I have for many, many years been into recycling and doing my best to avoid being part of the 'throw away and rapidly replace' culture. Dad, God bless him, has always been an extremely talented make do and mend guy and some of that has rubbed off on me now I am retired. I am beginning to appreciate his jars of accumulated screws and nails, under the workbench boxes of scraps of wood and plastic, bundles of string and frankly lord knows what else. Dad has never yet failed to find something that answers the question...."Dad, you wouldn't by any chance have.........?"
His shed is the TARDIS, despite how much junk Mum has him store in there!
Over the years I didn't do as much as I should have towards this 'make do and mend' philosophy - working 60 hr weeks in the teaching profession put paid to that and, interestingly, as an aside, the first long term survey/monitoring report ever into teaching workload hours in the UK has just been published today - damning verdict - in 25 years despite successive promises from successive governments - nothing has changed on teacher work load. 35% of new teachers quit within five years of joining the profession; 25% are working 60 hrs plus; 50% work 50 hrs + per week. Excessive administration, marking etc takes 22 hrs per week minimum, 3/5 teachers have to work in their evenings just to stay afloat for the next day. We are offering £28,000 training bursaries to recruit enough geography teachers to meet a national shortage crisis - and that's just to geographers!
Teachers in Finland, which consistently ranks the world top education tables - work 34 hrs per week with smaller class sizes and spend several hours a week training and updating their skills. Their professional and social status is highly regarded by their nation. Says it all really. I retired reluctantly as soon as I could after 35 years of this and lost a quarter of my pension in doing so for the rest of my life - it was I surmised, worth it to protect health and sanity - you don't get those years back - but I left with some regrets - I'd have liked to have carried on until I was sixty, under better circumstances. Don't get me wrong - teaching has been a joy and an utmost privilege but it came with costs to family life, health and personal sanity. But then I guess in our country that can be said of very many professions and our successive governments just don't get it - maybe the New Zealand approach of looking at what is important to people and investing more time and capital in those things to raise happiness is actually a good idea. I'm sure New Zealand readers will have views on this and as always comments in the box below are welcome.
Anyway, back to the outboard, sorry for the slight frustrating deviation.
My initial thoughts have been - "how do I repair this fracture so it is no longer a problem?"
There are various options that have been supplied to me by various FaceBook forum members and I am grateful to all those, who as usual, came to my rescue generously with their time and comments. The 'burning cartoon' memes were perhaps less helpful although a salutary reminder of the dangers of getting this wrong!!
After emptying the tank of fuel (typically I had just filled it when I noticed the slow trickling seepage stain over the foam sponge ring around the cap area)
- flushing it out with water and letting it thoroughly dry, heat gun seal through plastic welding the offensive crack
- rough up the area with 80 girt sandpaper and clean it thoroughly with alcohol wipes before applying epoxy - JB weld or G/Flex seemed the popular suggestions
- using self amalgamating rubber plumbers tape - a piece stretched to x 10 its original length wrapped tightly around itself several times, apparently seals anything!
- get a new fuel tank
Postscript - after a suggestion from John Welsford, I found a plastic welder who charges around £40 an hour. He thinks it can be done but isn't sure. I guess it is time to exercise some common sense and bite the bullet by purchasing a new tank. It is, after all, a safety issue.
Postcript 2 - talk about a struggle to find a new fuel tank - most retailers say a 6 week wait whilst it comes from Japan - however, one retailer of outboards took pity - but at a cost - £81. Anyway, he took the tank out of a new four stroke and has sent it to me so I can be out sailing next week all being well. He has a spare already in transit, about two weeks out. I guess it was a kind offer and so the extra £12 has been worth it. His nearest competitor was charging £69 but a wait of 6 weeks.