Originally Posted by 9D280
The other thing with an aux - make sure it runs once in a while!
If you are launching from a marina you can use it to get from slip / berth to the entrance, or if you stop for a picnic lunch somewhere can run it for 20 mins as you eat your sarnies to hold position. Either way, it is better to find out that it's got the huff in a scenario like that than when you really need it after it sitting doing nothing on your transom for a year!
Speaking from experience, I couldn't agree more.
I have had failures on the aux engines on both my last boat and the current one, both due to fuel contamination. I have no idea how it got in there - always filled with clean fuel and breather always kept closed, but it did. I found out about it in both cases on a test run on a nice day when I decided I would bimble along with some dolphins for a while on the aux and then found it wouldn't run properly. In the case of the Merc Sailmate, it was almost brand new when it happened.
I think with an aux, pulling out the fuel tank and flushing it out properly is probably a good idea once in a while. I try and run mine at least every second or third trip for at least 10 minutes.