I was going to do a quick review of the new boat (Warrior 150) and post up some pictures of us chugging around the harbour…well that was the plan.
Seeing as how the weather was so glorious yesterday we decided to take the new boat out for a spin around the harbour, why only the harbour you ask? A couple of reasons really, first of all to get used to dropping it in and getting it back out away from the usual audience of the breakwater kiosk and much more importantly because we hadn’t tried the engine and there is no way I’m heading out to sea in a boat that hasn’t been tested. It turned out to be a wise decision.
When the lad sold the boat he was quite open in explaining he’d had a few issues with the Mariner 60hp 4-stroke on the back, it was dropping power “a bit” at WOT but he’d spent a lot of money having it serviced and the fuel lines and pump changed. Thanks to the stunning weather we’ve had since November it hadn’t been tested since this work and on the day we had intended to go for a test drive the weather was blowing a force 8 north easterly! To be fair to him he was still very willing to get out there and show off what he was selling. He was also open to arranging for it to be sent back to the marine engineers if they hadn’t solved the problem so there was no real risk involved in buying, other than it braking down and leaving us stranded!
Anyway, jump forward to yesterday and we get the boat in the water. It starts first turn (good sign), power delivery is smooth (good sign), stearing is heavy (bad sign, stearing rod needs greasing), we spent 20 minutes cruising around the harbour without issue (good sign). Then just as I’m lining up to get it back on the trailer it starts spluttering and missing big time. Well fuck a duck, it cuts out on me just in range of getting a rope on to it. Not the worst of timings even if I do say so myself. Once hitched up we spent a good half hour buggering about with it, it wouldn’t even turn over! Then the old man has a brain-wave, it’s almost as if it’s stuck in gear, much messing about with the throttle later (this is the 3rd boat I’ve seen now with the problem of a sloppy gear engagement, it feels like it’s in neutral but it’s not). Then to work out what is going on with the engine and why it spluttered to a stop. 50p to whoever can guess what the problem was?
First thought was the work that had already been done. These 4-stroke Mariners are known for having issues where something swells up and interferes with the cooling/fuel systems. I was hoping this one was already old enough to have had the problem and the factory fix applied. Otherwise big fix, big money, not great*. Ignoring that possible major problem we worked back from the engine to the fuel tank, cover off and everything looks OK, is there any fuel leaks? No. Did I prime the bulb? Yes. Did I open the fuel vent? Yes. Errr, or maybe not. It felt open but another couple of turns and a big release of vapour later and I think we have the cure to our problem. What a stupid bastard school boy error! It did start up fine after that but sounded a little rough, no wonder really and we’ll have to wait now to get it in the water properly and get it opened up to see how it really goes at high revs. On the plus side having this problem did also turn up another issue in that the new fuel line is sucking in a little air around one of the jubilee clips, all in all I’m glad we decided to try it where we did and didn’t just rush out to sea. When I bought my last boat it’s maiden voyage was a trip around half the island including the Calf Sound so I’m slowly but surely learning about being a bit more careful!
Fingers crossed that’s all it was and once we’ve got everything tightened up it will be smooth sailing from here on in. For what we’ve got we paid a very good price but it would still be nice if eveyrthing could just work without any major problems, but that’s not usually the way with boats is it? What is it they say, Bung On Another Thousand. I hope not.
* The Mariners have this problem, every other manfacturer seems to have their own specific “big” issue. Suzuki’s don’t like being left. Old Evinrude’s have problem’s with the 2-stroke oil injection system etc etc The reason we chose this boat was because with Mariner being the Ford’s of the boating world at least the parts are relatively cheap andjust about any marine engineer can work on them.