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chore update

Posted by on August 8, 2012

an electrician's tools ~ crimpers & cutters








While we have taken time out almost everyday to explore Plymouth, we have also been tending to our daily boat chores. So, I apologize if this post is about all of boring work stuff, and not about all of the fun exploring.

With intent of reducing the amount of time any paid professional spends working onboard, Wil chased and identified every wire he possibly could prior to our arrival to Brewer’s. Since our arrival, he has been working closely with the electrician. The first order of business was to track the unidentified electrical leak of 5.8 amp hours. After an entire day of searching, even the electrician seemed puzzled at times. However, with his handy-dandy equipment, he was able to determine that we are not actually losing the current through the grounding system.

the perfect wire strippers

heavy duty wire












So, why the case of electrolysis? According to the electrician, the engine and prop shaft are over-protected, and the rudder post is under-protected. There are missing bonding wires that will need to be added.

The electrical system also received some sprucing up. There was addition of positive and negative cables between various items. The Victron Multiplus inverter/charger only had 2/0 cable, but needed 3/0 cable. Since, Wil had recently removed a pile of unused battery cables, we wanted to re-use the old cables. Therefore, the Victron received two 2/0 cables between the unit and each of the positive and negative bus bars. The negative battery cable also received double wires. The negative cable from the solar panels was extended to reach the negative bus bar. And finally, both engines were completely separated from any other systems. They are now each their own isolated system, with their own wet cell starting batteries, and they are not tied into any system that runs off the lithium batteries.

The generator was the second order of business. After obtaining several more 8-amp fuses, the investigation continued. The current thought is that there is a faulty relay switch. The part has been ordered, and we’re waiting for it to arrive.

Our Autohelm ST6000 plus has been non-functional for the majority of time that we’ve owned the boat. It worked temporarily when I first sailed the boat from Sarasota to Fort Lauderdale, and then it would kick itself into standby mode. At that point in time, we didn’t have the time to investigate the autopilot. Then, we were on the hard for 3 years, and it was impossible to do any calibrations. While sailing to Cape Cod, we took advantage of the flat seas, and completed a few circles for autopilot calibration. We still couldn’t get it to work, and we didn’t have the proper manual for our specific unit. Once we had internet access again, I was able to determine that the rudder wasn’t coordinating with the autopilot. It appears our rudder reference unit needs to be replaced. We are currently waiting on that part, and once it is installed, we will confirm the working order of the autopilot.

The vibration of the prop shaft was an item added to the work list. The starboard engine needed to be slightly lifted in order to drill the bolts off the drive shaft coupler which connects to the transmission. We need a new drive shaft coupler and bolts, and these items are in the process of being locally ordered.

The water maker was on the list to be looked at. It was pickled when we purchased the boat 3 years ago (a method for preserving it when it’s not being used), and we have yet to run it. We know very little about water makers. When we first turn it on, we would like someone to be present who does know water makers, so we don’t destroy the unit. However, at this point in time, there is plenty of work to be done, so the the water maker may have to wait for a later date.

In the meantime, while we have the amenities of being at a marina, loads of laundry are being washed. We are also taking advantage of the extra electricity by running the vacuum.

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