Message originally posted by hector46 on 2-Sep-09 at 12:02 PM:

I've been doing some work on 'Alice Mary'. The SPA drive belt has been replaced, it's done a lot of hours and while still OK has lost some of it's profile and has dropped further in to the idler pulleys. The fan has corroded on so it was bend blade feed belt past tip, grunt goan..........repeat six times. It was actually easy enough and didn't take long to fit.
I cracked the middle rudder while loading from the last trip on loch Fyne. I removed it and added some CSM to each side and fitted the sandwich plates to the lower pivot before it was dry so the bond is strong!
I have long been frustrated with the pull arrangement of the front cushion brake so spent a couple of hours converting it to foot operation. What a difference this will make for maneuverability, much easier than growing a third arm!!!
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The choke cable gave up to corrosion ages ago and because I wanted it working next to the throttle lever as before I replaced it with a 33c cable and a couple of 5mm ball joints from RS which fit the unf cable OK. I no longer have to get up and work the choke from the back of the passenger compartment....brilliant!! I have replaced more of the original fasteners I fitted with stainless versions as anything that isn't stainless turns to brown mush in such a short time. I've also replaced the air filter and pre filter which were very dirty, I remembered to oil the pre filter which greatly improves dirt trapping efficiency.
Other than oiling things and silicone spraying the engine I hoovered out the inside and washed everything outside checking for loose things as I went along. Then it was go play in my friends field to get used to the change I made in the throttle direction.

Did Loch Fyne with John and covered 266 miles. Amazing trip helped by good weather and water conditions. The only exception was on Saturday when the wind and waves were hard work slowing me to 5mph for while. Other than that the Vanguard does very well and is comfortable to be in. I averaged about 15mpg, I know we should talk in GPH but its all a stretchy piece of string wen it comes to fuel consumption as far as I'm concerned.
Mechanically, I had to adjust the new belt and fitted new plugs to see if the short duration miss fire when starting from hot would go away but no luck. I will be checking out the coils and leads and will remove the diodes and fit twin earths. I will re do the HT lead insulation and see what happens from there. The new brake is better than expected and makes control so much easier. I have small oil leak just started around the oil filter/oil cooler pipe area. I'll be looking for the exact source before I run on water again.
All in all I had a fantastic few days out on the water. I saw quite a few Common Seals and several Porpoises, a few shoals of tiny fish rippling the surface near Castle Lachlan, not to mention Black Guilimots, Gannets, Cormorants, Redshank and Common sandpipers (i think) AND the craft did me proud, perfect.

Steve H

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