Ok, I have an 1982 Ski Nautique and it will run in neutral at about 1000 rpm's, if I lower that, then the boat dies. Also if I put it in drive it will not go slow, I either have to gas it or if it is barely in drive the boat dies. What is the problem?
Brandon, my 87 did the same thing. If I was going slow it would run real rough and then die. I checked the timing and it was off by quite a bit. Fixed it and that solved the problem. Check your rotor and see if it is firing in the middle of the contact on the end of the rotor. If it looks like it is to scaring to one side or the other it is a good indication that your timing is off.
timing is easy to check. borrow a light from Auto zone or whatever (small deposit) and give it a look. I also second the carb rebuild. Easy to do with a Holley gasket or trick kit and some carb cleaner.
I have had the same sort of problems with my boat in the past. (87 American Skier) I have become a pseudo expert on the carb because I rebuild it every other year. I would suggest getting to know that carb and you will thank yourself later. Try to rebuild it and if you have any questions, post on this page or email me.