This is my 6th day in Fiji and I’m still sitting in Savusavu. There’s always a lot of inertia in these towns. You can get everything that you need/want. There’s access to the internet and people back home. You’re protected from weather and there’s lots of other cruisers around to hang out with. It takes effort to leave, but as Captain Ron says “if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there.” I want to be out there.
I was pretty well ready to leave a couple of days ago, I got all provisioned up. I had enough beer and kava to keep my going for at least a few weeks. Then I put my outboard on my skiff and started it up. It was running pretty rough, but I got it to start. I put it in gear and to my surprise, it went backwards. I then put it in reverse, and it went forwards. Very curious. I might have just run it that way, but it wasn’t pumping any cooling water either. So I pulled off the lower unit and checked the impellor. Sure enough a vane was broken off. I got a replacement from Dave on Soggy Paws, put it in, and reattached the lower unit. By then the sun was going down. So I left it for the night hoping that my water flow problem was at least fixed. Ricki and I went and got some Chinese food and ended up playing some music with the night watchman at Waitui Marina.
The next morning I started up the motor to the same result. The motor went backwards when in forward and visa versa and it wasn’t pumping any water(sigh!!!) So now I pulled apart the lower end and took the gears out. Everything looked great. There was no problem there. While I was putting the lower end back together, Matt on Rubicon suggested that it might be running backwards. So when I got the outboard back together, I started it up and took the cowling off. Sure enough, the flywheel was running counter-clockwise, not clockwise like it’s supposed to. So it’s got to be a timing issue. Now the timing is dead simple on a one cylinder engine. There’s no adjustment. The flywheel is fixed in place by a shear pin. If the timing is off, then the key must have been sheared off. So I then proceeded to pull the flywheel off.
Hmmm? That shear pin looked as strong as ever and the flywheel was in the right position at TDC. So now it’s got to be a problem with ignition. It’s raining cats and dogs this morning, so I’m writing blog posts instead of working on my outboard, but hopefully I’ll get it running and work up enough momentum to escape the gravitational pull of Savusavu.