Sunday, 5 December 2010

Engine problems

So far we had a testing week, the fuel lift pump gave up the ghost and we had to drfit in no wind for nearly 22hours on our way back from Thailand, fortunatley the wind picked up and we were able to sail again. In fact by the time we had arrived at Langkawi the sailing was so great that we didnt want to stop despite being tired. The following day a new fuel pump was installed and off we went again only to have the gearbox fail on us, so far the week was testing my mechanical skills and with no forward drive there was little option but to reverse into the marina and berth much to the amusement of any onlookers. They must have all been wondering why we didn´t come in forward like everyone else!
The lessons learned are great experience, always carry extra rations and be prepared for an extended trip. Keep on top of engine servicing schedules (although this was not to blame here) and make sure you can sail  the boat in very light winds.
It also makes you realise how fortunate we are to have mostly reliable engines in modern boats, in the old days many a sailor will have spent hours wallowing around waiting for wind before tacking up a narrow channel to pick up a mooring buoy. It is these skills that we teach during the Yachtmaster training just in case we take a trip down memory lane and find ourselves without an engine, proving that training is invaluable and skills such as sail trim to sail in light winds, sailing into an achorage or onto a harbour wall are not only desirable but at times crucial. For more information on higher level Yachtmaster training click here

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