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

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A Long Day

 The tide is early again this weekend, so I was out of the door at 08:30 this morning and got down to the boat by 9.

I spent my time watching the E.C.A. launching boats that had been overwintered on the hard, did a few small jobs waiting for Jim to arrive and also chatted to Ben as he drove his boat around the pond.

Looking at fitting the tiller pilot, I checked out the socket for the pivot pin. The socket was quite loose, so I pulled it out. When looking from the outside there are 4 screws, which (I thought) held a strengthening block of wood under the GRP. They possibly did a long time ago, but there was no evidence of any wood there this morning. Bummer. What I thought would be simple "re-epoxy the socket back in place" job just got a bit bigger.

Jim arrived about 10 and I packed up and transferred over to his boat. As I was still to finish working on his main engine, we tried his seagull outboard. It was a bad start as he forgot the starting cord. I got his outboard running, but every now and then it wanted to die, so we decided not to go out and try his rudder, just in case the engine gave up at the wrong moment.

In the end we just watched the boat launchings and chatted.

The weather started turning cold so we packed up, but not before Jim gave me a pulley for my downhaul. Cheers Jim!

Once home I wood -stained the boarding ladder and outboard block that fit on the pushpit. They're one of the few areas of grey wood left, so they got refurbished this afternoon. I also dragged Jim's outboard out of the shed and set to work dismantling its carburettor. The float needle got a blast of cleaner and WD40, then I noticed the main jet was pretty clogged with deposits, so I unscrewed it to have a look at it.

The carb on this outboard was a bit strange to me in that there is a main jet at the bottom of a chamber, and then off that there was a passage and then above that was another jet which I assume is the idle/pilot jet.

The main jet was clogged with deposits, so I blasted it with carb cleaner. and then blasted the passage above it and the pilot jet with carb cleaner as well.

I screwed everything back together and.... success! The engine started straight away on choke, then when the choke was removed, idled sweetly. I adjusted the idle speed, then had a play with the pilot screw until I got the engine to run, stop and restart easily. after 30 mins of chasing round the settings (adjusting one affects the other), the engine runs fine cold or warm and starts easily cold or warm as well.

So its ready to go back on Jim's boat for testing tomorrow.

After that I cut a few pieces of plywood and glued them together to make a block up ready to screw under the deck GRP to support the tiller pilot pin tomorrow.

So tomorrow should be a good day. Jim wants to try his outboard and new rudder in the harbour. I'll probably accompany him in Sprite, so I can be rescue boat if necessary.

Should be an interesting day...

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