Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ian to the rescue!

Sunday
Ian Skoyles arrives (lovely surname!) at 9:30 with a big box of tools, two empty plastic containers and a big smile. And a story of how very tired he is because of working very late very often. I'm hoping he'll be able to think straight, despite his fatigue.

Between his countless horror stories of previous jobs, the lovely Ian pumps all that expensive diesel fuel and oil out of the engine, and replaces the lift pump. He's then able to say with confidence that Sam had made the right diagnosis of the situation. Phew! He tells a few more stories, then pours new oil in where the gunk had been pumped out. And turns the starter. There's a very loud bang. Which dismays all three of us.

“That doesn't sound good,” he says, as if we don't know it. I offer him a cup of tea or coffee.
“Not now, thanks. I'll have one to celebrate, when I've finished!”
It occurs to him now that there's probably fluid in the cylinders, so he removes the fuel injector from the first cylinder, and tries it again. This time, the loud bang is accompanied by a large quantity of gunk being propelled from the cylinder at high speed, covering Ian and the inside of the engine-room. This is going to be too messy a business to be repeated another three times.
The solution is to syphon the fluid from each cylinder, but for that, Ian needs his syphon pump. This is at home, so he has to go and get it. I suggest he has a quick lunch while he's there. He showers, and changes his oily clothes while he's there, too!

Returning an hour or so later with the pump, a smile and another story, he empties each cylinder of gunk, then tries again to start the engine. Zilch. Now he finds there's diesel/oil mix in the exhaust pipe, so he removes the injectors again, to reduce the internal pressure of the engine whilst cranking the engine to clear the pipe, and he cranks and cranks for seconds at a time, and I'm amazed he doesn't flatten the battery. Diesel and oil get pumped out of the exhaust pipe over the grassy bank. Encouraged by this, he keeps going until it stops spilling out. Then he replaces the injectors.
And starts an uncomplaining engine. We all cheer!

Then follows a period of much white smoke pouring out the back of the boat as he runs the engine to burn off all of the excess fuel in it. The smoke, dense as it is, elicits various responses from walkers and boaters alike. Perhaps you might imagine some of them.

My favourite is, “I thought you were having a barbecue!”

Ian cleans up the mess from the engine and the bilges, and goes on his way. He's spent more than nine hours on the job, and he's still smiling. What a star! 

He tells me a few more stories while we're carrying all of his stuff back to his van.

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