Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

15 January 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2022 | Porto Santo
19 August 2022 | Porto Santo
29 July 2022 | Porto Santo, Madeira
02 October 2021 | Faro, Portugal
06 June 2021 | Alcoutim
28 May 2021 | Alcoutim
16 April 2021 | Rio Guadiana
31 March 2021 | The Balearic Isles
20 March 2021 | Ayamonte
05 March 2021 | Alcoutim
17 February 2021 | Ayamonte
05 February 2021 | Culatra
27 January 2021 | Alcoutim
19 January 2021 | Larenjeiras, Portugal
08 December 2020 | Puerto Sherry
17 November 2020 | Playa de Bolonia

What to do With Our Broken Sailboat Engine?

15 January 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
At the end of our last blog, we'd managed to successfully get the pistons in the hydrolocked engine moving. Or so we thought. When we reassembled the engine block head and tried to turn the engine over again, it seemed sluggish and we could hear an ominous squeak. So, what next for our broken sailboat engine?

We'd done all we could with the engine in-situ, so the next step was to have it lifted out of the boat. With that we'd have better access to work on its components. However, time then got away from us as illness and life demands ate up our resources. As a consequence, it wasn't until the end of December that we were finally ready to have the engine lifted.

With the engine sat on a pallet in a shed, we got out first really good look at it. Initial thoughts were that we could still see a lot of rust. Was it terminal or could we bring Victor the Volvo back to life?

From our social media postings, we've had a few questions and suggestions for solutions, so I thought we'd document our options.

To read the full blog, click here.

A Hydrolocked Engine - Off With Its Head!

15 September 2022 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
On our arrival in Porto Santo, we'd discovered Emerald's Volvo Penta D2-75 engine would not start. After sailing into the anchorage then being towed to a relatively safe anchor spot within the harbour, we had begun to investigate the problem. We had since replaced the fuel lift pump, but this was just a side track. Now, it seemed extremely likely that we had a hydrolocked engine. Somehow, water had found its way back into the engine from the exhaust system.

The evidence that pointed to a hydrolocked engine was the fact that despite trying various means, we couldn't get the engine to turn over. To confirm the hydrolock and to attempt repairs, we would need to remove the engine head. With the cylinders then exposed, the hope was that we'd be able to clean them up and get them moving again. However, there were a lot of steps to complete before we got to that point.

To read the full blog, click here.

A Sailboat With a Broken Engine

19 August 2022 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
We had arrived after a boisterous sail from mainland Portugal to the island of Porto Santo. However, on approach to the island, the engine had failed to start. We'd managed to sail into the anchorage outside the harbour, where further tests indicated we definitely had a broken engine.

After a good night's sleep we felt more ready to face the horrors. First things, to get Emerald into a safer location. The anchorage off the beach at Porto Santo seemed OK, but if we did drag, it would be next stop Canaries. Or maybe Brazil. Sailboats are made to move with the wind, but in close quarters, such as a marina, an engine is essential. So, our broken engine meant we couldn't manoeuvre Emerald safely into the harbour. We thought about towing her ourselves with the dinghy, but at 8hp, the outboard just isn't powerful enough.

We launched the dinghy and went ashore to visit the harbour office who were able to offer a tow at a reasonable price and arranged to be with us at 2pm.

To read the rest of the blog, please click here to go to our website.

Sailing to Porto Santo

29 July 2022 | Porto Santo, Madeira
Nichola Wright
On a sunny Saturday morning, we raised the main, and turned away from mainland Portugal. Our destination: Porto Santo, part of the Madeira archipelago, 435nm away.

The sea was flat calm in the Enseada de Sagres, where we had spent the night. However, once we cleared Cabo Sagres - the headland that holds Henry the Navigator's fort - we met a light swell and stronger wind from the north. We unfurled the foresail, and silenced the engine. Emerald was now sailing on a course roughly west-south-west, which we would maintain the whole way across.

To help us with the passage we had a third crew member onboard - Harry the Hydrovane. After a little bit of adjustment, it steered us all the way to Porto Santo.

To read the full passage report click here.

Boat Refit: At Long Last It's Time to Leave the Boatyard

18 June 2022 | Faro, Portugal
Nichola Wright | Dry and Sunny
At long last, the time had come to leave the boatyard. Late on a Friday afternoon, the launch crane rumbled along and transferred Emerald from her support cradle to the slings. The yard is closed over the weekend, and allows boats to hang in the slings during that time before launching on Monday. We felt excitement bubbling at being so close to escape, but we had one major job to complete. When we Coppercoated in April, we weren't able to access the patches underneath the cradle supports nor below the keel. The two days in the slings would give us access to these areas with sufficient time for applying and drying the product.

We'd booked the crane a week ago, thinking surely there'd be no risk from wet weather in the middle of May. However, on Thursday, the weather forecast was showing a chance of light rain for Friday night. We laughed. What else could we do?

Thankfully, it was just the forecast gods messing with us. The rain stayed away and by Saturday lunchtime the job was finished. After a busy week of preparing for launch, the water tanks were full, as were the fuel tanks. We had gas for at least 6 months and the food stores were groaning. There was nothing else to do until Sunday evening when we would lightly sand the Coppercoat. With this unexpected free-time, we rewarded ourselves with a meal out and a last Faro wander.

To read the full article, please click here to read it on our blog.
Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
About: One from Northern Ireland, one from Yorkshire, UK
Extra: Emerald has been our home since 2004. We've sailed around the UK, the western Baltic and have spent 7 years in the Med. We're currently in Portugal, planning a refit. Lot's more information about us and the boat can be found at www.yachtemerald.com
Home Page: https://www.yachtemerald.com/