Getting ready to go

Original launch date – Tuesday 29th April

Things were going slower than I would have like but with a far wind we could have done everything we needed to do and finish off the rest when we were afloat.

The bottom had been prepared for antifouling, the decks and hull cleaned and the hull polished. The navigation lights now worked.

In the season review there were a number of changes we wanted to do. So far we have:

  • New standing rigging (Rig Magic at Levington)
  • New anchor chain (20m 7mm, EYE/Boat Gear Direct, Levington)
  • New set of 3 clutches (Spinlock XAS, Seamark Nunn)
  • All the switches moved to an accessible location
    (Still a bit of re-routing of the wires to do, to simplify things but just about there.)

Still to do

  • VHF aerial actually connected to the VHF Radio
    This just needs the new cable running in the cabin and the connectors soldered up
  • New GPS aerial (primarily for the VHF Radio)
    Identified one just need to find a suitable location to fit it so I order the right bits.

but all these bits, along with tuning the rig and fitting the sails could be done once afloat.


Saturday before the launch

I get there and it’s raining – not a problem and there is lots to do in the cabin, but I did want to prove the engine would work OK so I had a couple of days to work on her. Wifey calls and we’re discussing the weather, I go to look out the hatch and bang! It’s closed because it raining and I hit the top of my head on the two washers on the back of the lock that just overhang the lip by 5mm. Wifey learnt a few new words and blood is oozing from my head from a small gash, I should have gone home then – it was going to be that sort of day.  However I cleaned up the gash, got it checked out by a first aider at the club and carried on.


My first time working on a diesel, did the RYA diesel course which was very good but nothing like getting your hands dirty for the first time.

I changed oil when laying up and that went fine. I sorted out the fuel filters and bled the system OK a couple of weeks ago. I decided to look at the oil/foam air filter – lots of oil, no foam, no way of taking the old filter apart. I’ve bought a completely different type of filter so I hope that will be OK one I’ve fitted it.

I decided to try the engine without the filter, (I figured there wasn’t much dust about in cabin on the bank). I connected the water intake to a tall kitchen bin in the cockpit. She eventually started and all seemed well, then I noticed a waterfall in the locker. The anti-siphon u bend thingy had cracked (old age). So off I toddle to Fox’s for a new one – £20 for a little bit of plastic pipe! Just as well I had bought an ice cream to keep me cool.

Fitted this OK, turn the hose on in the kitchen bin and started the engine and all seemed well with the world so I wandered to the club house for lunch.

That was mistake number one. With the 2m head of water, continuously topped up as I forgot to turn the tap off, I managed to hydro-lock the engine, basically water flowing back up the exhaust into cylinder. As you can’t compress fluids the engine can’t turn over. A friend walking past the boat had turned the tap off and told me what may happen. Good news was that as the engine wasn’t running then there should be no damage, at worst some contaminated oil, or so I thought.

A quick look on the internet suggested taking out the injector and turning the engine so the water was ejected. Easy enough fix then, so I thought, I set about tracing the pipes to the injector and unscrewing it. Good idea but I missed a step – mistake number 2. I had forgotten there was a high pressure fuel pump as well as a lift pump and I unscrewed that instead and it started to dismantle itself.

 The postponement

Wifey turned up about then, with nice hot freshly baked cheese scones. We sat in the club house debating what to do. In the end we cancelled the launch, booked it for Sunday 25th May packed up and went home. It wasn’t until that evening I realised how tired I’d got, having been working on the boat all week. I barely moved from the chair for the rest of Saturday.

Next step is to ensure I get all the bits, clean them up, reassemble them and see if it works. Bits for 30 year old engines are not easy to find.