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Mercury Corrosion

Unable to find the part I needed for the outboard engine in Spain, I called a Mercury dealer in Glasgow to find out if they could get it for me in time for Colin to bring down with him. In complete contrast to the experience I'd had with the Ibiza dealers, the guy there knew exactly what I was talking about and told me off the top of his head that he thought he had a used one lying around somewhere. He had a hunt around and when I called him back later that day he told me that he had it. Unbelievable. Colin then agreed to collect it, only to find out that their workshop, which had been very close to his flat was now far outside of the city. Still, he endured massive upheaval and personal risk to retrieve it, and brought it down to Ibiza with him.

After increasingly frustrated attempts over the following 5 days to remove the final two bolts from the broken part of the outboard, I finally gave up and handed it over to someone else. One of my friends here put me in touch with Frank, a mechanic who, remarkably for high season, collected it the following morning and called me in the afternoon to say he'd done it. Although Mercury make great outboards for fresh water, they don't survive so well when you add salt to the equation and are apparently plagued by corrosion problems. All the different metals soon corrode and the stainless bolts had fused with the alloy mount so that the entire engine had to be disassembled in order to drill through the bolts in two different places. Apparently, Yamaha outboards don't have these corrosion problems and are also easier to dismantle - something I'll bear in mind when I next go engine shopping.

I'd planned to put the engine back together myself, but seeing it in so many parts I decided just to leave it to him, and, a couple of hours later we had a fully working engine again, which we test ran to the bar.

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