Coolant Leak

The Yanmar 2GM was checked over in the yard prior to delivery in August 2005 by the local Yanmar dealer. All appeared OK. Due to a lack of wind we had to motor all the way and the engine performed faultlessly.

On the next visit the engine was checked over. The coolant was quite low and the alternator belt had become quite loose. The belt was tightened but the reason why coolant level had dropped so far was not immediately apparent.

After topping up the coolant gradually disappeared each time the engine was run but there were no apparent leaks from the engine and no coolant in the bilge.

The problem was temporarily dealt with by regularly topping up the coolant reservoir.

Finally, at lay-up while winterising the engine, the cause of the loss was found.

Two coolant hoses pass through the starboard engine room bulkhead to the domestic hot water calorifier. A circular hole had been cut to facilitate this access but the edges had not been smoothed and were very sharp.

The builders had protected the hoses with PVC wrap but this proved insufficient against the sharp GRP edges on the bulkhead hole. Over 500 hours of engine use the PVC wrap and then one hose had rubbed against the sharp GRP and been sawn through.

This resulted in a V cut into one hose causing an initially tiny but gradually increasing coolant leak. Coolant leaked from the hose into a starboard lower locker and flowed forward under the fridge box before accumulating in the starboard lower locker under the chart table.

At initial inspection and again at survey a sticky residue had been noted in this locker but we had been unable to identify the source.

All was now clear. The residue remained after small volumes of leaked coolant had evaporated. At layup several litres of coolant remained in the locker.

A very annoying problem resulting from questionable hose run protection which would have emerged much earlier on a more regularly used boat and likely been covered under warranty.

Stlll a satisfying outcome which required only a £10 length of hose and adequately robust run protection to put right.

Calorifier Bay. Black hose at the bottom is the culprit.

Hose wrap and hose after contact with rough sawn GRP.

Original calorifier hose run at lower left.

Closeup of calorifier hose run. Note raw sawn hole in GRP bulkhead.

Lay-Up September 2005

Left Kingswear moorings around 09:30 and moved to Dartside Quay for winter lay-up. All secured ashore in middle quarry by 11:30.

River Yealm to Dartmouth

Left visitor Pontoon on the Yealm just after 09:00. Sailed in light south easterly winds up to Prawle point thereafter motored to Dartmouth as the wind faded and rain set in.

Fowey to River Yealm

Left Fowey mid morning and had a fabulous sail until the wind died around 16:00. Motored into the Yealm and moored on the first visitors pontoon.
Enjoyed another fine meal in the ship inn.

Salcombe to Fowey via Cawsand

Beautiful day but no wind. Depart Salcombe mid morning and motor to Cawsand in Plymouth Sound where we anchor for a couple of hours for sightseeing and a pint. Small dinghy not really suitable for two adults in other than flat calm still conditions. We make it ashore OK.

Approaching Cawsand

From the local pub interior. Pub is located just up the hill in Cawsand

Leave Cawsand at around 16:30 and motor to Fowey. All fast Fowey town quay at 20:30 then head ashore for shower and dinner. Thence to Visitor buoy S7 which was again lassoed first time by MG.

Decided to spend another day (7th) in Fowey making some tourism and taking a long walk out to the daymark which was unfortunately closed.
Fowey Mooring Charge £24.00 for two nights.


Daymark from Coastal path.

Daymark Entrance


Depart Dartmouth 11:00. Reasonable sail to Salcombe where all fast to buoy at 15:10. MG excellent at lassooing mooring buoy.
Water taxi ashore for a quick pint at the Fortescue Inn, thence to the library for E-Mail and a nice walk most of the way to Bolt head before returning to the Fortescue for dinner.

Approaching Prawle point from the east with Bolt Head visible in the background.

Inbound Salcombe Harbour


Arrived Dartmouth late morning with crew (MG) for one week trip. Ideally to Guernsey but if weather unfavourable then we will head west.

Take bunkers in Dartmouth. 150 litres @ £0.67p. 21 Litres in Jerry can. 129 litres in fuel tank.

Spend evening on RDYC berth. Dinner in the excellent Windjammer.


Departed Salcombe at 08:10. Fabulous sail back with winds SW3-4 and fair tide. All fast Dartmouth 12:15. Very pleased with this performance. She really moves along when the wind gets above 10kn.

Will definitely need a big lightweight genoa for light air sailing.


Again flushed bilge with fresh water and liberally doused all acid affected areas with Bicarbonate of Soda. Acid has caused some deterioration of aft cabin sole.

Staysail sheets replaced. Battery electrolytes checked. All OK.

First real sail. Left Dartmouth at 14:00. Variable winds and needed to motor half way. All fast Salcombe visitor buoy at 19:00. Pretty slow trip.


Quiet afternoon on board checking things over. Running backstays and topping lift removed for cleaning.

Climbed mast to check wind unit. Impeller appears stiff and rubber vane is torn. Will need to be serviced or replaced. No apparent cause of deck shower fault. Chart light bulb costs £13 but replacement not necessary as fault traced to loose connection. Rear switch panel starting to corrode so sprayed with Duck Oil.

Still traces of sulphuric acid in bilge. Flush again with freshwater.
Also noted that coolant reservoir on engine was empty. No apparent source of leak. Topped up with fresh water. Also tightened generator belt which had slackened considerably during delivery trip.

Staysail sheet needs replacing so will replace both.

Delivery Trip 2

At sunset I christened the vessel with a bottle of chilled Chenin Blanc.


Lovely evening in Lyme bay.


Later wind develops from SW which is pretty much the direction we are going. All nav lights working OK and arrive without incident at Dartmouth 02:30. First time entering Dartmouth in complete darkness.

