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.

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Recent Posts

Lady Jazz interrupts her music making

Lady Jazz, Sealine F43, owned by Bernie and Lynn
click to enlarge

Logging into ybw.com a week ago to catch up with news on the Motor Boat Forum, I found ‘Thepipdoc’ had come into Beaucette Marina the previous evening on one engine having had an engine failure part way across the English Channel.

Wandering around to his berth from Play d’eau the next morning I found Lady Jazz, a gleaming Sealine F43, and met Bernie and Lynn. Bernie, who had only just woken up (it was 9 o’clock already!) told me, ’12 miles north of Beaucette Marina the starboard engine conked out and we slowed to 9 knots. At this speed we were rolling around a bit and the last thing I wanted to do was poke around the engine room so we carried on to Beaucette Marina where Ricky (Marina Manager) came out and guided us in.’

Bernie carried on to tell me that the starboard engine’s Racor filter bowl looked a murky grey, that the starboard tank was only a quarter full and that fuel additives had not been used in the one and a half years Bernie had owned Lady Jazz. This seemed to point to a potential diesel bug problem.

Changing the Racor filter
click to enlarge

Changing the Racor filter

Later that morning, Bernie changed the Racor filter, bled as much air from the system as possible and after a good cranking the engine started and ran perfectly at 2,000 rpm for 20 minutes. All appeared good news so Bernie cast off to motor the short distance to St Sampson’s harbour to fill up with diesel delivered by a Rubis tanker.

But one mile out of Beaucette Marina, Lady Jazz’s starboard engine failed again leaving Bernie to limp into St Sampson’s where he changed the starboard engine’s fine filter just in case that was blocked as well. Cranking the engine to bleed air from the system, it started. Success? Sadly no. Ten minutes later it began hunting, and stopped.

Confined to the engine room

So, with fuel in the tank, clean Racor and fine filters, something else had to be happening.

Spending the next two days in the engine room, Bernie swapped the fuel supply pipes to see if the port engine would run from the starboard tank. It did. So the tank and its immediate pipework to the starboard fuel shut-off valve was good.

So by deduction, there had to be an obstruction somewhere between the starboard fuel shut-off valve and the starboard engine’s Racor filter.

The offending fuel shut-off valve which had to be removed and disassembled
click to enlarge

Using a foot pump and a Pela suction pump on the potentially offending length of pipe, Bernie (annoyingly) found it was clear. But thinking about it, that could mean only one thing – the problem had to be with the shut-off valve itself.

That’s the culprit

Having disconnected the fuel valve assembly board completely from its associated pipework and been covered in diesel whilst doing it, Bernie attacked the valve. Lo and behold, it was jammed with something looking like material which took an age to pick out. Was it a bit of rag? Was it a cigarette butt?

But having re-assembled the board, the engine wouldn’t start. It wouldn’t even crank. Why? With constant cranking over the last few days, the started motor had burned out.

At this point, St Sampson’s Marine and General stepped up to the plate and in no time at all had provided a new starter motor at almost the same cost as a rebuild. Perfect!

Problem resolved, Lynn and Bernie can enjoy the rest of their holiday
click to enlarge

With the new started fitted, the fuel shut-off valve cleaned out, all eight pipes of the fuel valve assembly board reconnected, fuel in the tanks together with a good dose of Grotamar 82 additive, the starboard engine was obviously relieved and burst into life.

The rest is history.

from the Engine Room of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

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