Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. We're sailing up and down the east coast of Australia after a summer back in Britain.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Too many carbs and the perils of washing up

The thing about our current life if that little things come up, unexpectedly, and suddenly take over in a way that they wouldn't in 'normal life'. 

For example, we bought ten litres of petrol for the outboard engine the other day and mixed in the oil (50:1) as the engine in a 2-stroke. Since then the motor kept hiccuping and then would only run at low revs so we clearly had a problem; Graham painstakingly removed the carburetor (being very careful not to drop any bits in the water) and disassembled it. In the bottom of the float compartment there was some grit and this was also blocking the jets (which spray a fine jet of fuel into the incoming air). He cleaned it all and blew the jets clean, emptied the fuel tank (which had some muck in the bottom), fitted a new in-line fuel filter and put some fresh fuel in.

Once everything was put back together, with no 'bits left over', the motor started and ran fine - for about 10 minutes before the problem resurfaced! Anyway to cut a several-day-long story short, the carb has now been removed seven times, the whole fuel line thoroughly flushed, the jets removed and cleaned with a special carb cleaner aerosol and AT LAST it's running fine. I guess 'back home' where we were relatively cash-rich / time-poor we'd have given the engine over to a mechanic and paid the bill to have it sorted.

Meanwhile Graham's dislike of washing the dishes has been reinforced by the stories from a couple of boats here. Greg, the skipper of Liberty VI, is walking around with his hand bandaged after cutting it badly on a tin in the washing up water (we all wash tins out as they sit in the recycling bin aboard for several days). Many stitches later he's struggling to finish the boat jobs one-handed. Worse still, our good friend Cindi on 'Bravo' fell from the ladder (the boat is ashore) as she climbed down with a bucket of dishes to wash up in the shoreside kitchen. She fell about 3 metres, broke her wrist and cracked a vertebrae in her lower back. She's been in hospital for a few days but, mercifully, the doctors say she'll make a full recovery. Your can read the full story on Bravo's blog HERE - their plans for sailing to the tropics this season have been scuppered.


  1. Thank goodness we bought the dishwasher !! Trish

    1. Yep, Trish, definitely a safety improvement chez vous! G&Dx