Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Final Solution for the oil leak and a mooring at a film location.

Although the stern gland and bearing now seemed to be behaving, I was still nervous over the whole breakdown affair and next morning I woke determined that today was to be the day to put paid to the oil leak. It had been getting worse to the point where we were losing a nearly litre of oil per day!

Mid morning we cruised into Denham Yacht Station to seek an emergency repair. The lady at the desk was nice but said "I'm sorry, all our engineers are . . useless!", then grinned and said "Only joking" and handed me to John, standing next to her saying, "If he can't fix it, no-one can."

John initially doubted Tony's and my diagnosis for the source of the leak, but crouching in the engine bay while I started her up, he quickly agreed. "Yep, I can see it dribbling down. We can soon fix that". It wasn't easy because both ends of the pipe had to be dismantled, the washer replaced, and then it needed two people to hold the pipe in line for it to be reattached securely.

It turned out that the old washer was damaged and that engine vibration had probably made matters worse by slackening the joint. Here's the fitting with the old washer on.

A simple thing, but not easy to fix in the confined space of an engine bay, and it took nearly two hours all told. Anyway, they did a good job at no notice and I'd certainly use them again.

We still had time to cruise for the afternoon, and tootled on up to Stocker's Lock for the night. While we were there we were visited by a guy from a film crew who were due to be shooting a horror movie there at the weekend. They needed to make sure that all the boats would be gone by then. This apparently would involve "bribing" the permanently moored boats nearby to disappear for a couple of days. Then they were to dress up the canal to make it look like a river, covering up the towpath and so on.

Up to a favourite spot, a nervous oil check, and a clean up.

One of the nicest bits on the southern Grand Union is the area around Grove and Lady Capel's lock, so that's where we went for the next night, mooring up opposite the waterfall feeding the old mill building. Nervously I used the dipstick to check our oil level and was pretty sure we hadn't lost any so far. What a relief! "Lets clear out the lost oil then" said Kath, and stripping down to Tee shirt and knickers climbed in with one of those kitchen basters with a suction bulb and began the long process of retrieving the leaked oil from the engine tray. What a star!

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