Jack Of All, Master Of None

Have you ever had one of “those” days? Of course you have. You’ll have one tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. I know because they seem to come with regularity for me. I believe I could be called an opportunistic pessimist. You know what I mean? I want everything to workout just fine and be one of those peaches and cream kind of a days. But, I know that there is a thing called reality with all the gremlins it utilizes to inflict my days with those little darts of, “Got You!” You know those things that keep your day from becoming totally perfect and instead produce utter chaos resulting in a ruined mess? Or perhaps some varied degree in between.

As a boat owner we rely on our vessel as our home, for travel, protection from the elements or even fun filled recreational bliss on a day to day basis. It would be great if everything we owned was everlasting and endured the dreaded march of time. One thing for sure, there are varying degrees of the time something will last. Tools for example…you can buy expensive tools or the Thrifty one use tool from the Shipwreck Tool Store. Your choice. It really doesn’t matter because your 10 mm socket is just waiting for the package to be opened before it can go missing. LOL

The gremlin filled case number for today is 54280 dot 15, Star Date something dash something else in the gamma sector of the left pant leg quadrant. Outboard Terminology! If you’re following the bouncing ball on your take home tablet readers, you will remember the fishing story from a few posts back where death rock almost consumed the crew of Dazzler sending us home to the promised land. Well, there was an article that involved fishing and a stubborn outboard motor that didn’t want to fire up and decided that it didn’t want to play nice anymore. Yep! That’s the one.

I finally got around to disassembling the carburetor for the umpteenth time looking for a speck of dirt that might be causing all our grief. Actually I stopped looking for that microscopic particle and now just blasted the whole damn thing with Carburetor cleaner each time hoping for better results. By the way, I’m still looking for my original 10 mm socket. Anymore I buy them by the egg carton style dozen so I don’t run out. They’ll be on sale every once in a while at Sears and Roebuck in the tool section of the Sunday paper. LOL

Another thing that frosts my fanny! Can someone please tell Yamaha to make a carburetor bowl gasket that is not sensitive to Ethanol in gasoline? Geese! When I remove the carburetor bowl to clean the jets, the special proprietary O ring gasket, if soaked from any ethanol in the gasoline distorts its shape by growing an extra millimeter here or there and CANNOT be reused. This requires you to have an extra Yamaha carburetor bowl O ring gasket.

In the first world country of New Zealand, a Yamaha made for the USA market doesn’t have the same gaskets as the same style motor made for the South Pacific market. Who knew? So! We had to order gaskets from Japan. Happiness arrives after about three weeks of being lost in the cargo hold of some 777 freight plane that has been grounded because their engines have developed a nasty habit of exploding while in flight. Okay, I’m all better now. Move along. Nothing more to see here!

As a side note and of great importance is the continued shipping saga of how our parcel was delivered to us in the Bay of Islands. Our good friend Allan Gray, owner of Wynn Fraser Paints in Whangarei, graciously picked up our parcel in Whangarei. He had some business in the Opua area and and brought our parcel along with him for us to pickup. The three new gaskets could have fit into an envelop, but they came packaged in a box that could have housed a new carburetor. We were able to spend a little time with Allan before he had to head south again. You see his new puppy “Wynn” was arriving at the Auckland Airport later that day. His new baby is a four month old Pyrenees Mountain dog. We are so grateful for friends like Allan.

Anyway, back to the outboard story. Each time I get done going through the carburetor everything seems to be working fine for a few hours of run time. Then, POW! Back to the workbench, AKA, aft cockpit seat, for more carburetor cleaner blasting. Stand back. By the way, I am now buying carburetor cleaner by the cellophane wrapped six pack. It is usually on the shelf next to the carton of 10 mm sockets.

The other day wasn’t anything special and it just happened to be one of those moments when Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon and Uranus seem to line up and inflict that oh so grateful ahh ha moment. The light shone down from the heavens and illuminated the answer to life’s most perplexing question. Yep! The outboard decided to take a dump again. You know stop working while on our way to shore. I grabbed the fuel line bulb to give it a squeeze and gas started to pour out from the hose connection to the front of the outboard. Ding, ding, ding! It was oh so clear now. Could it have been this simple all along? Quite possibly yes!

You see, the hose connection ends of the Yamaha fuel line system have a proprietary fitting that bayonet connects onto the fitting on the forward edge of the outboard. There is a spring loaded ball valve that is pushed against an O ring and is all held in place by some kind of plastic retainer doodad. The O ring has a dual purpose. First it is to keep gas from oozing out when the hose is not connected to the outboard. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the o ring prevents gas from leaking from the connection and air from being sucked into the fuel line.

It would appear that our fuel hose connection was not designed to last an indefinite period of time. To be somewhat fair, I should tell you that I have replaced this fitting before. I don’t recall it being that long ago. Regardless of the time that has elapsed since the last replacement, it wasn’t a set-it and forget-it part or replacement. Nope! As it turns out it might want to be one of those things you add to your spare parts list.

By the way, don’t forget to refill your parts supply when you take something out. As it would seem, I didn’t replace this fitting the last time I pulled it out of the spare parts stores and we had to acquire a new one from the local shop to get us going. We now have to remember not to forget to get one for the spare parts stores onboard. What was I talking about?

Remember, nothing lasts forever! Even if it says it comes with a lifetime guarantee. That just means the company won’t be available next week when you are hundreds of miles away on an island paradise trying to find which coconuts to rub together to make a new Yamaha fuel hose connection fitting thingy.

Until next time, check your parts stores and keep them well stocked. Don’t step in number two and sip that cold one while swaying in your hammock. Oh yeah, don’t take too long to finish that drink because the line holding up your hammock is deteriorating and you could blow out your flip flop. Remember, nothing is free or lasts forever in water world! LOL

Captain Dan

Author: Dan & Jilly

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