About this site

Piers and Lin du Pré bought their new Fleming 55 / 129, Play d'eau, in 2003.

She was berthed in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350 until she was sold in October 2021.

This site charts the thrilling adventures they had in her.

You can contact us here.

Where’s Play d’eau?

If the new owners have the AIS on, you can find where Play d'eau is right now.

Click here.

Zoom in and our position will be shown on a map.

Recent Posts

Golden Arrow – International Rescue

Brian George of Golden Arrow’s International Rescue
click to enlarge

The slight hydraulic leak from the port stabiliser ram had been sufficient for me to isolate it from use.

The last thing we needed was for the ram’s seal to blow under 1,500psi and spray litres and litres of fluid into the engine room creating a highly flammable if not explosive oil mist.

Thankfully, this didn’t happen. By isolating the port fin, we were safe, although it meant the starboard fin would be left to do all the work on its own.

Golden Arrow & International Rescue

Having spoken with Brian George, Golden Arrow’s TRAC stabiliser commissioning specialist, a master plan was hatched.

Brian, based in Southampton, would take the ferry to Cherbourg and drive to La Rochelle with a van load of tools, spares and oil, to repair Play d’eau on 30 June.

30 June 2015

Squeezed between the port engine, the aft fuel tank and engine room bulkhead
click to enlarge

At 8am sharp, Brian arrived and parked his sign written van immediately adjacent to Play d’eau on the Quai d’Honneur. A welcome sight.

Without delay, he disappeared into the engine room, squeezed between the port engine and the bulkhead and began disassembling the top plate and ram.

‘Aha. That’s the problem. The yoke’s misaligned with the ram causing the piston to operate slightly out of true, putting uneven pressure on the seal.’


Having realigned the yoke, replaced the ram with new, centred the fin’s electronic sensor, replaced a weeping hose and topped up the oil reservoir, we were ready for a test.

‘Start the engine,’ Brian called. I did. ‘Perfect,’ said Brian. ‘No leaks, accurately aligned, and working a treat.’

With some small adjustments to the system’s operating parameters to bring Play d’eau more accurately level when cruising, the job was complete in seemingly no time at all.

What magnificent service. What a star!

from the Technical Log of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

(Click on a pic and use left/right arrows to scroll through the album)

3 comments to Golden Arrow – International Rescue

  • Hil

    This sounded potentially horrific! Thank goodness Brian was able to come to your rescue so quickly and efficiently and thank goodness all is well.

    J and B must be with you now? Have a wonderful and a whale of a time. I shall look forward to hearing about it ALL.

    It’s croissant time! Enjoy them!

    Lots of love to you all, Hil x x x

    • Hi Hil. Thankfully, the oil seal didn’t rupture. It just leaked slightly – more of a weep. If it had ruptured there would have been a horrid spill of many litres of hydraulic oil. But, as I said, the seal didn’t rupture so there was no oil spill and no smell.

      Yes, John and Beryl have arrived (yesterday evening) and we’re just about to have some croissants before going off to explore this ancient and beautiful town.

  • Hil

    Bet you had fun exploring-and now it’s lunch time! Happy munching! I am so pleased about the no spill.
    Lots of love. Hil x x x

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