Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Nip to the Nab

Another one of those crafty days off... I had lots of plans for this day though and managed to achieve.. err.. most of them...

So with a 7 and 1900 tide it was ripe for an all-day'er, and the first job I wanted to get done was getting the new outboard on - it's a fairly heavy engine so I'd decided that a tender out to the boat and then try and man-handle it on board was probably not the best idea. The solution was to book myself a short stay on a pontoon at Northney Marina, but this was not without a enormous amount of faff as I still had to get boat to Northney and engine and etc.

In the end I drove (with bicycle on the back) to Northney and booked my pontoon (they had empty space right on the open ends of one of the pontoons..  "four hours for £8.20?? that'll do very nicely, sir"..  ouchh!) left the car with engine there, and cycled back to the club (where I'd left oars for the tender) and then brought the boat round..

Only the third time in a marina...
Happily, no issues with the pontoon - only the second time (solo - third time with crew) I've ever planted her on a marina pontoon so I was very happy; I did the usual long mooring line to the fore cleat lead outside the lines/shrouds; short line to slip over the cleat from the stern and then step ashore and make bow secure... (lesson - next time, make sure the fender lines are under the long mooring line.. )

Pretty soon the engine was on board and in place, she started first time and sat there purring like a cat..  superb...

It all started so well...  peeing like a race horse and purring like a sewing machine...
I then made the fortunate decision to keep the old engine on board for a while - I almost didn't as they are not small items, and the new one was giving every impression of being very well behaved - bloody glad I did in the end because as I was leaving the marina new engine went from purring to silent....  bastard....  re-started straight away and then did the same, and again, and again...  the engine was happy to idle, either in gear or out, and would rev out of gear, but the moment that the engine was put in gear and revved it would then splutter and die after a few minutes - all the signs of fuel starvation but I had no idea what was causing it....  in the end I limped to a spare mooring, checked everything I could, 'read the bleeding manual', and gave up and put the old engine back on...  bit of a dampener....  more thought required, but I suspect it will be something stupid I haven't done, or a service required (cruddy carb or blocked running jet??)

Either way, engine swapped, I put a couple of rolls in the main (it was feeling a little lively), and departed for the bottom of the harbour, and then ten minutes later I was on the sand...  at this point I was thinking, one, that I was going to be there until the tide came in, and two, it really wasn't my day...

Anyway, rolled away the genoa, let off the main sheet, started the engine in reverse, and vectored towards the main channel. and wonder of wonders, it worked and we were off and sailing again...  took the opportunity to take out the reefs, wind had dropped slightly and before you knew it, I was out at sea....

Winds were westerly, and northerly, but they slipped between the two most of the day - so I took the decision to go for an easy days sailing, and the Nab was the target for the day...  just over an hour and a half, in nice conditions (solid force 3), and I was there..

It's changed a bit since the last time I was there on Papillon...

All the metal work removed, and it looks like they've removed the upper half of it as well..

With an adverse eastbound tide the trip back was more beat, than reach, but in the end I hit (not literally) the Westpole on just the right line for a fast run up the harbour on a flowing tide - coming through the entrance and past the sailing club (HISC) I saw some 5 and a half's over the ground.... so a brisk, easy, beat to the top of the harbour, on with the trusty donk, and I was back on the mooring by 5.

Tidied up, and then some fun and games fitting an outboard lock to the Suzuki - I'd recently bought a Fulton lock that fits over the outboard screws, but on Sparrow the engine sits in a scoop on the stern and whatever I tried I couldn't get the lock to fit over the screws without fouling one or the other end on the side of the scoop - in the end I had to shift the engine to the side so far that the tiller arm fouls the side of the scoop - it's also a faff fitting the key to the lock which is between the floor of the scoop and the lock - pfffffttt....  It'll have to go back if they'll take it, if not, eBay... I'll have to go a more tradition route for locking...

...and if that wasn't enough to end my curious day, while tilting the engine up, the locking bar slipped out of the hole and dropped in the 'oggin - typical! Rigged a line and held it up that way.. will need to replace...  and that, was very definitely, that....!


Distance: 24.98 miles (cumulative total in the 2014 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: WNW Force 3, gusting force 4..
Sail Plan: Reefed/full main and reefed/full genoa - engine for manoeuvring....
Speed: GPS track says max speed was 4.8 knots (that was under sail; I saw 5.2/5.5 under sail a couple of times) - average speed 3.3 knots


  1. Replaced my engine yesterday - heavy - why dont they float........

    1. Dave - I find them to be a worry from beginning to end... :o)

  2. Great title for the post.

    outboard sounds like the main jet, even the most microscopic amount of dirt has had that effect, carb cleaner and and airline as starters.

    Sounds like a good day out apart from a few disasters

    1. Hi Burseldon - yes I thought so too... I'd heard that there were two jets so I need to confirm I have two and will start there, either that or carb needs a clean... I'm going to drop it into Bill at Home Marine - I'm a mechanical numpty...and just to be sure I'll take tank and hose as well to make sure it isn't them...

  3. Air vent on the fuel tank...often overlooked?

    1. Hi Paul - good call - and I did forget it originally, but I still had the same problem even after I'd opened it... not used to external fuel tanks!

  4. Hi Steve, a reet good read :) That engine looks like a newer version of mine. It does sound like fuel however, if after giving it a good clean and using fresh fuel and a new plug it still cuts out under load, it's worth checking the resistance of the ignitor coil. Mine had similar symptoms and gradually got much worse. Turns out the ignitor coil is a common problem on these.

    1. Watcha Phil... was a reet good day... :o) Fuel was fresh that morning.. need to clean the carb and re-group, but first I need to get engine off boat..! How's your season going?? PS. Love the piccie of Ciao in the HOA photo comp...

    2. Oh... I haven't seen it!

  5. Season is going well, have had a lot of good sailing in although I do seem to have done a lot of motoring. The trip to Dartmouth was just superb. Still need to get across the channel but that'll have to be next year now.. just not enough daylight at this time of year.