Mercury 115 Saltwater Series 2005
by David Ressler
(Oak Point Texas)
We were fishing at trolling speeds for a while, shut down and took a swim for about 30 minutes. Started up to run home on plane, about 4 miles. Boat started and ran fine, then after coming onto plane for just two minutes of running, it just powered down and stalled. Did not cut out immediately. Restarted several times but would not make the transition into gear. Checked fuel ball, all good. Fresh tank of gas from a land station before we put it in - and the filling truck was busy filling the underground tank while we were pumping our gas - ?water or contaminate?
We could rev it in neutral, but no power under load. Proceeded with the electric trolling motor while playing with the motor. Finally, revved it and shifted into gear before the revs were low, immediate gas, and got some headway under power. But when we throttled up, it stalled again several attempts, stall at different run lengths.
Finally figured out to keep it at a fast idle, it would continue to run, so we limped home at that speed. Engine exhibited a loud ticking and some grinding at times. Our thoughts were valve related, definitely not lower unit. But the motor timing was ok, the boat was running, albeit (it felt) on two cylinders. We could smell raw gas when the wind was right.