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Issues with low fuel

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I got my 2000 Response LX with the 325 Monsoon engine pretty low on fuel yesterday. Parked it at a restaurant for a couple hours and then fired it up. Two people were sitting in the bow and 3 of us in the rest of the boat. It fired right but had a low idle under 600rpms. The engine cut off a few seconds later and was kind of spitting and sputtering. Figuring it might be low fuel, I had everyone move to the back and tried again. A little rough the next couple starts with lots of smoke coming out of the exhaust. Finally got it to run right and drove home (2-3 miles). When I pulled the throttle back to pull into my dock, the idle went to 2000rpms and stayed there until I put it in gear and then it was normal again.

Does this just sound like low fuel issues and sucking air or do you think there are other things going on?

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Well I definitely plan to take the boat out again today. I assume it will perform properly once it has fuel and can report back with the results. However, it just strikes me as odd and was thinking it might be a sign of a part that's failing and needs replacement.

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Ran fine all night with fresh fuel. Hard to know how low the fuel really is because the trunk deck is on top of the tank and it is a royal PITA to pull that out. I put a new fuel sender in the tank last year so I was always a little curious where empty really was. Since the tank is so shallow, the gauge is massively different between sitting in the water and on plane. I'm thinking now that when the boat is at idle, E really does mean empty. 

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