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

Sunday, 5 July 2015

New eBay purchase

I mentioned in my previous post that I've got something new for the boat.

Well, here it is:

It's a Mariner 2.5Hp two-stroke outboard. For less than £40. Bargain!

It has issues, though. At that price it would be silly to think it wouldn't.

The first issue was it started but died not long after. That was traced to a dodgy fit on the cap on top of the carb. It looks like the cap which the throttle cable goes through and the throttle mechanism bolts on to has stripped it's threads. A temporary fix with araldite has made the engine work and stay working, but at some point it needs a more permanent resolution. The throttle seems to have been designed badly, with the throttle lever mechanism bolted onto the cast alloy cap. Any tension on the throttle mechanism pulls on the cap and strips the soft alloy thread.

A while the engine was running in the dustbin it's apparent that there's still something a bit iffy. The exhaust note isn't right. Looking around the engine there's a water within the casing. It looks like the head has cracked and possibly the gasket sealing the power unit to the leg has failed. But the leg is fine, the impeller seems to be pumping water, so there is good news.

The cylinder head seems to be another point of especially bad design: the head is a casting which includes the moulding at the rear of the engine. If you drop the engine on the ground hard you crack the cast moulding or in some cases like this one the head.

But this engine is a lot better than my Seagull that has never started. I'm going to bung the Seagull on eBay as spares/repairs and use the money to put into the Mariner. Despite it's problems, it still runs which means its worth spending the money on.

So I'll be stripping the Mariner and checking on it's issues over the following weeks and making a shopping list for boat jumbles and eBay.

Oh and also today I installed Jim's solar panel on his boat. I'm pretty sure his battery is buggered because I checked it's voltage and it was 2.9 volts. He needs a new battery for the panel to keep charged.

I tried a spot of sailing on Friday but the mainsail had other ideas, jamming about 2ft from the top of the mast. Some dry lubricant sorted that out but I only fixed it when back on the mooring. By then the tide was dropping. I lubricated all the blocks and also re-jigged the downhaul which was also jamming. A bit weird because it all worked last year. It just goes to show checking all of these things in advance is worth it.

The VHF is back on the boat but I didn't have time to give Solent Coastguard a call. Too busy sorting the rigging and doing bits on Jim's boat.

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