Home Forums Sadler and Starlight Discussion Forum Weed blockage to cooling system

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  gaius 10 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #143715


    When motoring in Chichester Harbour the intake on my Starlight 39 came blocked and the exhaust alarm sounded. Eventually found large amount of weed in intake pipe in hose just inboard of inlet fitting in hull. We successfully cleared this, it hadn’t reached the collector, and restarted but system still blocked. It appears that there is still a blockage in the fitting itself where it turns at a right angle and penetrates the hull. Despite attempts to clear this we were unable to and had to be towed in. I have experienced blockages previously but cleared weed from the collector, primed and restarted but I fear this time we will have to be lifted out to access the intake itself. Has anyone had similar problems? With some long passages planned this Summer it’s a worry that this seems to be a recurring problem and any suggestions on how to prevent or deal with this issue at sea would be most welcome.

  • #143716

    Vyv Cox

    When we transited the Canal du Midi our engine intake blocked countless times, drawing up dead leaves from the bottom. The best way to clear the seacock was to push a wire down from inside the boat. This lets some water in but the bilge can easily cope with it. This assumes no grille on the outside, not a good idea.

  • #143717

    John Moncrieff

    1. Where is the sea cock? between hull and elbow as it should be or after elbow?
    If before elbow can unscrew elbow.
    2. I fitted a 3 way valve by the engine on my 34 before the engine driven water pump.
    Then fitted an inline 12v pump on flexible pipe to 3 way valve. This means I can shut off the feed to the pump and engage the feed to the inline electric pump. Fill a bucket with water and back flush the system. Sometimes need to bounce the pump up and down in the bucket to get it going.
    3. Attach water hose to system and use that presure to blow the weed out?
    4. Rather than be lifted out go to Bosham Quay and dry out against the wall there and sort the problem including possibly moving the seacock between tides. Great facility and we HP wash there twice a year to clean out Coppercoat with their HP washer.
    Seems Chichester has a weed problem as we got a ball of tough weed around the folding prop a few days ago and it would not open to get out of the lock into the harbour. Had just enough drive to getbto the berth and untangle with a boat hook.

  • #143719


    Thanks for the above comments…
    We did try countless different wires to clear the blockage but to no avail, also tried using electric dingy inflate to both blow and suck but again no joy. The sea cock is inboard of the elbow.
    Good idea the 3 way valve, I had been thinking the same but connecting to the intake to the heads so if one blocks, divert to other?
    HM said big weed problem in Chi harbour currently!
    Drying out at Bosham a good idea, do i just turn up or do i need to book space with anyone?
    Many thanks

  • #143720

    John Moncrieff

    You can just turn up but it is taking a chance that 1 of the 3 bays is available. Need to check sufficient height of tide to get in onto concrete base. Don’t know your draft ours is 1.8m and not enough water at neaps. Contact 01243 573336 or email Chippenham Conservancy who now administer it.

  • #143729


    Thanks John, we draw 1.5 with the wing keel, I’ll contact them.

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