Once again I managed to get distracted from my original goal for tonight, which was to figure out my dead speaker, and instead ended up slapping the outboard on the dinghy and taking it for a spin. Whatever fuel was left in it from the last time I used it (probably not much) seems to have drained out entirely at some point. Maybe I left the fuel cap vent open and it either spilled or evaporated. This time when I put it away I made sure the vent was closed and there was some fuel in the tank, so if it’s gone next time then there’s a leak.
I found that with just me in the dinghy, it pretty much hits its max speed at a relatively low throttle. Increasing the throttle further just digs the stern into the water and doesn’t speed the boat up much. Presumably with more weight in the boat that’d be less the case.
I also found that the motor likes to stall a lot as fuel starts to dwindle, although it did stall once or twice with at least some fuel in the tank, which is a little worrisome. I think I’ll have to take it out a few more times and if I find that to be a common behavior I might need to get someone to take a look at it.
I ended up zooming all the way out of the marina and a good quarter mile west before deciding I probably shouldn’t be doing that after dark with nothing but a headlamp and some backup oars, particularly since there’s some fast moving ferry traffic a few hundred yards farther out that generates some big wakes.
When I got back I realized the dinghy was filthy from collecting rainwater that I only occasionally dump out. So, I gave it some attention and scrubbed it pretty thoroughly. Looks nice and shiny now.