Delivery Trip

Depart Itchenor at 05:40. Strong ebb tide but very little wind. Total distance to Dartmouth 112 miles.

Apart from a brief period of wind to the east of the Isle of Wight day passes without any sailing.

East of the Isle of Wight

Motored continuously, average speed 5.38 knots. ST50 wind instrument reading erratically and noted that deck shower does not work. All other equipment tested appears OK.

Formal Handover and Launch

Up early and on the boat to continue preparations.

Have arranged for an engineer to inspect the Yanmar 2GM20F prior to launch. He has a good look at the engine, replaces the missing gearbox dipstick "O" ring and after running it for a while declares the engine OK. Notes that one of the spare drive belts carried is the wrong size and swaps it over. Also supplies a few bits and pieces he considers necessary. Nice man and very pleasant to deal with.

A frenzy of yard activity breaks out around "Kiriwina". Launch is scheduled for around 14:00. The pulpit is refitted and is now straight. Two large scratches on the starboard side are quickly repaired. I really must learn to do this. It is very expensive to have done and can't be that hard.

An adjustment has been made to the cooker gas line following the surveyors recommendation and the mast deck light bulb is replaced.

Right on time the straddle truck picks her up and heads for the water. One of the yard hands is muttering about yet another owner courting bad luck by changing the boats name.

She is successfully launched and moored on Northshore's dock prior to departure tomorrow.




The formal purchase documentation is handed over but I am puzzled to note that the price is shown as "£1 plus other consideration". Clearly this is not satisfactory and the broker subsequently produces documentation showing the actual price paid.

There is more than sufficient fuel on board for the return trip to Dartmouth. Freshwater is taken. I was warned to keep a close eye on the tanks when filling but it was not close enough. Water pressure broke one of the spreader boards and popped some screws on the aft cabin sole board. Must pay closer attention next time.

While sorting this out it comes apparent that there is quite a bit of Battery Acid under the aft sole board. Goodness knows how it got there as the batteries are virtually brand new. Apparently the previous owner had connected some battery leads the wrong way round, destroying his batteries in the process. Can only assume that the acid has something to do with this incident. Flush the acid away with copious amounts of fresh water.

All seems in order and after a long walk shore to get some milk and food for the trip I sleep on board ready for and early start tomorrow.

Preparation for Delivery

Catch a train to Chichester then taxi to Itchenor stopping at a chandlers on the way to get a kettle and one or two other items.

Spend the afternoon rigging the sails and making sure everything is ready for sea. Still no sign of the pulpit. They really are going down to the wire.

Remove "Tumbleweed" name from stern and add new "Kiriwina" lettering. Gust of wind catches lettering at the wrong time resulting in an imperfect application. Will need to get another set made.

Spend the evening at the pub next door which has excellent food and some B&B rooms upstairs.

Kit Onboard

Hired an estate car to deliver kit to Itchenor.

Load Kit

Arrive at around 10:00 and spend over 3 hours cleaning decks cabin exterior and topsides. She was really dirty but scrubbed up nicely.

Kit from previous boat fits easily on board. There is masses of storage and plenty is left unused.

Pulpit has been removed but is not yet repaired.

Money Transferred

Money is transferred and delivery/hand over arranged for Monday 8th August 2005. Will have access to the boat for kit stowage and cleaning prior to delivery.

Survey Results

Survey report received and confirms no major issues. Purchase can now proceed. Surveyors advice conflicts with builders best practice on a couple of points. Namely securing pin at mast heel and boom washers. Decide to go with builders on these points.

Comprehensive documentation on board include photographs taken during building and manufacturers manuals for all kit. Only thing missing is a ships manual showing general layout, wiring, dimensions, rig specifications etc. Broker says he will try to get me this.


I arrange to be present when survey conducted. Arrive around 10:30 and find that surveyor has been some time on the boat. Surveyor finishes by lunchtime and verbally give the OK. Only a few minor points come to light.

Agree Terms

After a few short exchanges agree terms to buy "Tumbleweed". Price is materially reduced and owner agrees to pay for launching costs and to fix the Pulpit. I never speak to him but from dialogue via broker he seems a bit aggressive. I decide not to comply with usual practice and put down 10% deposit.

I'm getting bad vibes from the owner so don't want to risk arguments over a deposit. Broker says I might lose the boat if another buyer comes along. I say fine and arrange a survey.

Visit "Tumbleweed" at Northshore

This is the newest of the three Vancouver 28's to be looked at having been built in 1997. She has been ashore in the factory boatyard for 8 months and her exterior is absolutely filthy. The brokers are very busy and just give me the key. I spend about three hours looking her over. I like this boat. She is well equipped domestically and has a good set of instruments. Her sail wardrobe is basic as delivered. Pulpit is bent well out of shape. She appears to have had little use. Money spent would be on adding new kit rather than repairing/upgrading what is there.

"Kiriwina" in the yard at first viewing June 2005

Vist 2nd Vancouver 28 at Ipswich

This is an older Vancouver 28. (17 Years) She is in excellent condition and is clearly very well looked after and extensively equipped. The owner is very hospitable we go on a trial sail. The only thing against this boat is her age and some cosmetic details that I do not like. She is similarly priced to the 1996 Plymouth boat and while better equipped I think depreciation over the next ten years will be much greater at the asking price.

Vist a Vancouver 28 at Plymouth

Spend an hour at Mayflower Marina looking over 1996 built Vancouver 28. Broker hovers but does not seem that interested. Boat is basically in good nick but needs a good clean and some TLC. Would not pay the asking price. Broker says no negotiation.

Details Received

Request and receive details of "Tumbleweed" from Northshore Yachts. They built the yacht and are also acting as brokers.