A well-mown carpet - a confession by Richard Clutterbuck


It was a wet walk that brought us into the chandlers, where I spotted the 2hp outboard. It had gone overboard and was now seized, so was very cheap. I decided this was a learning opportunity, and once home I took it apart to find out more. With the cylinder head off I could finally see the piston.

I felt free to try things I would not have considered on a ‘posh’ outboard, so I added oil to the piston and with a block of wood, a large hammer and a lot of force, the piston moved a little! Encouraged, I continued until the piston was completely freed.

I decided to reassemble the engine, to continue work another day, but wanted to show my wife progress, so took it to the hall by the kitchen, where my wife was. To show her how beautifully the piston now moved, I pulled the starting handle vigorously. The engine roared into life. The propeller spun fast, and dug a neat furrow in the carpet. I was delighted, my wife less so. The groove in the carpet remained for years and I still think my wife believes I did it deliberately.


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