Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Port Elizabeth - Boat Work

Hi everyone,
We spent our first few days at Port Elizabeth working on boat jobs.  The most significant work was on the engine.

Zen Again at ABYC, Port Elizabeth

When we arrived in Richards Bay we found black debris in the fresh water cooling system.  We consulted widely and there were an equally wide range of opinions.  Most thought it indicated a leak between the exhaust system and the fresh water system.  That would not be good.  Eventually we were convinced replacing the coolant and checking it at the next port would be a good idea.

On arrival in Port Elizabeth we checked the coolant and it again had black debris.  We found a mechanic in Simon's Town who was happy to discuss our problem with us.  He suggested a test to establish whether we had a leak from the exhaust system.  We simply ran the engine with the pressure cap off the cooling system.  We found no bubbling or gases which appears to prove we don't have that problem.

The mechanic then suggested we flush the system.  With help from a local yachtie we found fittings to screw into the fresh water system drains with hose tails.  We could then flush the system with water, collecting the initially debris-laden water which emerged.  After several flushes we appeared to have cleared the system of the black stuff.

A test run of the engine didn't appear to produce any additional black debris in the system.  So we appear to be OK to use the engine.  We plan to sail to Simon's Town later this week, weather permitting.

Other events at Port Elizabeth have included presenting a FSC Cruising Section burgee to the Commodore of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club.  We had a very pleasant evening on Saturday chatting with the Commodore and other ABYC sailors.

Manganese Dust Cloud
The only problem at Port Elizabeth is the ship loader a few hundred metres to the east.  During easterlies a thick layer of manganese ore is deposited on all yachts in the marina.  It is truly horrible stuff - very greasy - and boats get covered from their mastheads down.  We've been cleaning the boat regularly but it will be a losing battle until we get away from here!

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