Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Friday, 16 August 2013

Something for the Weekend?

Well, I do have a few plans.

I'm going to be on the boat most of the weekend giving the interior a good clean and other odd jobs like sorting the charging wiring on the engine.

I'm also going to spend some time scoping out where to set my mud mooring. It appears the mooring I hitched up to was sold on, so I need to move. I'll raft up to Jim's boat and spend Saturday night aboard which gives me plenty of time to do some of the odd jobs.

I sorted Jim's outboard this week and handed it back to him yesterday with a working gear shift after replacing the gear lever. He was a happy bunny; its hard to explain the sadness of an engineless boat. I nipped round to the mooring after work (its only 5 minutes away) and we dinghy'd it over to his boat.

I've not worked on an outboard since I was a kid and used to sort out the outboards on my Dad's Dawncraft canal cruiser. The little single cylinder 4hp Yamaha was a lot simpler than the 9 and 25hp twin cylinder Mercurys I worked on decades ago. In fact I was pleasantly surprised as to how simple it was to work on. Disconnect two wires for the stop switch and 8 bolts later the powerhead came off with the coil. 4 more bolts later and the bottom cowling came off to allow me to change the gear shift lever. A couple of hours including greasing and adjusting and it was sorted. Mind you the gear shift was brand new which made me a deal skinter than I was. I'm used to buying motorbike spares and I work for a company selling spares for Mazda sports cars, so I was prepared for a jolt. But its nice to know that my Skint Sailing money-saving skills have been honed, given that my mariner is very similar to the Yamaha.

I did have to smile because one of the spanners I worked on the outboard with was from my first moped: a Yamaha from the late seventies. It just seemed appropriate using a 34 year old Yamaha stamped tool on a modern Yamaha engine somehow.

The bad news is the weather: its predicted to rain the whole weekend which could end up being miserable. However, the boat came with a boom tent, so that'll be going up to keep the cockpit dry. If I get the chance I'll reproof the spray hood too.

Hopefully I'll get a dry spell so I can hoist the main sail, I'm keen to see how easy it hauls and I want to see the sail number if its got one.

I'll hopefully have time to take a lot of pictures and maybe a video or two for posting up here.

UPDATE: I came off the boat this evening: predicted winds of 30mph and constant rain would have made it a nasty night aboard. I'll get up early and move it off the mooring. I can't stay on long though: Someone on Freecycle is giving me a mooring buoy and a short length of chain and I have to pick it up in the morning.

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