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This past summer the top carb on my Mercury 58a ,45hp outboard on my Glass Slipper Boat started dripping. The motor ran like crap and would hesitate and stall all the time. Finally after trying Sea Foam and slamming the choke shut a few times at full throttle with no success I took the carbs apart to find the problem.  I expected to find a bad needle and seat or a piece of something in it. Once I took the carbs apart I was surprised to find the float 3/4 full of fuel on the offending carburetor thus not floating any more . The fuel in the float couldn't be shaken out for anything and seemed to be sealed in there, strange but true!! I ordered 2 new floats on Ebay , the new Sierra brand floats were a solid black plastic material similar to that used in automotive carbs , not hollow like the originals thus permanently fixing the problem. The carbs were a little tight to work on but it was do-able in place with a long skinny screw driver . The Glass Slipper is one of my favorite boats, it rides and handles well,  It has great interior room for its size and is a comfortable boat with its 4 thickly padded bucket seats. 
Brad Lake  (Canadafins)

Move over Tide Pod Challenge Here comes the Carb Float Challenge! 

That's some good information Brad, certainly something to check if your motor is acting up.  many of these engines had balsa wood floats too.  The problem there is that the thin varnish coating can be eaten by the alcohol in modern gasoline causing them to soak up gas like a sponge. 

Now attention Teens: Don't eat carburetor floats either!  In fact, just go to your room and stand with your nose in the corner until mommy brings you a proper snack!