Fuel bulb collapsed again yesterday afternoon off Calshot (5pm Saturday) when two Ocean Liners coming out. Pretty choppy, six on board. Had this before so thought I could deal with it. Southampton VTS launch in front of Liners passed me showing concern. Managed to get fuel pipe released from bulb tank side, bulb inflated job done I thought. Primed. started engine and 5 yards, stopped, bulb collapsed again. Crew now getting worried as Liners bearing down, drifting with incoming tide and strong westerly, pushing me ever closer to shipping lane. Should I throw out anchor and hold ground. Still determined I could fix bulb. Made call to Sea Start and they reckoned could be there in 5 /10 mins. Bulb still collapsed.
F..k! Stayed calm and took fuel line off engine side of bulb, bulb would not inflate. What with bobbing about and trying to work out any logic to what I was achieving, started blowing and sucking (as you do in a panic) finally got a mouthful of petrol and bulb started doing what it was meant to. Put back fuel line, primed again, bulb working and engine up and running.
Looked up at passing Liners
and thanked my lucky stars, that was close.
Crew, later on shore, admitted to being quite worried!
I guess it's a intermittent problem with the fuel pick up in the tank. I also think it would be a good idea to have transparent sections of fuel pipe either side of bulb to get some idea of flow.
Has any one any thoughts on what I should have done in this situation.