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Sunday, 1 March 2015

One of those bad Weekends

This weekend hasn't been good for boaty stuff. First off the tides are wrong and the weather was pants yesterday.

Deciding to do something boaty on land I decided to have a go at getting my generator running after the winter layup. No dice, it doesn't want to run. I sweated and strained with the pull starter but even a few litres of fresh petrol won't cajole it into life.

I've sprayed the carb with carb cleaner and I'll leave it for a week to see if it starts next week.

I also had a go with my old seagull that I last played with last year. I've never had it running and the chances of getting it running seem to be slimmer every time I play with it. Last year I treated it to a replacement carb as the original was cracked. This weekend I treated it to a new HT connector, lead and plug cap.

Well, still no dice on that either. I checked the points and they open, but as to whether the timing is correct, I need to do some digging. Having never run, anything could be wrong with it.

So a bit of a downer this weekend. After all that tugging at starting cords I need to rest and recuperate!


  1. I am now a recent convert to changing spark plugs in the event of mechanical/motor type issues... quick, cheap and easy option, with sometimes surprising results... might be worth a try with the generator?

  2. I have a spare that I didn't try, but I'll give it a whirl next time I drag the genny out of the shed. It took a while to start last year the first time, then after that it ran fine all spring & summer. I just didn't fancy hanging around outside spending hours trying to coax it into life.

  3. Here's some obvious stuff probably a complete waste of time but who knows.
    Is the petrol cap vent open so allowing fuel to get into the engine (otherwise you get a vacuum).
    The spark plug replacement is a good idea. I put the wrong oil petrol mixture in my engine and it fouled the plug and it wouldn't start at all. Once I cleaned and checked the gap of the plug it started first pull.
    Have you undone the plug from the engine block but left it connected to the HT lead and tried spinning the starter to see if there is a spark between the plug when held close to the block, that way you could isolate if it is an electrical or other issue. Michael

  4. Hi Mark,

    Though it may be going against the grain of your blog, may I suggest a second-hand Honda 2.3 hp ?

    Just got a Seawych myself, so I may be biased.


  5. Anonymous: Yes, I've done all the usual on the Seagull, its possibly a problem with the timing. My next job is to check the orientation of the plate holding the points and magneto. It backfired through the carb a couple of times when I introduced easy start into it, so that's my next plan of attack. The thing has never run and seems to have had a rough life in the past, so there's every chance its been messed about with quite a bit.

  6. Jim, thanks for the advice, but it does jar with the skint sailor ethos just a bit. :-) Not that I wouldn't like a little Honda, they're hugely reliable. But I have the Mariner that came with the boat and the Seagull is something I'm determined to save rather than scrap if I can. Its a project I'll keep going back to every now and then, but there's no pressing need to get it running.
    Welcome to Seawych ownership too, from your blog it looks like you're having fun with your boat.

  7. Mark, for generator please do change the sparkplug. I recently looked over www to find out how (or not!) these chinese-made generators are reliable. Most of people did find out that sparkplug is often a main culprit, especially if it;s still original one.... on another note, even with all the wind rain etc you are still much more lucky than we are here... my Vivacity is still under a few feet of snow, frozen like a thanksgiving turkey still in a deep freeze..... cheers from sunny and cooooooold Montreal, canada... Zoran