spring maintenance

Am I getting more like Victor Meldrew or are simple things really getting harder to get done? Perhaps that’s why that company is called Saga, because once you’re over fifty everything turns into one. All I wanted to do was pop a new filter in the boat.


Now not a lot has happened with the boat over the last few months as I have had my mind on other things, like retiring in March. But that means I want to ready her for cruising in the spring.


But first things first, I went on a weekend engine maintenance course arranged by RCR. What a mixture there was. Plenty of Captain Bird’s eye chaps, some couples both old and young, those who went to brush up on their knowledge and yet others that seemed to know how to hold a screw driver, because it hurts if you hold it by the other end!


The instructor started by asking around the table what engines our boats had. I was last in line, “ a 1500 BMC” said I proudly. He replied, “Ohhh, mmm, we always get one!” From there on in nearly every story of difficulty, obsolescence or breakdown ended up being attributed to a BMC, and I saw pity, sympathy and amusement in various faces. It culminated with the comment “and if you have one of these on your boat, get rid of the boat!, it’s too old”. I just whimpered at that, guffaws ensued.

It got better when they were talking about the modern accessories that go wrong, most of which I do not have, and how BMC’s do just keep going if looked after.


We all seemed to have one thing in common, a need to write a list of what was needed to be bought or changed or added to our boats.


Well  to get back to my story I decided that I really must add an extra fuel filter and replace the fuel lift pump. Not too much of an engineering task. The picture shows the filter on the right, with a grey metal bowl, the nice new lift pump and the two hose tail fittings needed to connect the hose to the filter. Simple eh. Order them , fit them.


Pump and filter

Pump and filter


Well the filter was ordered with  hose tails to fit from one supplier, the pump from another. The pump arrived fine. No problems, other than it was delivered to the neighbour’s and they forgot to tell me., but I found it after a few days.

The filter arrived at the local sorting office that I can only get to on  a Saturday. So on collection I found it had.. a glass bowl, not allowed on the canals! So went to phone the supplier .. they don’t provide a phone number. Emailed the supplier, they don’t work Saturday. Monday they agreed to send a replacement, which arrived Wednesday, at home. Great.

Not much doing Wednesday night so I thought I’d just check over the filter, it was fine, but the hose tails were the wrong thread and did not fit! So as I am writing I await replacement hose tails. I only ordered the filter from that company because they had the right tails in stock to fit the filter.

Hopefully on Saturday I can pop it in. I have just counted that to on the old and new filters, and the new lift pump, when I put it back together there is a total of 20 different places that diesel can leak out and air can get in. Any air leaks and the boat won’t start. Am I being pessimistic? I won’t be smoking when I do the job.

Fingers crossed that it won’t be another saga,