# 07 Ready steady go …

Tony Le ElliottBellows

As I walked around the Earls Court Boat Show, I felt the buzz of the occasion. This atmosphere has taken some forty-seven years to build and I wondered if it will be lost when it moves in two years to the Docklands of London, I do hope not. I exhibited at Earls Court from 1972 to 1998 but I first went therein 1963 when it was the Daily Express Boat Show and there was not a carpet in sight.

I do not like change for the sake of it and the new venue will not allow the exhibition to be viewed from both floors, nor have a pool in the middle! I felt the boating public starting to stir, myself included. I was also there to receive the very good and generous news that Yamaha was to help me get ‘Hush’ back afloat again, with two of their excellent diesel sterndrives.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I had been spotted by none other than our illustrious Ed. It was time, we both agreed, that we should start to get our RIBs ready for the season. RIB owners and surfers of this site should be aware of what can go wrong during winter storage. Here are some of the problems that you might find …

Engine corrosion:
Caused by not rinsing and cleaning the engine block and parts. Do not over-do the WD40 since it can rot the rubber engine mounts. I prefer Comma aerosol grease.
Engine overheats:
Impeller pump is stripped in the leg or the thermostat is corroded. If
there is not a tell-tale cooling water jet, the outlet pipe may be blocked
with salt. You should have run the motor up in freshwater at the end of the season and drained it.
Poor starting:
Battery should have been disconnected, cleaned, topped up, charged and stored in a warm, dry place. Treat the engine to a new set of spark plugs or have your diesel injectors serviced.
Electrics and wiring:
To cure and prevent electrical corrosion, lightly cover all connections with silicon grease.
Poor running:
The engine should have been run dry with the fuel line disconnected before winterising. The fuel line should have been stored drained. You may have a build-up of oil in the carbs and check that there is no water from condensation in the fuel tank. Always store fuel tanks either empty or full.
Steering stiff:
Disconnect link arm and ascertain if stiffness is in the remote cable, the steering head or the outboard pivot tube. There is both a friction screw and a grease nipple. Use both.
Gearbox:
Change gear oil. If traces of white gunge, signifying emulsification of oil, call dealer!
Steering seized:
Corroded solid in the tilt tube. Do not try to loosen by using the wheel
and helm, disconnect the link arm, revolve the rod end and inner tube. When free, strip and grease.
Anodes and tabs:
The sacrificial trim tab and other anodes are there to corrode. Check and change. In future, lift outboard leg clear of water when mooring to avoid more corrosion.
Propeller:
Remove it regardless of its state, noting order of thrust washers, and grease the splines.
Seats:
If heavy with water, stand vertical on a corner to drain, then dry on a radiator, sand off any mould and paint black, not re-varnish. Bring them inside next year.
Inflatable collar:
If mildew is seen, wash off with soap and water with a tiny amount of bleach. Soap should show up any leaks, trace, rinse off, dry and repair. Do this all again before storage at the end of next season.
E-mail me at [email protected] should you have any queries or need help or repairs.