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Monday, 17 March 2014

Maintaining Gannet II and Outboard Testing

I spent most of today working on Jim's boat, Gannet 2 today. He had a few issues that needed looking at like his rigging needed tightening and he needed his outboard re-commissioning after the winter.

I tightened up his forestay for him and got his generator working, but his outboard steadfastly refuses to idle. I suspect a blocked idle jet in the carb is the culprit. I've squirted a bit of carb cleaner down it and it started to improve, but not totally and not before we had to leave his boat due to the tide. I might need to revisit his outboard at a later date or take it home and work on it.

I gave my outboard its first blast since its layup. I put it on the back of the dinghy and I have to say it works quite well. On Jim's dinghy if you put the weight of and outboard and a steerer on the back end, the bow points towards the sky and you have about an inch of freeboard at the transom and you're in danger of sinking. On mine there was quite a few inches of freeboard and it just skated along! If anything the outboard is overpowered for the dinghy as it was quite quick with the engine just on idle.

Its turning out to be a bargain at £16! It does everything: It rows out to the boat, is stable, can easily take three people and now works fine with an outboard. I bet it works well at it's intended purpose of sailing too!

One thing I noticed with the outboard is the water cooling tell-tale wasn't working again, so I took it home and ran it in a bucket of water. The tell-tale was blocked with what felt like a crust of salt. Pushing a thin screwdriver up there I got to a point where there was some resistance and then it pushed through, rewarding me with a stream of cooling water out of the tell-tale pipe.

Needless to say I ran it in the bucket of fresh water for a good half hour to help flush some of the salt out.

Right now I feel like I've had a good weekend. I'm sunburnt and I ache, but I've ticked a few items off the to-do list and I've helped Jim. Not bad at all.

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