Monthly Archives: September 2014

Tammy and Marmalade

I hauled Tammy Norie out of the water on to her trailer at Bridge Boatyard in Ely this weekend with the help of my friend John and his amazing customised Land Rover, Marmalade. This was the first time I hauled her out on to the trailer, rather than having her craned, reversing the launch in July.


We made a first attempt at hauling out at the Fish & Duck marina, but unfortunately the bottom of their slipway was rather muddy, and the back end of the trailer stuck there so that we couldn’t get it under the boat, even though the deepest part of the slip would have been deep enough at 1.25m. It was a close thing, though, and Davina at the Fish & Duck was most helpful.

The slip at the Bridge Boatyard was over 1.5m and the deep end of it sloped away, so we had no difficulty sinking the trailer well below Tammy Norie’s keels.  It was surprisingly easy to line her up on the trailer. All I had to do was wade in and pull her into place by the anchor fitting. I could see the keels on the planking and was able to confirm their position by feeling their forward ends with my toes. We then winched the trailer out and Tammy tipped backwards and settled neatly into place.

The main difficulty was that she settled too far back on the trailer, shifting back about 20cm. We fixed this by hooking the trailer up to Marmalade’s front tow hook then sliding her forwards on the planking using the winch attached to a strip of heavy webbing wrapped around her keels. Next time I should be able to compensate by starting her out further forwards.

As with many boat-related things, there were too many minor difficulties to list, and the procedure took up most of the weekend. I should be able to do it much more quickly next time.

Tammy Norie is now on a friend’s driveway in Cambridge, waiting to head south for some maintenance before being relaunched in Portsmouth Harbour. She’s not “laid up” and there’ll be more sailing this year!

You can read more about Marmalade on his blog. It’s a continuous work in progress whose driving seat resembles an aircraft cockpit, and is equipped with winches, tow hooks (at both ends), and all manner of useful equipment.


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2014-09-22 · 11:00

Engine starter fixed

When Tammy Norie’s original engine broke, I bought a second hand Honda BF5 from Seamark Nunn in Felixstowe. Unfortunately, its recoil starter broke almost immediately, stripping the teeth from the starter sprocket.


I bought a new sprocket, but that jammed during my messing around in strong winds off The Naze and I had to dismantle it and use the emergency starting cord.


I’ve been using the starting cord ever since, and the engine has been fine in all other ways. But I don’t like running it with the cover off. There’s a chance of a rope or clothing getting snagged in the flywheel.

Seamark Nunn offered to take a look at the engine under guarantee, and I finally had a chance to take the engine to them yesterday (2014-09-10). Josh, their engineer, immediately helped me diagnose the problem by pulling out a similar engine and finding a diagram from the service manual.


I thought perhaps something was bent out of shape, because my sprocket teeth didn’t engage very deeply with those on the flywheel, but Josh pointed out that my fixed cap (part 9 on the diagram) and split pin (part 7) weren’t locked together in the same way as on the other engine, and that this would mean that the sprocket wouldn’t drop out of the way of the flywheel when the engine started. That would account for the teeth getting stripped: when the engine fired up it would push very hard on the sprocket.

I looked at the other engine and noticed that I had a piece missing.


There’s a large plastic washer (part 11) that spaces out the sprocket (part 4) from the recoil assembly (part 3). I’m certain that my engine never had one of these, and I did notice some home-made plastic spacers that I found suspicious. I reckon that the original owner lost his washer and then attempted a bodge. The result is that the split pin is too low and falls out of position beneath the cap. You can see it escaping in this video.

Josh found a spare washer and a spare sprocket. We put everything together and things worked much better. I might also bend the split pin slightly to make double sure that it can’t escape.

I recommend Seamark Nunn, who have been friendly, helpful, efficient, and professional.

I also had a great chat with Josh, who is restoring a Cornish gaff ketch and has plans for a six-year circumnavigation. If he starts a blog himself I’ll link it from here. She looks lovely.

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Filed under engine, Repairs and Modifications