My trusty dingy motor, a 1987 Evinrude E4RCUD, started to give me trouble in the spring. I traced the issue to worn o-rings in what I thought was the choke, but is actually a fuel primer pump and fuel petcock all in one! Apparently this was a short lived idea of squirting more fuel into the carb rather then starving it of air to enrich the mixture. These pumps, as one web author noted, work great until they don’t! At least now I understand why the “choke” lever was so strange – its not a lever, it functions like a syringe and pulling it squirts fuel into the carb.
I replaced the o-rings with ones I got from the nice service technician at Crappy Tire – assuming they were automotive. The shut off o-ring swelled and fell apart. I thought I got all the bits but apparently didn’t. As the primer pump is between the fuel pump and the carb, the fuel doesn’t get filtered. I thought the o-ring bits were just in the pump/shut-off valve and I replaced the o-rings again with OEM rings. The engine still wasn’t happy and I left it home for the bulk of the summer. It wasn’t that bad rowing once I got the oarlocks sorted out.
Determined to get this motor running, I pulled the carb for a 3rd time and found what was clogging up the main jet and float needle. As pictured there were large chunks under the float needle and under the main jet.
I also serviced the fuel pump as it had never been touched and I thought it might be a fuel starvation issue (it was but not from there…!).
Better late than never, I finally got the engine sorted on Labour Day weekend!
I killed an afternoon fixing a crack in the hard-bottom dinghy transom. It looks like someone removed the backing plate and motor mounts have cracked the fiberglass. It didn’t really need to be repaired, but is seemed silly to not patch up the crack as water will continue to get in and if left outdoors for the winter, it will eventually split the transom with freeze thaw cycles (maybe). So I guess it did need to be fixed.
Our dinghy is a hand-me-down inflatable. It’s a bit too big, crowding the dinghy dock and it’s showing it’s age, but the price was right and it has served us well for the last 5 years.
The dinghy came with a bright blue seat, the kind Canadian Tire sells for fishing boats. Because the drain plug doesn’t drain, the seat is often an island in a floating sea of rainwater, a refuge from water, sand and slime.
The blue seat is awkward height for an adult to sit on. It’s only a few inches off the floor, but it is the perfect for height and size for the girls. They sit side by side because, well it’s the only seat on the boat.
The blue seat kept them low, stationary and safe. It was unbeknownst to me their spot. I only discovered the last aspect when I casually mentioned to the girls that we will have a new dinghy next season and was met with cries of “you can’t get rid of the blue seat, our seat”!
In my never ending quest to keep boating affordable, I am keeping my old dinghy limping along. It is dirty and wearing out (topsides of the tubes are down to the threads), but holds air so I can’t complain. I figure I better show it some love but don’t want to make things worse by using corrosive chemicals or abrasives. Looks like the ArmourAll I put on it three years ago might have expatiated it’s demise! Continue reading Dingy dinghy – how to clean PVC (vinyl)→