2002 Mercury 225hp Optimax

by Robert Collins
(Mobile, AL)

Both motors have been running fine, yesterday went to the marina to get the boat ready to go fishing and both batteries were dead. I bought and installed 2 new batteries and both engines fired right up. I proceeded to take the boat out to the channel and run her for a few minutes.

After about 5 minutes the starboard engine felt like it was sputtering as it was loosing rpm and then it would come back up. I turned the boat around and headed back to the barn. Off and on on the way back in the starboard engine repeated the same sputtering. So the port motor is running like a champ and the starboard is not. I thought maybe it could be water in the fuel separator, so I bought a new filter this morning, put it on, primed the bulb and the engine fired right up. I proceeded to take the boat out and I was going fishing, until the starboard motor felt like it lost the rpms for a brief second and then I felt the starboard engine loose it's pull like it came out of gear. Note this is almost, within 1/2 mile, of where it started to sputter the day before.

I shut the motor down, put it neutral, started it back up and tried to put it in gear. When I tried to put it in gear I did not feel any tension in the shifter and engine rpms shot up like it was in neutral. I tried to shift into forward and reverse several times while limping back in on one motor. I got back to the dock and had the boat put on a work rack. I got a pair of muffs and put on the starboard motor to run some water through the engines, so I put the starboard engine into gear and it went into forward and reverse while on the hose out of the water. At this point I am not sure if I don't have a couple of things going on or if the sputtering and then popping out of gear.

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