Tag Archives: engine problems

Engine Problems.

Changing the fuel filters and priming the engine!

 

After the core plug incident, which was fixed up in Thassos, the next blip in the engine department came as we left Paros after a lovely few days with my brother and his family.  We had a fantastic sail back across to Naxos.  Just as we were entering the bay at Agia Annas we put the engine on in preparation to drop the mainsail and anchor in our preferred spot.  As I was going forward to sort out the anchor Ian announced that we had no power.  The engine was on but would not deliver any revs.

We put the anchor down in 12m of water and were holding well.  The forecast for the next few days was for stronger and stronger winds up to 40knts some days.  We put more chain out and tried to fix the problem until the small hours of the morning.

Ian changed the fuel filters and consulted our Cruising Association friends online.  Having primed the engine and tried to eradicate the air inside he was still having no luck getting it going. I had to go ashore the next day to drop my friend Jane so that she could return to France.  I also needed to buy some Calor gas.  I returned to the quay and intending to give the engineers a lift to the boat but the wind was too strong for it to be safe for me to return across the bay and the engineers didn’t fancy it either.

Ian, meanwhile was sitting on the boat on his own and listening to the wind whistle in the rigging and the sea slap the sides of the boat. He was staring at the rocks behind, all the time growing more and more anxious about what might happen if the anchor slipped in the ever increasing winds.  He decided that the best thing was to call the coastguard rather than suffer another 48 hours of strong winds at anchor.

This he duly did and within minutes the coast guard had despatched a small ferry (Kerras Cruises) to come to our rescue.  They brought him in at 6kts strapped to the side of their boat, having patiently assisted Ian to lift 100m of anchor chain.  They deposited Linea on the rough concrete jetty at Agia Annas and we were all mightily relieved.  It took us a further six hours to sort out fenders, lines, springs, fender boards and anchors ‘til we were happy that we were secure and safe on this, the windward side of the quay.

We slept very well that night despite the squeaking up and down against the tyre on the quay.

Next day, the engineers came and were gasping at how much we were being charged by the ferry company for the rescue.  (As were we; but we just glad that we and Linea were safe! – Euros 1500 – ouch!) They had a look at the engine and got it going quite quickly, saying it was air trapped in the engine, ‘like in jail!’

We had to be signed off by a port police surveyor, who arrived in the  afternoon two days later, before Ian could claim his papers back.  We were up early on Saturday 19th August in the calm of dawn and cast off from the quay without incident, even though we had the tricky manoeuvres of removing two anchors at 90 degrees to the boat.  We drove across the bay to anchor again and tidy up.  After a quick engine check we smelt diesel again and rang the engineers to ask them to come back to look once more.

They rapidly arrived and came out in the tender.  After a quick look they tightened a few nuts and headed off again.  We motored all the way to Naxos Town with no problems.

 

That afternoon, Alice and Ian arrived.  We had a lovely evening wandering the alleyways of old town Naxos and ate at Onino restaurant, which was very nice.

Next morning, we prepared for a trip across to Siros in favourable winds.  After an hours’ motoring, the engine conked out and so we turned around and sailed back to Naxos Town.

The engineers made their third visit but couldn’t diagnose any problems because, perversely, the engine started and was running ok!

So, what to do, now????

We all felt that a day on the island was a good distraction from these disturbing engine issues.

The view from the top.

We hired a car and set off for an adventure across Naxos.  We stopped in the mountain village of Koronos and had a late lunch of home-cooked traditional fare at Dalas Taverna, which was delicious.

 

 

Vine covered terrace at Dalas Taverna.

 

The cracked sump and everyone peering in the engine. including interesting Michael!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On arriving back at the car, we saw a stream of oil pouring across the road coming from the sump.  We called the car hire company and the owner arrived in another car after an hour.

We had travelled just about half way back when the second car gave up the ghost.  The fuel pump had gone!

The hire car owner came to fetch us and we all squashed into the car with the damaged sump and drove back to Naxos.  (Cost – Euros 180 since damage to the underside of the car is not covered by insurance – obviously!)

This morning, back on Linea, we were just about to set off again when Ian did his routine engine checks to find coolant all over the engine and in the bilges.

NOT GOOD!  The two Ian’s sussed the problem and then walked all over Naxos town trying to find a radiator cap.

All these problems in quick succession have led to a loss in faith and confidence in the engine.  Even sailing boats need reliable engines. My strong feeling was that we needed to find someone who could look at all parts of the engine and do a proper service – investigating, thoroughly, the cause of the engine stalling.

