The outboard motor

We will stay in Mooloolaba for four nights. Since arriving on Saturday to a beautiful sunset, a 30-35 knot S – E wind has been raging offshore, so we have sat it out in the relatively safe Mooloolaba harbour. The howling wind at night has had us constantly checking the anchor, but our holding is good.

Mooloolaba sunset

Mooloolaba sunset

On Sunday we set off in our dinghy with it’s 2.5 hp outboard motor to motor the 3 km’s along the marina canals to the main shopping centre.

The 2.5 hp motor has not been selected for speed, but rather for lightness and economy. It was used about once a year in Sydney and it always started first time. About halfway to the shops, motoring into a building S-E wind, the motor stopped, then restarted for diminishing lengths of time. Soon it could not be coaxed into life. “Dirty spark plug” was “Spanners” Muller’s prognosis. Problem is: no spark plug spanner on board, so Annie rowed the rest of the way to the marina at the shops. On getting out of the dinghy “Sherlock” Schady decided to open the fuel tank cap and peer inside – “No fuel!” she cried. My embarrassment was palpable.

All smiles when the motor works.

All smiles when the motor works.

While she did the shopping at the sailor friendly Aldi supermarket, I hot footed it a couple of km’s down the road to a Supercheap Auto shop to purchase yet another fuel jerry can, 2-stroke oil and a spark plug spanner. Filled the tank with fuel at a Shell servo another km up the road and met Annie at Aldi. Once the outboard tank was filled, the motor roared into life.

But wait, there is more: getting back to the boat, I decided to check and clean the spark plug anyway. Supercheap’s $15 plug spanner handle broke off at the first attempt to get the plug out. No problem, I have a vice grip in my selection of tools and soon the plug is out – as clean as a baby’s skin. So after a visit to the laundromat with a few more stops and starts, we decided to explore Mooloolaba on Monday.

Mistake, the motor is now worse than before and will go for about 50 metres before cutting out, resulting in Annie using foul language as she is forced to row. We have lunch at the fish markets with a soothing bottle of Villa Maria sauv blanc, before confronting the outboard again. Same story.

Lunch

Lunch

Today, I stripped the little bastard and it seems the fuel filter is clogged up and needs replacement. So, new spark plug and fuel filter at the next port, or possibly, a service.

%*!@#$&!!

%*!@#$&!!

Tomorrow we head North to Wide Bay Bar to motor up the Great Sandy Strait behind Fraser Island to Hervey Bay.