Okay, here's one of the issues that has reared it's ugly head during Saturdays trip to the lake.
It happened several times (10-12). The engine backfired sporatically. And not under any particular condition. All of them occured at speed (between 30-45 mph), and it would backfire, wait a while, backfire again, then nothing for several minutes, then out of the blue, another backfire, then nothing for a while, then a backfire...etc...etc...and occasionally felt as though it was losing a little power, not much. Almost like 200 lbs. were added to the boat instantaneously. Then resume speed again.
You could occasionally smell the fuel. Not consistently and not constant. My neighbor (more experience than me) thinks it's probably a carb adjustment. Not quite burning all the fuel.
Other neighbor (had lots of bad experiences) thinks that it has set over the years with no stabilizer and now the carb is full of varnish from not being properly treated between uses.
Who has the experience that matches this, and what was the verdict? Thanks in advance.