Friday, 7 May 2010

Baffled Again

As you know by now, when something doesn’t work right on this boat the outcome isn’t necessarily what you’d (normally) expect. Besides plan A never working when we’re doing any boat work. Even tech problems have a hidden twist, take for example the heat exchanger on the boiler.
 
Under normal circumstances a knackered heat exchanger means the boiler won’t work, but amazingly ours did – ok so it wasn’t perfect. We had to top up the header tank every morning and steam flew out of the exhaust whenever the CH switched itself on. But apart from that it kept us warm, when by rights it shouldn’t have. Anyone we spoke to, even the engineer who fixed it said it shouldn’t have been switching on at all. Nobody could understand it, but it got sorted so we didn’t bother with an inquiry.

The mystery problem of the moment: The dilemma posed by the faulty alternator for the leisure batteries is the opposite way round, it should be working but it isn’t. A couple of days ago Dave disconnected it and dropped it off to be checked out. We got a phone call later to say it was ok, no problems to report – even after it had been stress tested.
Much as that should (normally) be good news, in our case it isn’t, we need to find out what the real problem is, and we’re still left scratching our heads. So would we both pass a stress test regarding this matter at the moment? Debateable.
 
The mystery wire: While Dave was prating about “under the hood” he started checking other things (like you do I suppose), and found a disconnected wire hanging down, so he connected it back where it should be. But as for where the other end goes, what it connects up to and what it does (or doesn’t do) nobody knows. He tried to find out but after following it for about 18 inches, beyond that it gets tucked away into a waterproof protective tube with about 7,000 other wires never to be seen again. But could the reconnected wire have something to do with the alternator?
 
All the batteries, amps, wattages, outputs and wotsits have always been ok, control panels give the right readings so we’re running out of things to blame. Which means we’re going to have to go out again for a few days next week (he he) and give it a dam good thrashing workout to see if anything’s changed.
 
We’ve come up with an “alternate” alternator plan too, Dave phoned Isuzu and got a quote for a more powerful alternator, but the old phrase “peace of mind don’t come cheap” came to mind when we found out how much. So just as one job reveals another aboard TT (and more). It appears that we now have an added dimension to contend with – one mystery reveals another two. Ah well, such is life…  
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One more thing: There was yet another amusing gongoozler comment I heard today. (It’s amazing what you here when sat in the lux con). Two people were walking behind our boat on the public walkway (not 15 foot away) when they suddenly realised that some boats are bigger than others, and ours took up 2 moorings.

Woman: “Well look at that one, it’s bigger than the others, it’s taking up 2 spaces and there’s no room for another one down the side is there?”

Bloke: (He checks it out) “Nay there isn’t”

Woman: “Well that’s not very fair is it?”

I REALLY felt like going outside and letting her know that we pay double the mooring fees for the privilege. But I always restrain from making any comments while the boat is in the marina, so it’s on here instead. Classic stuff…

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