June 2018 – World Cup Year in Russia.

After a suspected case of diesel bug, we were informed by the engineer that the engine had low compression on the cylinders and would need replacing.

Little did we know then that replacing the “broken” engine would lead to 4 years of mechanical breakdowns, bad running, and all manner of engine related issues, culminating in total mechanical and structural failure in August 2021.

Regardless of our hindsight, this day in June held such promise – we were having a new engine fitted and it was going to be great. As an added bonus, it was World Cup year and England were playing Belgium later that evening – Sometimes our 2 worlds do align!

The weather was gorgeous and work started early on taking out the old engine. As Harebell was nearly 20 years old when we bought her, this was an exciting time for us; having spent over £5,000, we thought that we were investing in the long term future of the boat and we certainly planned to have a lot of fun watching those running hours add up. By comparison, the new engine looked great – new, fresh & ready to roll and we had a brand new dashboard with a proper rev counter, a key and a few other dials & switches that I’m sure are important.

Although the purpose of this #ThrowbackThursday is to recount the day the new engine went in, it’s impossible not to reflect upon the day as the beginning of 4 years of heartache, breakdowns, engine failures and the inevitable arguments and bickering that followed as a result of the stress & quite frankly, miserable boating. We hadn’t even run the engine for 15 minutes the next day before the problems started, but I’m sure I need to keep those stories for another post on another day!

Our plans to de – camp to a pub and watch the England game didn’t materialise and we listened to the radio instead. We lost the game 1-0, but it was a group stage game and it wasn’t a “must win” match – England were still though to the Quarter Finals!