First Boat Trip Sequel


New member
9 Jul 2001
The plan was a trip down the East coast from Gt Yarmouth and then up the Thames.
A big thanks to everyone for the encouragement ,advice and offers of help.For learners like me this forum offers a great deal.
Answers to information requested from previous post.The boat a Seawings 254 150hp diesel AD31 engine.Yr 1997.VHF and GPS.I have owned TRIO for 18 months,her previous life was in Germany where she clocked up 700hrs.She is in good condition recently antifouled and serviced and is currently out of the water. I've taken her on the sea for about four hours, and cruising speed is probably 18 knots on the Serpentine..thats flat isn't it?
. The trip is planned for April or May.

Questions/proposals arising from previous post - There might be muck in the tank, how do I check this? Someone suggested a auxilliary engine or dingy and outboard, are these practical? Sea Start seemed a good suggestion, how does this work? Has anybody had to try them?

I thought I would change the plan and have a one day out from Great Yarmouth with a forum member to get the hang of things and then a little later travel on my own down the coast and meet up with Colin at Ipswich and travel in company for the day and then return to Great Yarmouth.... this is of course flexible. Thanks everybody,



New member
11 Dec 2001
Well boat sounds good and 18 knots is fine, nicely planing. Presumably you can trim the outdrive in\out to alter trim angle depending on sea conditions.

Do you have davits on the back to put a dinghy on, or are you planning on carrying a liferaft? You can hire them from "somewhere" in Ipswich, can't remeber who right now but can dig it out if you need it. I hired one for my first trip and I think it was about £30 for a week.

Seastart I'm sure is a good idea but I believe only really operational in the Solent, though no doubt someone else will advise if different, and anyway you want to be as self sufficient as you can. Better t make sure everything's as good as poss rather than relying on the AA.

Before I took my boat to sea for the first time I followed the advice from here re cleaning out the tank and since you're already out of the water, not too difficult a job, but a bit mesy and smelly playing about with yucky diesel. Beg, borrow or steal enough oil drums to hold all the fuel in your tanks. Clean them out first but not with water, rinse etc with diesel. Pop down to a breakers yard and buy an old electric fuel pump off of any car, mine came from a Rover 2000. Assuming there's no proper access hatch on the tank, take off the fuel gauge sender and attach the pipe to the pump to a piece of wood about an inch from the end of the bit of wood and then poke the pipe and wood into the tank and pump the fuel out into the oil drums. The idea is to get out all the "good" fuel first, leaving behind the last inch or so that'll contain any muck. Once you're down to the last inch or so, drain that fuel out into another "crap diesel" container. Have a look through the hole. Shine a torch in there. Is there any muck left in there? If so pour in a gallon or so of the clean diesel, slosh it around a bit and suck it out into the "crap diesel" container. Keep doing this till there's no more crap in the tank. Pump the good diesel back in filtering it on the way. Depsol will no doubt tell you to treat it with Soltron. That's up to you. Sell or give the crap diesel to that annoying bloke who gets right on your tits in the marina. The one who knows everything and and has been everywhere but you've never actually seen his boat move, 'cos it's broken again. You know the one who could have told you that if you'd asked. Every marina's got one, normally it's the Vice Commodore of the club. Change the fuel filters and make sure you've got a spare.

And that's all there is to it. Probably a couple of hours work and it'll make you feel really good, especially giving that crap diesel to the pain in the arse.


Well-known member
30 May 2001
Good advice from Colic, when messing about with diesel wear old clothes and decent rubber gloves, you want as little as possible on your skin. To strain it when putting it back in you could use old tights.

Suggest that you check all the electrics, these always have a nasty habit of going wrong during the lay up. Take 3 or 4 spare fuel filters, if one blocks then there's a very good chance of it happening again. Make sure you have a decent tool kit, spare belts and a spare impellor. I always carry enough oil to do an oil change, just in case a hose comes loose and the oil sprays around the bilge.

Check you've got lifejackets and flares. I would say for a coastal hop a liferaft isn't essential, but would take some form of inflatable and engine. Don't know about Seastart, wouldn't want to rely on them, would only want to call someone else to help in event of an emergency, RNLI are there to help then, all other occasions make yourself as self reliant as possible.

Plan your route and consider bolt holes should things such as the weather go against you. Take plenty of ropes and fenders, they always come in handy.

Having done all your preparation you should then be in a position to enjoy the trip. That is the most important part. Hope all goes well for you.


16 May 2001
Any Pub Lancashire or Wales
Hello Colin!
Well for get, all that crap from Wizzey river Guy. Letts just make it easy. Now the first parts is sort of messy but it gets better. Now take out tank drain plug From diesel tank and repaice with tap. and i dont want all the crap about cant do that because of space. Fuel in tank etc. Put finger over hole. Add lib round it. I had to, on one tank. Add piece of tube, now maybe youve got two fuel tanks like me. Now I'm not about to discribe every boat configeration. But a visit to local engineers store will provide all parts and help. Maximum cost for water, muck seperation plus cross flow from tank to tank. About twenty quid. Hey dont laugh. I got rid of 20 galons of water in fuel tank this way last year.
The Forums still laughing about it but. It didn't stop the boat once. You just need T shaped sort of shape with three or four taps on it. Water and shit will always go to the bottom. So just drain it off as it gets full. Conect both tanks together but close all taps. Now once fitted you've got automatic cleaning of tanks Plus feed all fuel to one engine or tother. Not bad for twenty quid.
But IMHO for get sea start. I'm not knocking them. But if your stuck out at sea. Errmm Its may day may day i think!!



11 Jan 2002
Caribbean at the moment

I would suggest that you take the boat there AND take it all the way back. Not trucking it back, unless outbound trip is a nightmare.

Also, would suggest taking somebody (Colin, praps) on the axshul first sea trip. Cos if sumink happens, then need to fix it, and ooer. You can't "pretend" a real trip with a spin around the bay easily.

You need a bit of a licence (ie bung someone some money) for the thames bits. Mebbe somebody different from hereabouts can help with going from gillingham say upriver if u need it.

You really do need flares and a decentish method of getting off the boat. If anything happens to the boat, the sinking bit is one of the better options. Much worse is kerboop flames ooer have to jump in right now. You won't need a liferaft...unless you need a liferaft.

Full report required please. You're obviously looking forward to it, or crapping yourself, or both.


Well-known member
16 May 2001
Hampshire / Solent
Regarding Seastart, have a look at their website They cover, it would seem the whole south coast.

When I purchased my boat I gave it some consideration to join and after many recommendation from this forum 2 years ago I joined. I think it is added peace of mine NOT a replacement for maintenance and other services. Although I have been a member for some time I have never used them, seen them in action a few times in the Solent.

I think a particular benefit, they are on call 24hours a day, they could save the weekend for you. They will do most things from un-fouling the prop to a tow.

The cost is around £120 a year, I guess think of it like the AA/RAC - some people have it some don't.