Life at the end of the road

February 28, 2011

4.4 TGM :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:35 pm

You could just tell that it was going to be a pure peach of a day today, the sky was pure black velvet at 5:00am studded with stars and the air pressure was 1041millibars and rising. As usual we had no frost at Arnish but I knew the story would be different to the south and after my usual morning rituals I headed down the road to find out.

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A little less moon than yesterday met me at Tarbert but of HMS Astute there was no sign, in fact there was no sign of any boats to the east.

It was a truly magnificent morning but once at work I saw little of it as I spent most of the morning servicing the port generator that had just clocked up 500 hours since it was installed at last December. The two Perkins Sabre 4.4TGM generators were fitted to replace the Lister HRW6 sets that had clocked up some 100,000 hours between them. To be honest there was probably another 100,000 hours of life left in them but spares are getting harder to source and maintenance was labourious  and expensive.

I miss the old Lister’s but the Perkins are half the size, more powerful, more economical and much quieter, though I doubt they’ll last as long.

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The generators are run ‘week about’ and the port one had been in service last week so on ‘start up’ this morning I fired up both, the starboard to supply power and the port one to warm up. Once good and hot I set about servicing it, removing the front cover to check the alternator V belt and draining the 8lts of engine oil into a bucket, a far cry from the Lister’s 20 🙂 As well as oil, fuel and air filters to change there was the Jabsco impeller to inspect.

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By rights it should be taken out but a good look with the back plate off and a power light is enough at the first 500 hours.

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As well as the normal fuel filter there’s a pair of duplex ‘pre filters’ fitted as an extra safeguard against contaminated diesel. These can be switched and changed in service with the engine still running so I changed the one in use then switched over to the reserve one once I’d bled the system and run her up for a while.

To make life simpler for me and easier on the engine I fill all the filters up first before fitting them, the fuel ones with diesel from the tanks and the oil one with new lube oil. The handbook says that it’s necessary to bleed the injectors after a filter change but I find that filling the filter with fuel first negates this 🙂

This took me nicely up till lunchtime whence I wandered along to the village hall to have a look at the various plans for new parking facilities at Sconser. The council were doing a mini presentation of the various options there which were basically a big square area extended sea wards, a long thin area extended westwards and an in between one with a bit of both.

To me the big square one going seaward looked the best option, but then I don’t live at Sconser and have to look at it all day 🙂 It was great that the council consulted Raasay but it is the good folk of Sconser that will have to live with it, lets hope it’s as tasteful as our new ferry terminal 🙂

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That was it really on the work front, I spent the rest of the day painting handrails in the sun 🙂 then after the 16:15 sailing touching up the bits over the side with a roller on a broom handle.

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Pickings must have been good off goat island because Atlantia was back again 🙂

weather 280211

So I’ll just leave you with the weather,

graph 280211

it’s 21:30 and I need my bed.



  1. I cannot help but mention that pre filling filters is not a good practice unless you have pre filtered fuel. The problem is the unfiltered fuel from the tank gets into both sides of the filter when pre filling. Then your modern close tolerance fuel system gets a big gulp of dirty fuel. Fitting the engine with a fuel priming pump will do the trick. Then it will be easier for you and cleaner for the fuel system.

    Comment by Tony — March 1, 2011 @ 2:30 am

    • Fair point Tony but the fuel is drawn from a tap that is checked weekly for water and sediment, however I will devise some cunning plan to filter the fuel in future.

      Thanks, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 1, 2011 @ 5:54 am

  2. I admire your stamina–When I start duty at 07h I am up usually at 04h30 or 04h45 at the latest and by the time I’m home after a 12h shift drained physically and on some days emotionally(we lost 4 patients in one day last week)all I manage to do when getting home is walk the dog and fall into bed about 20h30-45.Suppose old age has crept in 😀

    Comment by frogsaint — March 1, 2011 @ 6:50 am

  3. Notice one vane of Jabsco pump not in rotation as per others.
    No doubt you corrected this before replacing cover.

    Comment by Bill Shearer — March 1, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    • Hi Bill,

      I did right enough but in my experience they usually sort there selves out, I come across this quite often in new engines and I think it’s just the result of the engine doing a wee anticlockwise jerk as it stops. As they loosen and lose compression they don’t seem to do it the same.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 1, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  4. the insight into maintenance aboard L.Striven is most interesting.
    Here’s some pig trickery for your/S’herd’s sparetime?
    (Molly, don’t look!)

    Comment by Deoch'nDorus — March 1, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    • Dammed cr4p satellite broadband DnD, can’t see the video 😦 will have to try again at 5:00am 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 1, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  5. What a great video of Louis the pig! Shame it seems like he won’t be able to join in with the dogs!

    Comment by francesp — March 1, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  6. 😆–hopefully this porker won’t find his way onto someone’s plate

    Comment by frogsaint — March 1, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  7. Hi Paul.What a stunning opening picture.It brought back the memories of early morning drives over the Bealach na Ba.What life span does that Jabsco pump typically have?To my untrained eye the vanes look like they get some abuse.


    Comment by Andy — March 2, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    • Morning Andy,

      the old Jabsco can last for many years if fed grit free water and not run dry.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  8. Top pic is just that, a top pic.

    Comment by Kingdomcat — March 2, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    • Glad you liked it KC 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  9. Hi PAUL.
    You logged this statement 30th APRIL 2008, How much does it cost now to fill the Old girl now ? ” I managed to make the lunchtime ferry and even managed to fill up the ‘Old girl’ with diesel despite all the panic buying of late. I could not tell you how much it was for a liter because I rarely look, the truck needs fuel, the station I use is small and independent and life’s too short to spend it driving round or queuing for anything least of all a few p per liter. You want to save money then drive less, drive slower or buy a smaller car because the price of oil is only going one way. It cost me £80 to fill up this week two weeks ago it was £75.”

    Comment by Polite Scouser — March 2, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    • Hi Walter,

      scary thought, the last time I filled up it was approaching the £100 mark 😦 I’m going to Portree today and the ‘Old girl’ is pretty dry 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2011 @ 9:57 am

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