Forget Me Knot


In September Sue and I fired up the old Ranger and headed up the Sacramento River to attend Les Cochren’s Forget me Knot event in Old Sacramento honoring veterans.  It was a beautiful day and about 20 miles into the trip I was relaxing and thinking how my motors were humming beautifully when the starboard engine started running very rough.  I worked the throttle a couple of times and it started running good for a few minutes and then died.  I managed to start it a couple of times but it would not keep running so I shut it down and continued the trip on the port side motor.  We pulled into the Sacramento Marina and I thought I might get it running to get into a slip but no such luck.  I did pull into a slip and luckily there was no one watching us maneuver around a couple of times while we pulled in.

 

Zenith updraft carburator

Zenith updraft carburator

After plenty of troubleshooting I deduced that my Zenith updraft carburetor had an internal leak and was flooding the motor.  I sent it to Recarbco in Pittsburg who rebuilds Zeniths and just got it back today, rebuilt, repainted and ready to install.  In retrospect I can remember smelling gasoline sometimes around the starboard engine. I always choke them quite a bit when I start the motors so I did not think much about it but I think it must have been acting up prior to the total failure.  I have three filters before the carburetor so I don’t think foreign material was getting into it.  I drained the bowl and the gasoline had a milky appearance so I think water must have condensed in it.  I was looking at all the information online and apparently there is an electrolysis problem with Zeniths with the cast iron body and brass parts if water gets inside.  I used to run my motors weekly all year but lately have been running them monthly.  I think I will go back to the weekly schedule.  The good news is that the carburetor worked for 20 plus years with no problems.

 

Ramos Fizz

Ramos Fizz

Tom and Nancy Clothier let me ride on Eslo  for the parade (Sue was enlisted to help Les on the shore with his program) and invited Blair and Mary Hake my friends from Stockton to come along too.  Dick and Mavis Engfer aboard Hiltot II and Kent Ramos aboard Ramos Fizz completed the Classic Yacht Association boats in the parade.  After the parade Les hosted a great party in the Captain’s Lounge at the Sacramento Marina. 

Les Cochren and friends

Les Cochren and friends

 

Hot Ticket Performing

Hot Ticket Performing

 


About Bill Wells - A retired yacht broker, Bill is currently the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor's Bureau. He is an active member of the Northern California Fleet of the Classic Yacht Association. In their spare time he and his beloved wife Sue cruise their 1937 Stephens cruiser Ranger to boating events throughout the Delta. Bill is active in matters helping to preserve and protect the California Delta. He chronicles his adventures in the monthly Delta Rat Scrapbook column for Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine.



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