On Sunday we went out for a sail and had just got out of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour, near low water and a drying patch, when the engine revs starting dying away and we finally lost the engine completely when we tried increasing the revs. The fuel filter was completely clogged with sludge and slime and we started drifting towards the bank until at one point we had only a foot of water under our 14 ton boat.
We got the genoa out faster than ever before and managed to sail away into the main channel and out of the danger of going aground. Still had the issue of ferries and the hovercraft to think about but after sailing towards Cowes for a couple of hours we decided to head back to Haslar and see if the engine would get us in. It was a lovely sunny day, so we enjoyed the sailing part of it!
We sailed virtually to the harbour entrance, gratefully heard the engine start and dropped the main. We kept very low revs and were fortunate the tide was with us into the marina. We continued to use the genoa until the last moment but the engine carried on until we were secure in our berth again. I really needed a drink then!
Rob changed the filter yesterday and took pictures of the state of it. We really should have changed it before as we had an idea it was getting clogged. Good lesson learnt and no damage done. Phew!!!