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Diary 2013

6th July 2013

After so many seasons moored on the river Axe - and really not taking th ebboat out at all - I decided to break the deadlock of inactivity and move her up to the pontoons at Uphill YArd. I figured for £850 a year I'd have so much more access - yes, tp spme extent it is doubling as a weekend retreat, but so what ! Uphill is a pleasant place.

So - Sat last we had a big late evening tide - I psyched myself up to "move the boat". Engine has been starting well - ticking over reliably. Sods law says that evening has to be a force 5-6, warm but gusting strongly. Still - I'm only up the river.

HW - 30 mins.

Engine running, drop mooring - well ty to drop mooring ! The painters are bar tight with the big tide. Stupidly I had dropped the bridel on the aft painter and hooked the soft eye over the horn cleat. I should have foresaw this and looped a line through the soft eye that could be realeased.

I was adamant that I was going this evening - so i committed myself and cut the foward eye ( the painter needed replacing anyways ) and the guest line was attached to the main lay of the rope.

Lena now blew upstream in the stiff breeze and was still bar tight on the rear. With a carbine hook on one end of my mooring line ( I must have had this senario in mind ) I winched on the eye loop, and with alll my strength managed to gain about 2" - then wham, it flipped off the rubber horn cleat. Holding it on the winch - I got another line on I could retrieve and let go - I was off at last.

Towing the dingy as it was too windy to bother stashing it.

Uphill is a very decieving place when there is a lot of water around. It hides many evils. There is a reason the latest Imray Pilot book quotes -

" to enter Uphill you ahve to be brave and have a strong boat" -

Without a good working knowledge of the deep channels around the slipway area - it is very easy to stray into shallow water over tough seagrass clumps !

Just off the berth - I reversed to straighten up and she blew the other way - just touched astern, so I gunned her off foward pretty quick and all was well. It was by now exactly HW - not the time to be touching banks !

I was in - several nearby boat owners were sort of expecting me up ( I'd had a word and told them - some help helps! )

So - here I am today on a balmy day enjoying my new 'marina' experience ( hardly a marina though as there it no water here at the moment ! )

Coming up the river I noticed the engine didn't feel right. I sort of put it down to high winds and towing the dingy - but once berthed up I found she was not hitting top revs in forward under load - ok in reverse and neutral.

Checked the cabling - all ok, Lever is definately getting moved to full position.

So for the last day or so I have stripped out all the fuel system - cleaned the tank and ditched the old fuel. Checked the jerricans - two were fine, nice and clear, fresh looking ( these were from Milford marina a few years back ) the rest was cloudy and looking very dubious.

Changed the fuel hoses - new filters, - scrapped the primer bulb I added to the prefilter ( to get the system back to spec ).

Lift pump seemed dodgey on testing so stripped it. Inlet and outlet valve dirty ? May have been from the diesel I tested it with though ! Anyway - cleaned it all out - re-assembled and gave it the Yanmar spec test -

submerged for leak test - and pulling a 0.8m head of fuel.

While I was at it I checked the thermostat - changed the engine zinc, checked the tappet clearances ( ok - good sign ).

All fresh fuel - all cleaned up to the injector pump. New intake cleaner element ( old was shedding bits of foam ! )

If it still persists - Rollo, where I got the intake filter said they could test the injector. I do have a new injector - but the old can be dismantled and a new nozzle is available.

I suspect it was the lift pump valves dirty - maybe combined with the primer bulb non return being a bit sticky unused. It had not been bled for three years or more ! Not needed it.

Tomorrow I am checking the exhaust port. I did clean it a bit a while back - but maybe give it a good go. You need to be careful of the debris getting into the exhaust port, I make a foam plug and grease it - attach a cord and push it into the port beyond the blockage. You can then work on the carbon. A dremel with sanding wheel works ok - or a small one on a cordless. Emery like that will eat into carbon but not really do much to metal casting.

If the hole is smaller than your little finger it 'really needs doing' !

It should be the size of the wet exhaust elbow.

A new lift pump is about £90 I think - depend where you get it.

Back down tomorrow - Sat. Hoping to get it sorted as we have good tides on Sun evening for about a week - and the weather is forcast high pressure, warm and balmy for the next week or so.

Perfect to head off for Milford !

If I can't get back onto the pontoons, tide wise, I'll stick her on the river mooring - then leave the dingy on the berth. That way, I keep a fingerprint on my berth while the boat is off it. Sort of juggling act - but this area is so tidal you need to be versitile to get the most from it.

Geoff - July 6th 2013.