messing about in boats

Dirty, mucky, horrible…

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on July 25, 2010

Another exciting instalment of “messing about in boats” aka “dicking about with broken engines”!

  • Johnson 8hp: Buggered. Needs a new exhaust tube and thermostat.
  • Archimedes Penta 3.9hp: Buggered. Needs a new fuel valve and carburettor float valve.
  • Seagull 102: No spark.

In fairness to the Seagull, she was manufactured about 70 years ago and appears to be completely original, right now to the screw-tip 3 piece spark plug. I suspect given a good clean and service she’ll be right as rain. It probably doesn’t help that she’s been sat in a box for nearly 25 years.

Meanwhile, Chris has more or less finished his Matilda and has promised a test sail soon.

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Home Straight (Maybe)

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on July 9, 2010

I must admit I’ve neglected this blog lately, what with being busy at work and no real sailing taking place.

My Johnson 8hp’s been in the shop at Ron Hale Marine. Turns out the exhaust trumpet is rotten and needs replacing but the part alone is over £300. I guess I’ll be looking out for another one on ebay to scavenge for parts.

The Archimedes Penta’s poorly too. I had a really nice afternoon just rowing about in Eastney Lake with Sarah after we set off for Nervous Tension and the screw holding the carburettor float bowl on shook itself loose and fell in the sea. Oops. Sarah’s now pretty convinced she’s as cursed with boats as she is with cars.

Still, I’m heading down there tomorrow with Stu to do the last serious repairs to the bow and who knows, maybe we’ll get some canvas up if only a jib flapping on the mooring.

Outboard Update

Posted in General Boating Stuff by Joseph Moore on May 26, 2010

Well, my little Archimedes Penta 3.9hp is still running nicely, if with the tendancy to run away with itself occasionally. Might be gunk in the carb, might be bad fuel.

The 8hp Johnson has dried out nicely in the hot weather and is sparking again. So, we have a spark, we have fuel, we have… no combustion. Great. Let’s hope the fuel’s junk. New spark plugs on their way so I’ll get a new tankful to give it a proper test at the weekend.

She Lives!

Posted in General Boating Stuff by Joseph Moore on May 15, 2010
Archimedes Penta 3.9hp Outboard

Archimedes Penta 3.9hp Outboard

Thoroughly productive afternoon getting my old Archimedes Penta 3.9hp outboard to run. A new spark plug and a fabulous polyester filler bodge on the fuel valve and she fired into life after half a dozen or so pulls of the cord. Blue smoke everywhere!

There’s not much out there about these engines other than they’re ridiculously simple and often compared to the British Seagull. The one huge bonus is that there’s no exposed flywheel to do yourself a mischief on and it seems ever so slightly quieter, though that might just be my wishful thinking…

A Lesson In Being Gentle

Posted in Boat Building & Maintenance by Joseph Moore on March 22, 2010

Take the fuel tank off an old Archimedes Penta outboard and give it a fresh coat of paint and a wash out. Simple, right? Would be if the fuel valve outlet hadn’t sheared off. In fairness, I wasn’t being that heavy handed; it was really really corroded. Anyone know where I can get a new one (or something resembling it) from?

Seacat Marine seem to hold a lot of spares for the Penta 3.9hp engine but surprise surprise no fuel valves. I could do with a service kit for the Bing carburettor while I’m at it…

Archimedes Penta 3.9hp outboard fuel valve

Archimedes Penta 3.9hp outboard fuel valve