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Hard Cleaning

The slipways need regular cleaning to keep them clear of mud. Left unattended, the mud builds up at an alarming rate. 

Hosing down with river water is the most effective way of cleaning the slipway. The job takes about three hours and needs doing every other week.  It is possible for a strong person to do it single-handed, but its much easier with two.


Check the oil, the combined dipstick and oil filler cap is located at the bottom of the 

crank case. (See photograph 1).

Check the fuel level. The fuel filler cap is located on the fuel tank fitted above the engine. (See photograph 1). The pump engine runs on unleaded petrol. Petrol is stored in the fuel store located adjacent to the lifting gantry at the down river end of the boat shed.

Place the pump in a wheelbarrow. This helps to keep the pump out of the mud and makes it easier to move about.

Move the pump to the water’s edge.

Connect the suction and delivery hoses to the pump. The suction hose is the hose with the strum box (plastic mesh basket) fitted on the end. A gasket (rubber or plastic washer) must be fitted where the suction hose connects to the pump.

This is to prevent the pump sucking in air at the connection. If the connection is not air tight the pump will not work. The delivery hose is the hose with the nozzle on the end. Ideally there should be a gasket fitted at the connection between the pump and the delivery hose otherwise it will leak. The suction hose connects to the lower connection on the pump and the delivery hose the connection near the top. (See photograph 2).

Wade out and place the end of the suction hose and strum box in the water, the strum box must be totally immersed in the water. The strum box must always be fitted to the end of the suction hose otherwise stones will be sucked into the pump and damage the impellor.

Remove the plastic bung fitted at the top of the pump housing (See photograph 2). Prime the pump (fill the pump housing with water).

Turn the electrical switch on the side of 

the engine to on. (See photograph 3). 

Turn on the fuel from the lever at the end of the engine and apply the choke with the lever below the fuel lever. Start the engine by pulling the starter cord. When the engine has started let the choke off. Increase the engine speed to full throttle with the lever fitted above the choke and fuel levers. (See photograph 4).

Wait two minutes, water should start coming out of the nozzle, slowly at first then at full force. It is best to leave the nozzle on the ground near to the pump with your foot holding the nozzle down. Having the nozzle on the ground near to the pump reduces the head (height) that the pump has to pump. Keeping your foot on the nozzle stops the hose flailing around when the pump starts to operate at full pressure.  Once it starts pumping you can move the nozzle about as you please.

If the pump fails to operate after a couple of minutes reduce the engine speed and stop the pump by turning the switch on the side of the engine to off. Re-prime and restart the pump. If after six attempts the pump fails to work pack everything away and go home. 

As the tide recedes, or comes in, the pump will have to be moved down or up the hard. This will require the end of the suction hose to be moved. Move the end of the hose with your boot/foot. Do not be tempted to lift the strum box out of the water it will let air into the pipe and you will have to prime the pump again.

When you have finished with the pump remove the hoses from the pump and coil

them up and put them back where you got them from. The pump MUST be flushed out with fresh water before it is put away. Connect a hose to a tap and run fresh/tap water through the delivery and suction connections on the pump, remove the priming bung and put the hose in the hole. Remove the plastic bung from the bottom of the pump housing (See photograph 5) and run some more fresh water through. Refit the bungs. Give the outside of the pump and engine a quick wash with fresh water. If there is some WD40, or a similar product available, give the outside of the engine and pump quick spray all over, especially around the carburetor.

Please note that failure to flush the pump with fresh water will result in the pump seizing up.

Bill Kippen May 2017