Thursday, May 21, 2015


Hi Everyone,
Well it's happened again..the unexpected.... last Thursday 14th I had finished rebuilding Fred and fixing him back to the boat, so now with everything ready I had to make a decision on where to go safely, all bilge pumps in perfect working order, all rewired and re-piped, about time too. Just then I was offered a free dock by a very nice lady (Pamela) who owns a 40ft racing yacht. It now would be possible to temp re-fasten the hood ends which would make it possible to go as far as Tyrral Bay Cariacue, I have a teak plank waiting for me there, and I will need it to make a proper repair, so I accepted the offer.
So in the morning I was charging the batteries after sorting the charge system out. The engine was ticking over and putting about 20 amps into the batteries. Then.....

.......... Disaster............

Well I've had this engine supplied as a short block and installed it 28th June 2010 after  it was shipped it out to St Lucia, this was after my original engine failed  completely.
The Engine has since done a total of  approx 600hrs since then. I have thankfully had no problem with engine since fitting it.
3 days ago whilst at anchor in Jolly Harbour Antigua W.I. I started the engine for battery charging duty, running engine at 1000 rpm. Once current had reached 10 amps my normal practice is to reduce eng rpm to tick over which is set at 850 rpm. I was in the cockpit and heard a short sharp hiss continuously in time with the engine speed, it sounded like the drive belt catching something, I went down below and checked around the engine but could not see anything happening, there was then a clunking noise and the engine stopped! This had sounded serious, so I turned the engine manually to see if it had seized up, I could rock the engine back and forth but didn't try to start it again. I then took out the injectors and removed the rocker covers to see if anything was amiss. I found the first cylinder on none drive end exhaust valve spring in 3 pieces! and no valve stem visible, Shit! I have since removed the engine, once I had been towed to the dock. After stripping the engine down I have found the piston so unbelievably damaged, with liner and cylinder head suffering serious damage as well. The shaft of the exhaust tappet appears to have sheared off about an inch above the valve, close up it looks like a crystal type fracture on the stem. The Valve obviously fell into the cylinder, and as I have never seen a failed piston with this much shattered pieces, it seems it snapped in two then jammed at top dead centre so the con-rod just pulled the little end straight out of the piston !!!!!!


This morning I have sent an email to the suppliers of the short block engine and this was their reply:-

Hi Roy,

Unfortunately this is not an easily resolved situation.

The 5 year warranty was provided by Lister Petter Dursley to provide extended cover after the expiry of the standard 2 year period.
During 2013 Lister Petter Dursley went into administration and the assets were sold to another company, Dorset Road 1, but without the liabilities. The original company was then wound up and no longer exists.
As a result of this I regret that there is no longer any warranty cover on the original engine and the new owners have no liability as far as the 5 year cover is concerned.

We will obviously do what we can to facilitate the supply of parts for rebuild but I suspect that the engine is probably beyond economic repair.

I am copying this to Tony Wells at Dorset Road 1 who might be able to make recommendations as to how you might proceed and will also forward him your original mail so he can view the pictures of the damaged engine.

Best Regards

So everyone I will have to wait to hear from the guys who now have control of  Lister Engines,
It looks like another short block if available or a new engine complete. Have no idea why this has happened as the engine was only ticking over.
Will post with news as I get it

Monday, May 11, 2015

11th May edited version with pics

Hi everyone,
Well its been a good while since I was able to post to my blog, the main reason being the availability of internet in Falmouth Harbour in Antigua. I did get it now and again but it was painfully slow, and I couldn't load my blog page at all. This connection is pretty good but photo's will have to wait for a bit longer. Hang on I'll post photos now!
first 2 pics of G.L. ready to go to Antigua with one job left to do cos I had time after the fire.

So to get up to date here I go.......
Once the galley was finished I still had plenty of time to make it to Antigua and prepared the boat for sea, I also had time to fit my new wind generator, so two pics of that.
After fitting that I went out to anchor in the Rodney Bay itself, and surprise for me was the boat I helped build in China M.Y. 'Nero' came in and anchored behind me.
Took a pic of the boat next to me as well

