This particular story has, I think, not got a mention in the blog until now, but actually dates back quite a few months. When we were looking for options to get "Flamingo's" engine rebuilt last year, a few things quickly became apparent.
|This shot gives only a hint as to how many the seller actually has!|
|3:1 reduction box yet to be be fitted.|
|Engine to be modified to add fuel lift pump.|
When we arranged to have "Flamingo's" engine rebuilt at Stretton, the actual rebuild work would be a "spare time" activity by Dave, as well as his usual day job, so it was reasonable to expect it might take a while. A third engine would allow us to put a working engine in a boat that needed its engine rebuilt, and then allow for that engine in turn to be rebuilt without a strict deadline, so it was eventually possible to then put it in the other boat, finally releasing that engine for work to be done at whatever rate was possible. This anyway was the theory, so in parallel with taking "Flamingo" to Stretton we tried to source a third engine.
|Little sign of any significant use.|
|Hard to assess a reduction box, but looks in good order.|
The plan, of course at that point was that this engine would go into "Flamingo", the boat with by far the most urgent need, thus releasing "Flamingo's" current HA2 for Dave to rebuild at a pace that suited him. The reality ended up being rather different!
|Close up of some gearbox internals.|
We were certainly not going to hassle the vendor, who we knew had far too much to think about than the "spare" engine, and, of course when we did finally talk to him, the conversation was to whether we still wanted it, and whether he could now complete it and deliver it in a sensible time-frame. We decided that "Sickle's" engine, although not at this stage anything like as bad as "Flamingo's" had been, could usefully also come out for full overhaul - this "spare" could replace it. Despite being only two thirds of the power, (because 2 cylinders would replace 3), it should work very well - "Sickle" is currently powered to be a tug, but seldom these days actually carries out tugging duties, and hence is not worked hard. The decision was aided by the fact "Sickle's" current HA3 only has a 2:1 ratio on its reduction gearbox, whereas this HA2 has 3:1. This is important, as the same propeller should work with either, thus avoiding the cost of a new propeller, and having to dock the boat to fit it.
So we agreed with Brinklow Boats a likely date for them swapping engines, and told our vendor he still had a deal if he could deliver by then - he was confident he could.