Sunday, 2 October 2011

End of an Era

The sad news is that I have sold Jelly Bean.   Jelly and I have had some great adventures and she has helped me become the (in)competent sailor that I'm am today :-)   As the weather this weekend was forecast unseasonally good I managed to persuade Julie to join me for a farewell trip to Brownsea Island. Julies over-riding condition was that we motored and didn't use the sails... Not a problem as there was hardly any wind to speak of.

Once out on the boat the first job was to refuel the tank.  Ahhh the engine hadn't been as thirsty as I had thought, the bayonet fit connector on the fuel line had disconnected itself during the rough crossing last week, making it feel like there was no fuel when I squeezed the priming bulb.   Reconnected and hey presto.. it still wouldn't fire.  Out came the plug, a quick clean and off it went.

We motored across the harbour, around the top of the island, past pottery pier and anchored near the site of the old pottery kiln. Just as I was ready to let the anchor go the engine died again,  I tried to restart it but it wouldn't go. I guess the plug would need cleaning again.  There was no hurry as it was time for lunch and a bit of a chill out.

After lunch I inflated the dinghy and we paddled ashore for a stroll around the island, stopping for a pot of tea at the cafe before heading back to the boat. On the way back we saw this cheeky chap munching on fallen chestnuts.

alright my deer
 Back on board and I tried the engine again, still no luck, so out came the spark plug again.  I got the engine running but not for long and this time it didn't want to go again.  After about 45mins of trying I decided we needed to get the sails up, if we didn't want to get left high and dry when the tide went out.   Julie was less than impressed but we had to do it.  Funnily enough by the time we'd sailed back past pottery pier and into the main part of the harbour again Julie was saying how nice it was with the sails up... there is hope.
Julie enjoying the sailing experience

The breeze was perfect for a relaxed sail but as always it was coming at us from the exact direction I wanted to go.  The tide was on its way out which help drag us in the right direction but I was having to use lots of the harbour with long tacks to get back towards the mooring.   Eventually, about 800 yards from the mooring we ran out of water. I jumped over the side to try to push us back into deeper water but it was no good, the tide was rushing out and within minutes I could see the bilge plates.  

We would be stuck there until about 20:45 (2 hours) so I made use of the time by getting the engine running (This time it ran and ran nicely, the spark plug needs changing as once stopped it won't start again without being cleaned at both the Gap and the top), putting the sails away and generally tidying.  We then put the wash boards in and closed the hatch, put the iPod on and chilled out until it was time to go again.
As the water came back I gave the plug one last clean and we were off, it took us about 4 mins to get to the mooring, that's how close we where.

Julie said she thought Jelly Bean had nobbled the engine so that she could prove she was nice to sail on.   I shall be back on Jelly Bean next week but only to take her out of the water. I'll give her a quick wash down then I'll have to arrange with her new owner when and how to get her to her new home.
If anyone reading has or knows of a bilge keel Hurley 20 for sale please let me know.. I'm starting to get the jitters about not having a boat!


  1. What is it about you and engines... :o))

    Was out yesterday and a Hurley 20 went past - least ways I assume it was from the H20 on the sail...

  2. So come on - fill us all in on what you're up to...! :o)