Originally Posted by barnakiel
Good luck and let us know your adventures!
So an update.
A few weeks back we headed down to Belleville to launch at the public launch. I picked up a Minn Koka 55 electric
as I figured it would do, saving me the trouble of getting the 5 HP gas serviced and in operation. Another Sandpiper I looked at had one and I thought it would be a reasonable idea. I was wrong.
I was also wrong on set the stays any old way and figure it out on the water. Most of the time there was plenty of wind
, too much really to play about with the stays and mast position. With a good wind, I didnít notice a problem, but when the winds got light, like say near shore at dusk when trying to dock
, I could not steer into the wind. Who knew that too much lee helm
could make a boat not able to sail! Had to jump in and pull it the last 100 metres or so, being both unable to sail and unable to motor
. That wasnít the only time we got trapped by no helm
in low winds.
Turns out the Minn Kota is only usable in perfect conditions. A bit of wind and rampant weeds is not perfect conditions. It was flat out useless.
So lessons for next time out: Get the gas engine
booted up. Set the mast tipped all the way back and hopefully have heavy weather
helm so that I can hunt down the sweet spot in between. Get some mechanical advantage so that I can tighten up the furling jib halyard
and not have such a saggy headsail. Get a long paddle.
So I get a recommendation on a shop and bring the engine in. I ask to be able to watch the servicing as I am an electrical
guy, not mechanical. Never been a motorhead which is unfortunate as nothing electronic made after about 1980 is repairable whereas engines made today look quite similar to those of 30 years ago and are still quite able to be worked on by a home mechanic
. I intend to work on this hole in my education. So the lady says sure and sets up an appointment for 10 days hence.
Of course, the 10 days goes by and I show up. No, I canít watch, insurance
you know. So an hour later they come back with fluids changed, but wonít go into reverse. Leave it with us.
Now some 3 weeks after the maiden trip, we head
out with newly serviced engine and 4 day plans. We last 1 day before heading home. The engine wouldnít reliably run. We couldnít even get started as we launched in Combermere and needed to motor
down the narrow Madawaska River to reach Lake Kamaniskeg. Changed fuel filter
. Changed fuel
. I was highly pissed as I clearly indicated to the shop that the machine had not been run in years and I was completely ignorant. I would have thought that a new fuel filter
and a new spark plug
for the $15 would have been automatic and a no brainer, but I would have been and was wrong. The fuel
filter was certainly old as the white plastic was yellowing, and the spark plug
didnít look virgin either.
I canít say for sure whether my problems were latent in the engine and the service
job was bad, or that the original gas was the problem. I got the first gas from a campsite and it was quite yellow, as compared the more clear colored fuel I later obtained at a busy gas station. Both were billed as 91 octane, which as I understand is likely to have less ethanol in it.
So the next day, I grab the trusty 55 gallon steel
drum that had been sitting around doing nothing but rust for the 5 years since my buddy gave it to me, and set it up under the engine which is mounted on the boat. Filled it with water and proceeded to play around. By now, I had another clear plastic fuel filter installed that I purchased from a small marine
repair shop in place of the lawn mower filter I got at a hardware
store. At one point I saw a rice sized piece of crud float in and out of the filter. It was clearly time to get aggressive with the fuel system.
I cut the hose off downstream of the primer bulb and fuel came streaming out. That part was running free. I poked the compressor
blower fitting into the fuel connector and blew out that section and reassembled with a hose clamp. Then I blew out the first little piece of hose inside the engine too. I changed the spark plug, but that was likely not the issue, more likely I flooded the engine and a dry plug fixed that issue. Donít know for sure what was the magic, but now the engine worked and works to this day. Thanks to hanging around here the past 2 years, I knew that the fuel system and fuel is suspects 1 to 5 in a misbehaving engine, and was the culprit here too.
We headed out again to Belleville for 3 or 4 days and I donít recall
anything being materially wrong. It was windy as stink most of the time. We probably should have not been out, and if I did not already know how to sail, could have had some serious trouble. At one point, we had just reefed main up and it was still too much sail. We had anchored out in Hay Bay and had plans to get to Picton, but my wife was getting nervous with the rough beating to windward, so we turned around and made Deseronto on a broad reach and stayed there for the night anchored out off the island. The next day we got back to Belleville, beating the whole way for about 7 hours. I donít seem to have a tack angle under 110 or 120 degrees and am not sure yet if it is me or the equipment
. Probably both. Anyhow, it wasnít fast.
The most recent trip was 2 days on Lake Kamaniskeg near Barryís Bay, followed by 2 days on the Ottawa River at Pembroke. Nothing particularly noteworthy by was of equipment
issues or captain
I know I want some more sail options. It is frustrating to roll up the 120% because the gusts are pounding, then to only make maybe 3 knots in the lulls under main sail alone. (It is frustrating that I only have roller furling
not roller reefing). Of course I am not sure if the winds I encountered are typical, I mostly see people complaining of too little wind in Ontario during the summer, not too much. At the other end, it was a slow drift down from Trenton way one hot afternoon without some kind of light wind downwind sail or even any means to pole out the 120% jib
All in all it has been fun. My wife says she is very pleased we picked up this boat as it is a much more suitable learning
platform than the Ontario 32 will be. The new name will be ďTeach HerĒ, a play on both the fact that she is learning
to sail on this boat, and the fact that she is a teacher. I donít know exactly what it will be but I suspect all the blundering around we do on this boat will save us money equal to the cost of the boat, or more, on an expensive cock up avoided in the Ontario 32.