Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Friday, 18 November 2016


The long saga of the non-starting generator is finally over! Harrah!

Maunie was fitted with 4kVA 240v AC generator when she was built 19 years ago and it's a very handy bit of kit when we're using too many instruments on an overnight passage, the sun isn't shining hard enough for the solar panels or when Di wants to use her hairdryer (she'll kill me for that comment!).  However its Farymann single-cylinder diesel engine was becoming increasingly hard to start and, in July, gave up on the task altogether.

Thanks to the wonders of those useful forums on the interweb, we found that there's a fairly-common problem of corrosion of the exhaust valve (caused by the salty-steam in the water-cooled exhaust system when you stop the engine) that prevents good compression. We also found that the main Australian agent for Farymann was next door to us in the Boat Works and were given the name of an excellent independent engineer, John Newton, to help us with the project.

First, we took the cylinder head off and could see the corrosion problem pretty easily:

Step 1: Take a brave pill and remove the cylinder head
Looking into the exhaust port we could see some corrosion

The valve was sticky and graunchy when we pushed it against its spring
 We handed the head over to John who stripped it down and confirmed that the problem was indeed the corrosion. He had a machine-shop put in 'stellite' valve seats (a much harder alloy than the original cast iron) and then rebuilt it with a new valve. He gave the cylinder barrel a good clean and check and, on Wednesday, came onto Maunie to put it all back together again.

Shot-blasted, painted and honed, the cylinder head and barrel ready to go back.
We're delighted to report that the engine now runs beautifully, so the £850 or so in parts and labour (ouch!) means that the generator has a new lease of life and Di can get the hairdryer out again! 

Di here: Actually,it's not quite so simple as we've also come up with a system to fresh water flush the generator after use so as to avoid future corrosion. So you're not telling me that Graham will allow the generator to be fired up just to dry my hair! Back to letting it dry in the sun!😎😉

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