Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

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
14 October 2020 | Gibraltar
27 September 2020 | La Linea
18 September 2020
04 September 2020 | Menorca, Spain
13 August 2020 | Pollença, Mallorca

Engine troubles: Isola Favignana to San Vito lo Capo; 30nm travelled

04 September 2014 | San Vito lo Capo
Nichola / sunny, light winds
The culprits for the engine problems - split in the sea water coolant pipe and the corroded solenoid connector

Our journey to the volcanos has had to be delayed due to engine problems. As we attempted to sail today I dropped back the engine revs and put it into neutral. The engine gauges stayed as they had been and showed we were still doing 1800 revs. The whole engine panel was not responding - at some point the gauges had stuck in position giving the impression they were still working. Luckily this meant the on/off switch was broken too as if we'd turned it off we might not have got it going again. The obvious of a loose wire on the panel was unfortunately discounted, a shame as we could have kept going with a simple fix.

There wasn't enough wind to sail anyway so we motored on to San Capo lo Vito where we could anchor and sort out a repair.

It was calm enough to anchor north of the harbour with just a slight swell running in. Having waited impatiently for the engine to cool enough to work around, Colin began inspecting the engine and found the solenoid wire was completely corroded through and had broken off. But why the corrosion? Well, directly above the solenoid was the engine sea water coolant pipe - it turned out to have a split in it where it connected to the exhaust elbow and salty water had been dripping unchecked onto the solenoid.

On inspection, the pipe looked too small for the job and had been kinked when it was forced into place. Eventually it must have split. So much for 'the 'professionally' installed engine. We both felt pretty miserable at what had happened and maybe we wouldn't be getting to the volcanoes after all.

Colin rummaged through the offcuts of pipes we had and found something that would keep us going. New pipe on, clean solenoid terminal of corrosion, new connector on, clean rest of engine to get rid of evil, corrosive salt water.

Three hot and cramped hours later and the sound of Victor firing to life was like sweet music to our ears.

So bad luck it has happened (well more like bad workmanship on account of the people who installed the engine and we were both very angry at them) but lucky that we had a sheltered anchorage we could go to, that we had a suitable bit of pipe (hurrah for hoarding, we'd have been stuffed without that bit of pipe) and that we hadn't had enough wind to sail - otherwise if we'd been sailing when the solenoid wire gave up we'd have not been able to start the engine which could have been a major problem if we needed it in an emergency.

Plus the views here are stunning! Mission volcano will resume again tomorrow.....
San Capo lo Vito

Comments
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/
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Emerald's Photos - Emerald Tales (Main)
3 Photos
Created 30 August 2011
Falmouth to Essex via Orkney
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 12 August 2011
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To show before and after shots of the Chart table refurb.
9 Photos
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To show modifications to aft cabin as we go
13 Photos
Created 10 October 2008