Over the weekend Sabrina and I ran the dinghy out to visit friends on the hook. On our way out, I remarked that we seemed a lot slower than usual. I theorized that the outboard carburetor might need be cleaned, or the bottom of the dinghy might need to be cleaned.
On Monday, I used the dinghy to wash the topsides, but now the outboard was running very roughly. I thought it might have had water in the fuel. Monday night when we came back into the marina I quickly realized that one spark plug wasn’t firing. I then cleaned the carburetor while I had the motor open. After putting the engine back together, it was running a lot better, and I excitedly ran out to see if that fixed the speed issue. Sadly, it did not, I was maybe 10% faster, but nowhere near as fast as we used to be.
Tuesday Sabrina and I pulled the dinghy out to clean it on deck. I knew the bottom was going to be rough, but I didn’t expect what I found. It looked like matted down shag carpet, with barnacles mixed in! The first time I tried to use a brush to clean the shag, I was more combing than cleaning….
So, I spent the better part of Tuesday scraping barnacles and painstakingly removing their bases. It was very hard work, and required ample amounts of elbow grease. At the end I was pleased with my progress, the dingy looks great.
Hopefully by addressing both suspected issues we’ll return to our expected speed. Our maybe even faster?