Engines. Who’d have ‘em eh?

So we set off on a jolly this aft with the intention of going OUT OF THE ENTRANCE to the local yokel pub to have a drink and check out the winding hole for turning. We can’t go much further than that if we turn right because the canal goes narrow towards Burton. There’s another winding hole further on, but hey, we just wanted to tootle off ok? (Nope).

The weather was beautiful, the the sun was shining down on the righteous (ha), the birds were a’ twittering and all was well with the world. Till we untied the ropes, then clouds came rolling in, (as per norm), but we would not be deterred…

I’ve already mentioned on the blog, the engine was serviced recently and passed with flying colours,, should’ve said nowt about it.

Dave started her up. She didn’t fire up first time which was unusual, then second time we both heard a loud “POP” but couldn’t tell where it came from. So again, undeterred, I was driving us neatly away from the mooring when it all went “ass about tit” in the engine department. Well it had to be me at the tiller didn’t it??? I got her nicely lined up, put her into 5th gear the revs up a bit and a warning light came on, along with alarms galore. (Plus a very un-nerving buzz). It was like being on the Starship Enterprise in the middle of an asteroid storm…
The batteries stopped charging, then the engine started over-heating, but by that time we were out in the middle of no-mans land. So it was a case of carry on? Or back up to where we came from?. The general vote between us was to limp along to the service area nursing a very hot engine. Amazingly, before we got there it started to cool down and the batteries started charging again. BUT we were left with the VERY LOUD buzzing noise coming from, well somewhere in the vicinity…

Fortunately the guy who serviced the engine was around and came to the rescue, turns out there was an air lock in the cooling system, so gallons of water plus anti-freeze were poured in. He told us Isuzu engines can have all sorts of problems but they just keep on running, (true, heard that before). So was it sorted? No, the buzzing noise continued, and that’s an electrical thing… The guy checked the alternators and both were problem free, so it’s a wire or something that’s causing one of them to draw power from where it shouldn’t be.

So the “zzzz” is all part of THAT warning noise trying to shout out loud – then not being able to because even though there’s a problem, it’s not critical. Tell you what though I couldn’t go boating with that racket going on, sounds like a beehive with an amplifier attached to it…

Hence the burning question is, why did two totally unrelated problems happen at exactly the same time? I know, it’s because I mentioned how happy the engine has been, and an electrician will be coming to a TT soon to fiddle about with her wiring, he he he…

AND, we still haven’t solved yesterday’s conundrum about the length of the boat. In fact it’s got more complicated than before. We checked it out again today, TT’s back end’s sticking out a foot further than the 57 footer next door, and the front end about 4ft. Which now takes us to 62 foot long. I mean I’ve heard of boat stretching but this is ridiculous. Oh, and Dave’s in agreement now! (Nyaa told ya so).

AND, last but not least a message for Mike the meerkat. Dave’s watching “Planet earth live”
on BBC1, a meerkat’s just been bitten by a snake and it survived! We were most concerned…

6 thoughts on “Engines. Who’d have ‘em eh?

  1. Oh bugger… it all happens to you Heth 😦

    Glad you found Derby, if not the right hospital, sorry they closed the old one without telling sputnik first… LOL

    Hope you get the engine and electrics fixed without too much trouble or expense (otherwise you'll be eating into the biscuit budget!! LOL).

    BTW how heavy is TT… compared to a Beaver 23' Wilderness GRP that is… just in case you need bowhauling… have to think about my back 🙂


  2. Hi Heth,

    It is most unlikely that an engine is going to overheat and cool down again in the space of a few minutes.

    It is also unlikely that the alternators are going to fail and then come back to life in the same time scale.

    Before wasting any more of your money listening to people telling you it is a “air lock” or some other such nonsense take a long look at your buzzing instrument panel.

    Due to lack of use and damp getting in, it is probably is giving you false information.

    Regards Chris.


  3. Hi Chris,

    First of all, Damp isn't an issue thanks to the luxury conservatory, no water gets near the engine 'ole or the instrument panel. It's as fully protected from the elements as is possible. In fact it's more protected than many boats. The engine bay is always bone dry, whatever the weather.

    Even in the depths of winter we run the engine at least once a month – dare I say to the pumpout? Which keeps things from settling, such as fuel etc.

    Dave's been an engineer all his life. So he does understand (most) of it, considering it was aircraft he worked on there's an element of transition. So there's no chance of being ripped off.

    However, when it all happened, without being able to get under the hood & because the engine was so hot, we just had to chug on.

    Engine temp started off at 78 degrees which is normal, the cooling system kicks in & keeps it steady.

    No word of a lie, 2 mins after setting off, temp suddenly shot up to 90 degrees (warning lights etc). At the same time the charge to the leisure batteries stopped dead. More warnings.
    Within another minute the engine temp dropped DOWN to 40 degrees! Then another minute was back up to normal (78 degrees). And the leisure batteries started charging again.

    After that we continued, still with the buzzing noise – coming from the control panel.

    So by the time we got to the service area, the air lock (& it was an air lock – read on)had worked it's way through the release valve.

    The Isuzu engineer knows these engines inside out, the hire boats here all have them. And there's an Isuzu service centre here at the marina that he works from full time. So he knows what's what.

    When he had a look he took note of how much was now missing from the cooling system & filled it up with a mix of 50 / 50 antifreeze & water. It took 6 litres…

    Then he checked for any leaks, there weren't any. So that problem was definitely an air lock. And Dave's checked it again today, no slow leaks. Engine bay dry as a bone as usual.

    The engineer did another mini service at no cost. Alternators both fine, no probs.

    So yes, we're left with an electrical problem inside the control panel / steering column. Dave's booked an appointment with an electrician to come round (who also looks after all the hire boats & comes highly recommended).

    We didn't listen “to people,” there was no-one else around anyway. We listened to an expert here at the marina & he was right.

    People can be based in marina's & still know what's what.



  4. Hi Kev,

    Yup, never a dull moment here, although one prob was sorted there's still the electrical thing to deal with. But never mind we know “a man who can” lol.

    Never mind, we'll all be in for some good weather while we sit here unable to go out (the electrician's booked up a bit). The sun will shine, 30 degreesC, no wind. Perfect, & we can't move……

    Weight? 23 tons, so that little GRP should be fine for a tow lol.

    Thought we might have to switch off & get towed back at first! I was on the phone to Chris & Sarah shouting “we're f*cked.”

    {Drama queen}


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