More Problems

You read that correctly. We have encountered more problems with Bandit. :(

More specifically, it began when Dad realised the strong smell of petrol coming from somewhere in the guest cabin. First thoughts were is it coming from the engine compartment or beneath the guest bed where the fuel tanks are located? A quick check of the engine bay revealed a petrol-soaked starboard engine. The new (yes, NEW) starboard Rochester carburetor has flooded and was leaking from the gasket, dripping onto the manifolds and running down the side of the engine. In short, not a great thing to be happening when spark plugs are present. We've contacted the company in which we purchased these carbs from and they've given us a piece of advice; remove the carb, turn it upside down and whack it with a hammer. They believe that the needle valve that regulated petrol coming into the carb has got stuck or that the float has got stuck, allowing too much petrol to enter the carb, forcing it to overfill and seep out the gasket onto our manifolds. This issue currently lies in our to-do list for this upcoming weekend. Dad can not take the carb apart to mend the needle valve or float as this voids the one-year warranty with the company. More to come on that story.

Secondly, while attempting to start the petrol-soaked starboard engine (yes, I know it's not the best idea I've had), Dad realised the exhaust rising from the rear of Bandit's Volvo Penta 290 DuoProp outdrive and not from out the main exhaust exit located at the front of the drive. After a little searching, we've come to the conclusion that there is either a hole in our exhaust bellow, allowing exhaust to escape behind the drive, or that the bellow itself has detached from the drive or it's fallen off altogether. This has only just happened so it's quite hard to tell at this point in time. Luckily, for Christmas a few years ago, I got a GoPro Hero 3+ camera with waterproof capabilities. At the weekend, I'll fire it up and dunk it below the drive to see what's going on. According to online forums discussing this matter, it is not necessary to use the boat with said exhaust bellow. We can use it without the bellow without causing any damage to either the engine or the outdrive. All it means is that the exhaust will breathe from the rear of the drive and will make a different noise to what we're used to - not a problem for us regarding this is the case. Luckily it was the exhaust bellow that decided to give up. If it was the main UJ bellow, water would find its way into the boat through the bell-housing, causing Bandit to fill with water and eventually sink to the bottom of the marina. Not what we would like if at all possible...

So, we either face a £500 slippage fee from the boatyard to get Bandit out the water rather soon and mend the bellow or we leave it until winter this year to get her out the water for four months. No matter when she comes out, the bellow will have to be amended, we will have to re-antifoul the hull, clean up the drives, replace anodes and clean up the props. It's the case of either losing two weeks of our potentially warm summer or four months of our cold winter. It's rather hard to pick. Should we choose to haul Bandit out this summer, we would also consider having a 55kgf Vetus bow thruster installed to her to make life easier on the river. That said, it might be an idea to get her up and running before cashing out £3k on a thruster. As far as we know, there might be a horror story behind this carb resulting in another large splash out of cash.

Not looking too brilliant at this moment in time but I know we'll get it mended one way or another!

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