designed for outboards. Installation is as simple as mounting the housing to the dinghy transom, cutting the fuel hose and securing it with some hose clamps. When I ran it for the first time it clogged with water (that is what is floating on top) and BINGO I confirmed that a) this filter is awesome and b) I really did have a fuel problem!

I poured all the fuel into the car, rinsed the can with more fuel, poured that in the car and then set that can aside to let all the residual gas evaporate (it was sunny that week). We then bought an additional fuel tank because I figured this was not going to be the last time we had to do this. In looking at the new can I think the vent is vastly superior to the old one. The old one is basically a plastic screw you loosen to let air in while running. The new one also is loosened like a screw, but it seems to have an openclosed position, not adjustable and it also appears to have some sort of gasket or pressure closure so it only opens when it needs to. I think the new one will let in lass condensationrainetc. I do think having two fuel cans is a good idea either way.

Of course I later noticed as I walked the dock that one of our neighbors has one too… ah validation.

And with that bit of DIY help, I will leave you some music to go with this week blog title…

There’s no way I wasn’t putting this in here… Blame it on the Alcohol

Checking things off the list

Posted on Fri 09 July 2010 in Projects

More checks from the 4thof July 3 day weekend:

  • Dr LED Kevin spreader lights wired and functional. They need to be aimed to point at the proper deck area still.
  • Cleaned up a lot of stuff. There has been a lot of extra tools and supplies on the boat. Some of it is extra gear we will sell at the next Fisheries Swap Meet, the rest of it was recycled, trashed, or now at the workshop. We have some ash lumber for doing battens if you’re interested in that let me know. We also have a not-straight 1-1/2” bronze prop shaft that could milled down into a smaller straight shaft I assume.
  • Took a ride around the marina in the dinghy on oar power. Dawn loves to be rowed around like a princess. Winkingsmile

Checks from this week:

Mainmast wiring completed !!!  Fly me to an aircraft carrier; Mission Accomplished!! This was huge. I can’t tell you how many WEEKS I’ve spent working on the wiring in the mainmast to have everything working feels awesome!!

  • The following are now all functional: Aquasignal Foredeck & mastlight (aka steaming or masthead light, OGM LED TriAnchor (Tricolor, Anchor with photodiode & Strobe)
  • The TriAnchor is absolutely awesomely bright. I walked around the dock and it was absolutely the brightest thing in the marina including all the lights on shore.
  • The DC breaker board is labeled properly. I used white P-Touch labels for this, I eventually (read maybe never) want to pretty that up.
  • Every DC (+) wire in the wiring closet is now properly labeled. I love my P-Touch (we call it a Pea-Touch) Industrial Labeler!!

Chris Tutmark did the initial tune on the rig.

Put the outboard on the dinghy and took the Dinghy Princess for a ride last night. The ob fired up on the second pull after sitting on the stern pulpit all winter with no winterization. Yamaha is the awesome!!

2011 WA Vessel Registration sticker affixed

Dawn painted the interior wood around the portholes in the head & shower and put the trim back up as well. Just need to re-attach the drip rails which she sanded and polyurethaned.

Lots and lots of stuff completed… many many pics to take and then some write-ups on some of the systems, how I installed things etc.

New Outboard Bracket

Posted on Sun 02 August 2009 in Systems - Dinghy

This is a project I’ve been slowly working on, but needed to be completed before out big trip to the San Juans. Out boat came with a fiberglass and starboard outboard bracket that was fine for smaller motors but not our four stroke Yamaha F8.

Router work outboard bracket

I was able to buy teak that was roughly the right width that I wanted it was a little wider, but I didn’t care enough to deal with cutting it down.

The next part after that was to use a 1” half-circle router bit to cut away the “T” that fits over the railing and the stantion. This also required a router that had a 1/2” shank. I was going to borrow a friends router but his was only 1/4”. If you are thinking of buying a router, don’t save \$20 on the 1/4” shank… you’ll be sorry, or in this case I’ll be sorry.

I routed out a 1/2” T on each side. I removed about an 1/8” at each pass and it made a HUGE mess, so plan ahead for that. It’s not shown in this photo but I also removed the material in the shoulders of the “T” to make more room in that area.


After that work done in the shop, I brought the router and the wood down to the boat to do the final fit. I probably ended up removing another 1/8” in all directions, by that I mean I made the T wider and deeper. This was mainly needed because this area in my stern rail has a bit of a curve in it.

In the shop I used guides for all my router passes. On the boat I did it free hand and it made the boards loose their perfect alignment. I could take it off, bolt it together and run it through a planer if I had one, maybe I’ll ask one of the woodworkers down at the shop, maybe I’ll work on one of the 9,0000 other projects. ;-)



Once the dry fit was complete I used a forstner bit to make the recessed holes for my stainless steel hardware. I used 5/6”- 1-3/4” bolt and just eyeballed it. In order to ensure things would line up , I drill the bolt holes with the wood clamed to the stern rail. I used a hand drill drill-press adapter to ensure I was drilling straight. I also used this to control the depth of my forstner bit.

In order to lift the outboard from the dinghy to the new bracket we use the new mizzen sheet I installed. This worked like magic and now I don’t need to buy a separate set of lifting tackle, which saves about \$150 !!


