Wednesday 17 November 2021

Maintenance Visit

Mike drove across to the marina to undertake one or two maintenance tasks. For once there was no delay at all at the Air Balloon junction - can sometimes be rather slow through here.

The most important task was to remove a lot of water from the bund underneath the engine. When we had the burst pipe in Birmingham, a lot of water filled each of the sections in the engine bay. The bilge pump and the two side bays were as clean as they ever are so it was possible to empty them out into the canal at the time. Even though there was not much engine oil spilt, Mike felt that it was enough to make it not sensible to try and dispose of the contents in an urban area. With a nearby hedge in the middle of nowhere we might have been tempted but it is not good practice as pollution can easily get into watercourses. so it was left.

However, the RCR engineer reported, after doing the annual service a week or so back, that the engine wiring harness was dipping into the water and needed dealing with as a priority. If we had still been in Cornwall it might have had to wait until a Christmas visit (supposing no lockdown again!) but it is now possible to do the round trip in a day.

Mike had already contacted the marina and the household waste tip nearby. The marina offered to lend us a couple of old 20 litre drums which was most helpful. (Actually one was 25 l - my, it was heavy to lift when full!)

Our small extra 12V pump was deployed and soon reduced the level to a centimetre of so - it then, as bilge pumps do, sucks in air leaving the last amount to be removed by other means.

We have, over the years, developed a slow but effective technique with an old mop and a squeezing bucket and this removed the final spillage. There was just a little too much for the two drums so a half bucketful had to be secured alongside the drums in the back of the car for the two minute drive to the tip where everything was tipped into the engine oil tank. In total perhaps around 50 l.

By now it was well into the afternoon and so no other larger tasks could be tackled but there was time to try out Bar Keeper's Friend (as widely recommended!) to remove water stains from the cabin window frames. Whilst it made some improvement it was not the total success that we had hoped for. No miracle sure today, alas.

Mike wanted to get away by 3 pm so as to do most of the return trip in the light. Hence it was not possible to do anything substantial but the other items were not urgent. It would have been nice to do a bit more to the paintwork but the weather was not suitable anyway - initially too cold and then becoming a bit damp in the air.