What goes Chug ! Chug ! Chug ! PHUT ! Anyone in the know will immediately say "The AQSC rescue boat". Well the good news is it's 'Phutted' it's last ! Aquarius has been re-engined, and not before time I hear you say. The engine is a 9hp Yanmar diesel.
The installation was done by Tim Barfield Marine in early May. It included a new propeller, fuel tank, water cooled exhaust system and controls. So next time you find yourself 'Over Easy' you can expect to be rescued 'post haste' without having to worry that the rescue boat itself might need recovery before it even got to you.
Richard and I took 'Aquarius' down to Barfields on Saturday 28 April. The river was up again and flowing very quickly and we hoped the old Stuart Turner would keep going. In the event it seemed to be having a good day, almost like it knew this was it's last run. When we arrive it was difficult to find somewhere to tie up. There where so many cruisers awaiting collection there was nowhere to moor. Eventually we squeezed in alongside a small tug and the downstream bank. Once ashore Tim's wife showed us our new engine, still sitting in its packing crate, which had been delivered a day or so earlier. We were assured the work would be completed by the 5th, and left.
I looked in to Barfields on the 4th to see how it was going … only to be told that it hadn't been started. That's novel I thought ! … but it would, I was assured, be ready by next Wednesday. Just as well we didn't need it over the weekend really. After a lot of chasing up by Richard and myself I finally river tested the finished installation at 8pm on Thursday night. Tim promptly went on holiday and I returned the following morning to collect 'Aquarius' and bring her back to the club in time for the open weekend. Brian immediately set about modifying the old duck boards and engine cover to accommodate the new diesel which he completed before the start of the open weekend. The boat went back to Barfield's after ten engine hours for service and to have a prop cage and new water inlet filter fitted. All is now done and hopefully we have a rescue boat which is on the top line.
There is a substantial improvement in performance from 4 kts maximum speed to 6 knts; remember the Thames speed limit is 4.5 knts. It is much easier to use reverse gear as it is selected automatically by pulling the throttle back.
Note: Would all users please record engine running time (hours and /or minutes) and date in the engine log book which is located in the clubhouse.