We rang the surveyor and he recommended Stratos Karoulis.    For Stratos to come to us we needed to be in the marina so I made nineteen calls to the harbour master and finally we decided to just motor in.  Sails at the ready, we drove into the marina.  We were allocated a place and within half an hour Stratos had arrived and was stripping down the engine.

He removed the high pressure fuel pump and sent it off to Athens to be diagnosed.

So, here we are, in Naxos marina in a meltemi wind.

Today, Alice and Ian left us, having sailed all of 9 miles!  We have been so glad of their support during the last few days.

With all these engine issues in both car and boat we just hope we are not jinxed!!

Post script;  A week later, Stratos returned with the reconditioned Fuel Pump and replaced it.  He checked all the other pipes and tubes and declared that as far as he could see all was well.  We need to check the engine under load and for that we will have to motor out for at least an hour to just wait and see how it performs.  So we will head south to an anchorage still on Naxos in case we need the services of Stratos again!

Naxos and Paros with friends and faaaamily!

As soon as we arrived we deployed the dinghy and Ian went to the jetty at Agia Annas to collect the Hill-Cable gang.  They all came back to the boat and Sam and Louis were soon jumping in and defying each other to do more and more intrepid leaps off the boat.  Sam, who had stayed with us in June, was in charge of showing everyone around and explaining the use of the heads!!

We enjoyed a few chilled beers with everyone and I loved showing Sarah and Paddy around Linea.

They headed off to freshen up and and we all met up later for dinner.  Deciding to wander up towards Prokopios we came across an open air cinema showing Zorba the Greek.   It was an interesting film with a young Alan Bates in the lead role and Anthony Quinn as Zorba. It was fascinating to see Crete of old and to learn of the harsh amoral ways of the society then.

The following day Louis was poorly and so Paddy and Sam came out to the boat to chill for the afternoon as the wind was picking up and we didn’t really want to leave her.

My pal Jane, who I used to work with at Malsis, arrived to stay for a few days.   She was thrown right in at the deep end with a trip to the cinema to see Mamma Mia with Bryn and Jill. We all had a good sing!

Next day, Paddy and gang were heading off to Paros.  Jane and I took a bus trip to Naxos town and had a lovely afternoon wandering around the Chora… me reminiscing about the time I spent a night sleeping in the park there with my friend Stephanie Minto in 1979!  (Don’t tell Ivan and Carol!)

 

We were just heading out of the bus station when i heard a familiar voice.  I turned to look and recognised Nikos, whom we had worked for at Powder White during our ski season.  It was quite an extraordinary coincidence as a couple of seconds either way and I would not have seen him. 

On the Sunday, we set sail for the north part of Paros to a wonderful anchorage with safety from winds from any direction.  We anchored in the NE side of the bay and it was stunning despite the power station far off on the south coast of the bay.  Unfortunately, it was a long and exposed dinghy ride to and fro the beach where Paddy and gang were.

Nevertheless, we did manage for them to come to the boat for a day, and for Louis to stay over and watch the meteor shower with us.  We had a good walk along the shore, some snorkelling, a bit of beach time and an exploration of the marina and town of Naoussa.

The town is a lovely jumble of alleyways and squares.  The marina is an interesting place with lots of anchor knitting and big motor yachts taking up a lot of the space.   We decided that we would have to stay at anchor.

We spent lovely, all too few days with the family.  Paddy and gang were due to depart on the Wednesday from Mykonos so we dragged ourselves away just after the sun had gone down and the wind picked up and set off across the bay to the boat, waving a fond farewell as we went.

We were happy to get back to boat after a thorough drenching in the dinghy in huge waves and in the dark!

Spotting a weather window we decided to sail back to Naxos on the Tuesday so that Jane could get back to Athens.  We had a fantastic, heeled over sail back from Paros to Naxos.   We sailed into the anchorage at 8.5kt.  The wind was over 35kts in the bay.  We put away the head sail and switched on the engine.  Just as we were just about to head up to the wind to get the main sail down the engine would not give any power.

Oh shit!  We were quite well into the bay and in reasonably shallow water so we put the anchor down and let out a lot of chain.  Ian went down to inspect the engine.  We were holding nicely. We let out even more chain, cause its better out than in!, and tried to fix the engine and get it started again. 

We took Jane ashore the following morning in relatively calm winds of 22kt. We had sailed only about 50 miles all week and spent most of the time with a load of random people she’d never met.  She handled all this brilliantly, as I knew she would, and we really enjoyed our week with her.   We hope you’ll come again, Jane.