The weather had gone awful so I hung on for a bit, I waited till I had my Birthday party on the 7th April with a day off for recovery, and left Rodney Bay St Lucia on the 9th The weather report was good with the wind going a bit south of East at 15 to 18 knots seas 4 to 5 feet. I had fueled up on the dock and hoisted all sail and sailed out the channel on my way. As I rounded Pigeon Island I was met with seas approx 9 to 12 feet winds over 27 knots with a direction of North of East!!! so much for the weather report!!!
It was very rough out there and about an hour later.....disaster.... one arm supporting the rudder on the wind vane fell off with the welding and mounting torn out. This really upset me as I was now faced with steering the boat myself.
I had to undo the other support arm and drop it down as well, other wise the rudder would have torn the framework off. Very slowly I made for shelter behind Martinique to lift the rudder out of the water were it could do no more damage, this was achieved around midnight.
It took 3 days to get to Jolly Harbour for customs, and by that time I had only had 1 ½ hours sleep and been surviving on coffee and biscuits, My hands were red raw from rope burns cos the weather never let up and it was so hard to steer her with the wind on that tack. I made the customs quay at 1530 hrs on the 11th , at 1630hrs I went down below and fell asleep, didn't wake up till 8am the next morning, still tied up to the customs quay!! pics of customs quay and damage done to Fred !!

I rang my friends up to let them know I was in Antigua then went round to Falmouth to anchor, whew!

The England cricket team had also just arrived for the test match series against the West Indies, and we all bought tickets for the second days match, 2 mini buses full of boat people. I had a great time there, and met quite a few people I knew, as I walked around the stadium, as well as some newbies.
Quantities of beer were consumed and food refreshments. It ended up an enjoyable different day for everyone. pics follow

From that day on until well after the classics we went out partying every night, going to all the different functions and having a whale of a time.

After registering the yacht and paying my dues, I went rounding up my crew for this year.
Suzie and her crew Maddy of the yacht 'Spirited Lady'
Alisdair of the yacht 'Star Charger II'
Bjorn from Denmark
Lars from Denmark
Yolander from Mexico (Bikini Girl)
and importantly Renford a local man of Renford Taxis
Having Renford on board was the culmination of an approx 30 year old promise I made to him when I left Antigua all those years ago as crew aboard the m.y. Midnight Saga a 58 mtr mega yacht, and my promise?.......

”One day Renford I'll come back in my own boat and take you sailing with me”

He was so overjoyed to take part, standing in the rigging dancing and singing a joy to behold.
I had been given 7 hats and T shirts for the crew and myself and was ready for the first day of the 2015 Antigua Classics on Thursday 16 April
This year I entered the single handed race again having missed it the year before, I designated 'Maddy' the youngest crew member on board as safety officer during that race, I also entered the concourse judging, I came nowhere in that but did very well in the single handed race coming Forth and just missing a place.
On the 4 other races on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday my Crew and I did exceptionally well. We had 4 good starts and were at least 2 miles ahead of the fleet rounding the first mark every race!, we also finished across the line first in class on all 4 races getting the cannon 4 times, unfortunately there was a Folk-boat 25 footer in our class and no matter what I did or how fast I went he won on corrected time, I was losing by about 8 minutes each race, so I did get 4 second places and a trip up on stage to receive 2nd Prize. Photos of the racing + Renford and myself follow

Then the J Class Rainbow came past, so impressive when up close in your face going full speed,
The sound of the sheets being adjusted is like a clap of thunder !!!
 Then one of me crossing the line with committee boat in the background

Then the inevitable cockpit party

Then the obligatory trip up to Shirley's Hights listening to the steel band and Sundowners
And finally the only pics I have left was when Maddie my youngest crew member this year left English Harbour to cross the Atlantic on her first Crossing! and only 18 years old and in a classic yacht Wow.
And she disappears out of the entrance
 The Classics ended this year with the cream tea and gig racing at the Admirals Inn in Nelsons Dockyard English Harbour, my little dingy did a few rowing races and sailing races and a lot of fun was had by everyone, a good day.

This year although it appeared I was sinking again, I later found no more new leaks had appeared and anyway the salvage pump I installed last year kept the bilges dry. I found 1 pump impeller had snapped off and the other one was blocked with hair. This time repairs were carried out afloat.
I now have the support arms re-welded and require re-fitting Fred back on the Boat.
More serious however are the 'Hood Ends' on the Starboard bow, This is due to the reef damage that has finally come to light, 5 planks have come away from the Stem Post, and will require
re-fastening as well before I can go any real distance safely hence leaks while racing, they are all above the waterline as the others below were re-fastened before the reef disaster, when I repaired the stempost.
So now Bang up to date, I am in Jolly Harbour anchorage doing these jobs. I had some problems with engine charging as well and fixed that yesterday morning. Now good to go. Will reassemble Fred hopefully today and tomorrow, then decide were to fix the bow planks. Once that is done I will have to repaint the boat, the hull is in dire need of that, and with this work to do it will have to be seen too as well, means approx 3 weeks out the water though.

Will let you know were I decide which yard to go to.