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New Instrument Gauges - Installing

Over the last week, I've been busy fitting the new Faria instrument gauges that we purchased from ASAP Supplies earlier this month. The dials themselves were very easy to fit as all the wiring from the factory-fit Volvo Penta gauges were all colour coded and cable tied neatly behind the dashboard. This meant that all we had to do was remove the ring terminal crimp connectors from the Volvo dials and refit them straight back onto the new Faria gauges. A couple of the crimp connectors were in need of replacing but we've got a huge box of them so this wasn't much of an issue.

The new gauges went in quickly and easily and each one works with the existing sensors/senders that are fitted to the boat. The only things we need to replace are the fuel sender units in the tanks as we want to be sure the senders provide an accurate reading. Other than that, each gauge is now in and working. It's a huge improvement to the dashboard - not only practically but aesthetically. The gaug…

New Instrument Gauges - Delivery

Today we received a box from ASAP Supplies containing most of the new Faria dials for the Bandit's dashboard. The instruments we currently have are the original Volvo Penta ones which were fitted 25 years ago when the boat was built. They all seem to work perfectly fine but they are really showing their age and we felt it was time for a bit of an upgrade. We chose to go with the black face Faria gauges with a stainless steel bezel which would look far nicer on the dash compared to the black Volvo dials.

We've had every dial delivered apart from the two oil pressure gauges which are on back order and will be with us shortly. We've gone for two tachometers with a digital engine hour meter built in which means no further holes need to be cut in the dashboard to accommodate two separate engine hour gauges. We've also got two temperature gauges and two fuel gauges. We are doing away with the two volt gauges and instead will put a single volt gauge in (with a switch over roc…

Port Engine Distributor Overhaul

We've just received the port engine distributor back in the mail after it's refurbishment. The whole distributor has been sandblasted, the electronic module and internal parts have been replaced and the whole unit has been trialled and tested on another 4.3l V6 engine. The unit now works perfectly and the ignition advances smoothly and as it should.

The company that overhauled the distributor said that the electronic module had completely failed and no spark was being made, hence why the port engine failed to start. We've also concluded that me leaving the engine ignition switched on for a long amount of time (due to lifting the outdrive up to check the propellers and then getting in a couple hour conversation with a friend in the marina before switching it back off again) is very likely to have blown the electronic ignition within the distributor. Lesson learnt is all I can say.

We also asked the company to supply us with a new ignition coil for that engine as the one we&…


We've taken a month to forget about Bandit's refurbishment and decided to make the most of the nice weather we've had recently in order to use the boat more. We've now been looking further into Bandit's refurbishment and have made choices and purchased bits and pieces.

We have run into an issue with the port engine where the electronic ignition within the distributor had blown so the distributor is now with a refurbishment company where they will completely overhaul it and send it back to us after testing. We don't know what caused the module to fail but we suspect I left the ignition switched on after raising the port outdrive and forgetting to turn it back off again. No matter, the distributor was due an overhaul like we had previously had done with the one from the starboard engine.

So, what have we done, decided on or purchased recently?
1 - We've decided to go ahead with the helm dashboard upgrade and are going to order a new set of dials from Faria Gau…

Sit Back Monday at Anchor

A couple of photos from a 'sit back Monday' on the river with friends.
We went up the river to the first lock and anchored up in front of the sluice to play around with the DJI 4 phantom drone. It was brilliant to get such an amazing and different perspective of Bandit from all different angles. It was also my first time at anchor in this boat which was very exciting. It was lovely to just sit with the engines off on the hook, far out of everyone's way, and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and hot weather we had today.

Larger Upcoming Jobs

Since our purchase of Bandit, we've been making a list of some larger jobs that we eventually want doing. We're planning on just getting them over and done with before the end of the year so we need to start thinking and planning some things through. We would have done these things sooner but we've had larger priorities and investments that needed doing to the boat over the last year and a half.

The list includes:

Have a new canopy made and fittedReplacement of all the engine instrument gauges at the helm (with Faria gauges)Have the cabin reupholstered + pelmets and curtainsHave the midships cabin reupholsteredReplace all the headlining in the midships cabinReplace the old carpet in the cabin and midships cabinRefit the galley with new worktop, appliances etcHave Tek-Dek synthetic teak made up for the two steps leading to the cabinHave Tek-Dek synthetic teak laid down at the helm

Petrol Fuel Tank Cleaning

When we purchased Bandit in January 2016, we found that both the port and starboard petrol tanks contained very bad fuel that had been sat there for a good number of years. Due to this, the engines were only just in working order. They would not start and when they did finally fire, they ran awfully. We pumped all of the petrol out in February 2016 from both tanks and disposed of it before refilling both tanks with fresh petrol. Although this cured the engine starting issues, we've recently discovered lots of debris in the starboard tank only. The port tank is perfectly clear and causes us no issues.

We've spoken to a local engineering company who say that this build up of debris in the starboard tank is 'petrol varnish'. This varnish looks like little stones and flakes that cover the entire of the bottom of the tank.

Now, why is this a problem? This debris keeps getting sucked up through the fuel system and is blocking the fuel filters every time the bow of the boat r…