Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Maintenance and upgrades, 2015 ...

General - Monthly wash-down, bottom cleaning and watermaker flushing.

Jan 2 - Wash and wax hull and deck, polish stainless, clean canvas.  Slippery When Wet (Denise Stanco).

Apr 7 -  Wash and wax hull and deck, polish stainless, clean canvas.  Slippery When Wet (Denise Stanco).

Mar 30 - On Sunday, March 29, ignition key did not turn starter nor warning signal.  Friend Hermann Schaller joined me the next morning to troubleshoot the electrical problem.  We traced all wires and battery connections and found voltage everywhere, except the ignition switch.  In the process, we discovered that the coolant in the cooling system had leaked out of the heat exchanger and down on to the starter under it.  So much corrosion had occurred that we could not reach the start to check the voltage.  It also appeared that there might be a pinhole leak in the exhaust elbow, as lampblack was all over that side of the engine. I decided that we should stop, and I would get a Yanmar mechanic to come out to investigate, assuming hoses had leaked or worse the heat exchanger had cracked.

Apr 7-8  - Smitty (Smith's Marine Service, Punta Gorda) came out and looked at the problem and said he could pull out the heat exchanger and starter the next day and we could assess the problem.  I met him at the boat the next morning and he went to work.  The result was that the coolant had indeed destroyed the starter and solenoid, the brass plate on the back of the heat exchanger was cracked, and it appeared that a loose connection had sent stray voltage through wiring harness and the main cable to the starter had actually started melting, which had caused the lampblack problem.  It was clearly close to starting a fire.  Because we had not taken Alizee out since the end of October, and I had only run the engine once for just a few minutes in February, we surmised the coolant leaking began in October and was really aggravated in February.  Anyway, Smitty took all the starter, heat exchanger, alternator and voltage regulator to see what might be salvaged and what had to be replaced.
                          Heat exchanger (left) and starter (right).

Corrosion and lampblack.            Below: heat exchanger.

Apr 10-May 8 - Smitty worked on the repairs and waited on Yanmar to deliver parts from Japan (which took over two weeks).  In the end he completed the following work: He checked the condition of  the seawater leak at the heat exchanger and the starter, removed the heat exchanger and elbow, removed the starter and associated burned wiring, removed the alternator and regulator for testing, removed the seawater pump for evaluation.  The starter, heat exchanger and voltage rgulator all needed replacing.  The shaft in the seawater pump was badly pitted, and we decided to replace it as well.  Installed a new starter, heat exchanger, voltage regulator, and seawater pump, all with new hoses, including the exhaust hose. Replaced the engine wire harness and modified it as required for the Balmar alternator (getting the Yanmar harness held up everything).  Installed a new thermostat and gasket.  Lifted the engine as required to gain access to the seawater pump.  Cleaned and painted engine components at the boat.  Repaired battery cable end at the starter, replenished coolant, test ran engine, checked all above components, re-tightened clamps, and topped up coolant.  Invoice #255 dated 5/13/2015.

Apr 7 -  Wash and wax hull and deck, polish stainless, clean canvas.  Slippery When Wet (Denise Stanco).

July 1 -  Wash and wax hull and deck, polish stainless, clean canvas.  Slippery When Wet (Denise Stanco).

Oct 16 - Wash and wax hull and deck, polish stainless, clean canvas.  Slippery When Wet (Denise Stanco).

Dec 7-19 - Spent four or five days on Alizee cleaning inside and out in preparation for our Christmas week cruise. Found and patched a leak in the dinghy, defrosted the refrigerator/freezer, washed the exterior canvas and applied 303 Aerospace Protectant to the bimini, dodger and mainsail cover. Since the end of September, having a real problem with Starlings finding comfort on the masthead - every day - and leaving droppings literally all over the boat.  This is a really problem at Burnt Store Marina, to which we relocated in May.  We bought a small pressure washer to clean some of the pavers at our house, and it is the only way to get the decks and canvas free of bird shit.  We probably cleaned the deck four times during this period.  

Dec 21-26 - Our Christmas week cruise lasted only two days, when we discovered on leaving Pelican Bay the morning of the 22nd that the alternator was not charging the battery under engine power. Called Smitty (Smith's Marine Service) at 10:00, and he agreed to come down to BSM and look at the situation around noon.  We sailed back to BSM and pulled in our slip at 11:30.  Smitty arrived as promised and checked the charging system for alternator/regulator failure.  Disconnected load-tested batteries.  Did some adjustments to the wiring of the regulator and, while we got it charging at 5 amps or so, the alternator was running almost 250-300 F, much too hot.  So we agreed to replace it.  Got one on Christmas Eve, and Smitty replaced it and tested the system on Dec 26th. Too late to go back out and continue our sail, but we'll reschedule for a week or two in January. Invoice #287 dated 12/29/2015.

Dec 21-23 - A mouse apparently got aboard while we were loading provisions aboard the boat had the hatches open on Sunday, Dec 20th or when we readied for departure on Monday, Dec 21st.  I found mouse droppings on the galley counters when I got up Tuesday morning, Dec 22nd, and found a lot in the cockpit as well.  When we returned that morning to BSM, I dug up a trap we'd used a couple of year's before.  That night, we stayed on the boat (hoping Smitty could find an alternator the next morning), and I set out the trap on the counter and put up our screen hatch covers. In the morning, while the trap was untouched, the little devil had gnawed his we out of the boat through the screen hatch cover. I've left the trap out, but I think the mouse was just an overnight visitor.



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