The engine problems that I mentioned in an earlier blog entry were still there. Every time we tried to sail the engine filled with salt water and was then almost impossible to start.
Via the broker we contacted the previous owner and he assured us that this had never happened, no matter how hard he sailed or on which point of sail.
Three people had looked at the system and all were convinced that everything was as it should be and there was no way that the water could be coming in through the exhaust. But neither could any of them suggest where it was coming from.
Douglas works for Northwind Engineering Ltd. You can contact them as follows: Camusteel, Applecross, Wester Ross, IV54 8LT. 01520 744467 or 01520 733261, firstname.lastname@example.org
And then Douglas came to help. He listened to our description of the problem, took a long hard look at the system and then declared it was the stern gland lubrication that was letting water in. This is a small tube that should be connected to the salt water outlet on the heat exchanger. When the motor was reinstalled, after being cleaned and painted, two pipes were mixed up so that the feed was from the exhaust. As soon as we sailed with no back pressure from the engine, the water flowed back up the tube and in to the engine.
On Sunday we went out for a test sail with the tube disconnected and confirmed Douglas’ theory. Today he “replumbed” everything correctly and finally, after three weeks of problems, we can sail and still have a working engine when we take the sails down.
And Douglas took Heidi to buy engine coolant and they came back with fresh fish.