Posted on Wed 08 July 2009 in Systems - Dinghy

We bought an Aquapro Sportsmaster 860 used off of craigslist last summer and we wanted to add an outboard. I thought buying an outboard would be a pretty straight forward thing to do, we had some specific criteria:

  1. 4-Stroke – I don’t want to have to carry 2-stroke oil, deal with mixing it in with gas and 4-strokes burn cleaner and run quieter. Ideally we’d have gone with an electric outboard but they run \$3k and I just couldn’t justify the money on such a new technology.
  2. 8HP – Our dinghy is rated to 8hp and I wanted the biggest engine she could handle. This will essentially be our car, no actually more like a pickup when we’re out cruising so I wanted to be sure it could move when we wanted it to and that it could carry a load when we’re ferrying supplies and parts.

I looked at the SSCA’s Equipment survey and 2-stokes were more common than 4-strokes, but 4-strokes are really starting to take off over the past few years especially given the environmental and noise considerations. Looking at the brands all the biggies were there in sufficient quantities and were well rated. I also read the Practical Sailor reviews of Outboards and while I don’t think there were any clear winners and losers they Yamaha rated well and had nice touches so I decided to go with a Yamaha F8 Short Shaft (I think it has since been replaced by the 9.9).

I spoke with two dealers at the Seattle Boat Show and one was kind of slimy saying “For you, we’ll throw in a gas tank.” where Jacobsen's’ Marine said, “There’s a Yamaha special right now where they throw in \$200 of free accessories and you can pick what you want”. Jacobsen’s was \$10 more, but I just felt they were more forthright in their sale and they’re office is located here in Seattle.

We’ve use the outboard a few times now and from a weight perspective I think we could have gone with a 6hp. However, I have been able to get the dinghy up on a plane with both Dawn and I in it, so maybe 8hp was the way to go. Initially when you run the motor you push a pretty big wall of water for a while. When towing with the motor on, I think it slows Down Deep Playa by a knot or maybe even two knots. I don’t plan on towing the dinghy like that but hey occasionally we all get lazy. Weight aside and me being a complete and utter neophyte to outboards aside; she runs greats and starts with one or two pulls so you can’t complain about that. The “guys on the dock” say I will probably want to add a fin to the motor (like a wing) which will allow it to get out of the hole and up on a plane faster. I’m still looking into that.

I’m also building and installing a teak outboard mount and then we can mount the motor on the stern rail for short trips. The current outboard mount is made out of fiberglass and starboard and I don’t trust it so I have to leave the mizzen halyard on when I was mounting the outboard. The new mount will be VERY sturdy and then we can use the mizzen halyard or a block on the mizzen boom to raise and lower the outboard.

Update on the Dinghy

Posted on Fri 05 June 2009 in Systems - Dinghy

I was looking around the site and noticed I owed an update on the Dinghy. All of our experience with the dinghy at that point had been inside the break water of the marina, where I couldn’t open the throttle wide open. Well it turns out, that when you do open the throttle wide open that in 15-20 seconds (depending on the sea state) that the dinghy will plane up and then it really goes! Dawn and I have been able to get up on a plane, which is perfect! The other thing I did was adjust the motor angle a bit. As the motor swings down there is an adjustable bar on the back that sets how far the motor tilts updown in relation to the transom of the dinghy. I set it one not high so the motor sits one click higher. This has the effect of putting the motor weight a litlte more forward and prop a little more downward so we don’t push quite as a big wall of water when we’re at less than full throttle. I still think it will be worthwhile to add a foil to the motor which will create more lift and allow us to plane more quickly.

Anyway, its nice to know things are working as expected after we practices and educated ourselves a bit more.

Inaugural Dinghy Run

Posted on Sat 09 May 2009 in Systems - Dinghy

Dawn and I got the Yamaha F8 mounted to the Aquapro 860 today and I’m thinking it might be too bigheavy for the 860. When the dinghy is empty, it really site bow-up out of the water. When I’m in the dinghy it doesn’t seem top bad. I only ran it around the slips at the marina so I didn’t open it up, but it did seem to pull down the stern when I was going faster, I would probably have to be really going to get up on a plain.

I may have to call in the experts on this one and see what they think… now where do I find an expert?

TT Deep Playa

Posted on Thu 19 June 2008 in Systems - Dinghy


We bought a used 2002 Aquapro Sportmaster 860 this week. The baby is almost new condition to my eye. The previous owner is a Boeing Engineer (maybe retired) who only used it one season then stored it in his garage. I know sounds like the classic auto salesman line; a little old lady used it once a week to get groceries but now she can no longer afford the gas.

We paid 1/2 what he paid in 2003 and about 1/3 the price they are going for new! Aquapro isn't my preferred brandmodel for taking to the S. Pacific, but for around Puget Sound this will be a great little dinghy. I bought a cover for it (see photo) and I'm looking for an outboard. If you have any recommendations on a <=8hp short shaft 4stroke outboard drop me a note

I'm going to be getting some Citra-Solve and taking a crack at removing the registration info from the dinghy since a) that registration isn't mine and b) tenders don't need to be registered. I'm still working it out with the state how to handle the registration though. I think I need to pay to have the title transferred and that's it, but we'll see.

The dinghy is more than just a way to get around when you're at anchor its your car when you're cruising, its your work platform when you need to do things on the boat at the water level (like remove the name form the stern) and its your fortress of solitude when you and your partner find the confines of the boat a little cramped. ;-) When we leave to go cruising we'll probably have a kayak and a dinghy or a RIB and a folding inflatable dinghy. We'll have to see how that pans out.