First of all a big thank you to all who rendered assistance in the shape of jump leads, tows, passenger rides and knowledge/advice. It was good to meet you and just a shame our hardware let us down. Some good, if cold lessons and nevertheless a good learning curve. The calm weather was a blessing.
For those wondering what happened, a quick summary.
Longdog and Arrow Flight both launched at Hythe and made the 1130 rv at Calshot. Longdog's engine would not restart and a session of jumpleads and batteries ensued, and Outnabout's second battery was donated. All to no avail, so LD and AF headed back to Hythe to put LD back on the trailer. That done, with everyone on AF, we blasted over to Yarmouth, arriving a little late for lunch.
After lunch the Needles trip was suggested. AF started up and moved of the berth and after a few minutes, the engine cut out. We tied off to a pile and spent 30 mins trying to get it going without success. Outnabout suggested the others head for the needles and we'd give SEA START a call. The group said they'd call in on return to see how we're doing.
Sea Start gave maintenance advice by phone. Fortunately AF had a toolbox on board and only the plug spanner needed to be borrowed from Yarmouth Fuel Pontoon. All avenues were tried and the feeling was the EFI ECU was dead. Sea Start said they'd be there in 50 mins from Hamble, for a tow back to Hythe. They were as good as their word and a 2 hour tow then ensued back to Hythe.
In the meantime, the group had returned from a reportedly good time at the Needles and kindly offered to take three of our passengers back to Calshot and drive them to Hythe. For that, once again many thanks guys!
Outnabout and Lurcher then had a very cold 2 hours to reflect on engine and boat maintenance and do a little 'lights training' on the freezing passage back.
Outnabout at this point was cursing having not made that flask of hot coffee before leaving home and not putting the hi-power torch aboard! Foresight eh!
Then a swift lesson in nighttime trailer recoveries on Hythe slip took place and worked out okay, despite a brisk tide and Lurcher getting his boots filled with water
So all in all an interesting day, kept a little safer by being in the company of the group and the very benign sea conditions. Outnabout now knows far more about his engine than he did yesterday and Lurcher is about to give the guy who did his alternator replacement last summer, a rocket!
Oh and the icing on the cake! When all ready to leave Hythe marina, we did a check of our respective lighting boards, only to find we had three working bulbs between us with a 30 mile drive to come. Any way the gods favoured us and the boys in blue were safely tucked up. So plenty of work ahead to get boat, trailer and electrics all sorted before the coming season.
Can't recommend Sea Start enough. They did exactly what they promised, in minimum time, in a professional way. It saved me an overnight in Yarmouth and screwing up a work day today in getting the boat back.
My thanks again to everyone.