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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Engineering effort.

The day started overcast but not looking like rain so we were on for a maintenance day. The first job was to assemble all the gear. This isn't quite as easy as it sounds as some is under the seat locker, some in the engine hole and some in the after lockers. To break my self in gently I cleared out the gutters around the boards covering the engine compartment. If not removed periodically they would block the drains so water would flood into the engine hole. After running the engine for a few minutes to thin up the oil I started to drain the engine oil. The sump is fitted with a pump so you can pump it out directly into a receptacle. This was nice and easy, but after getting the most out I left it to drain out some more and started to remove the oil filter to fit an new one. It is the 750 hour service. The filter came off easily enough and I managed to catch most of the oil in a plastic bag. The new one went on and seemed tight. I also checked the air filter and replaced it. By now the remaining oil had drained down into the sump and I was able to remove it to the waste oil container.

The fuel filter also needed replacing. It is in a ludicrous place with the inlet and outlet hoses running down each side and the dip stick line running right in front of it. There was no chance to get a hand round it to twist it and as it hasn't been off since buying the boat it is very tight. I had the same trouble with the oil filter but I could get my hand round that one. I tried putting on a Spanish windlass to try to start it off but no joy. I will have to get a yard to have a go with a proper tool. I did check the first filter in line and it was as clean as a whistle so not too worried about getting it done straight away. The gear box also need an oil change. This is more difficult as the drain is very close to the base plate of the boat so not easy to get anything under it to catch the oil when the sump nut is removed. You can catch it but there is no way to get it out from under without spilling it anywhere! I had bought a pump to do this task. I tried to do it directly from the gearbox but this didn't seem to be very successful so I dropped the oil into a container and pumped it out of there. It was much quicker and cleaner that way. I saw that I should drain and replace the coolant/antifreeze from the engine. That is another job I will have to put off until another day as I don't have any coolant at the moment. I boxed things off and ran the engine to see if there were any leaks but all seemed good. So that was lunch time.

I have used Baldwin filters similar to this when replacing them.

After lunch it was time to start to run cables to fit the Smartguage I have bought. It didn't take too long to pull them through from the battery compartment into the engine hole. It was a little more difficult to get them from there into the cabin and to the site of its future mounting. I had to move the steps, empty the cupboard and then remove a wooden facing. The air vent had been removed previously and whoever had replaced it had ruined the heads of the screws so I couldn't get the wooden panel off. In the end I had to move the solar panel controller and use a little brute force to get it off. I then used the saw to cut a little off so that it would fit round the vent next time.

The offending vent is bottom right/ The blue box bottom left is the inverter/charger and the blue box top right is the solar panel controller. The silver box next to it is the Hurricane heater control box and next to that is the galvanic isolator. The wooden panel hides all the cable that come into the locker. The wires I have run are the blue and brown ones that are loose.

I ran out of time so stowed everything and left it ready to continue. I need to add in a 3 amp fuse to the two positives and then run them in a neat way to the control unit that I have to cut a hole for and mount.

Our output so far. The dark red is rose water that Helen is going to use in baking. The light red is elder flower and raspberry cordial and the yellow elder flower cordial. I think I have over done the lemon as that flavour seems to drown a lot of the elder flower taste. I will know better next time. They are still nice and thirst quenching on a hot afternoon like today.

It is a lovely evening and we are going for a walk and hopefully find a pub in Weston on Trent. We had a lovely evening once in the other Weston on Trent that is near Stone, so who knows what will happen when we get there.


  1. I find to change the gearbox oil it is easier to forget about the drain plug & use a suction pump with a short length of copper pipe on the end of the tube to suck the oil out via the dipstick hole.

    1. Hi Alf, Thanks for the tip. I have bought a pump but was having no luck with it as the suction was collapsing the wall of the suction pipe. The idea of a cooper tube, or similar, to stop that and allow the oil to flow sounds the right way to go. There is never enough room on a boat to do anything easily is there? Happy Sailings, Tony.