Sunday 25th August 2013 - Dithering in Denarau
Sunday 25th August 2013 – Dithering in Denarau
We’ve been in Port Denarau for 9 days now and things are progressing slowly. Oddly enough, we’ve encountered one or two obstacles. The reason for coming to Port Denarau was because Baobab Marine (Super Yacht Services – Refit, Repair and Maintenance, blah, blah) were there. A quick call to the boss of the organisation in Vuda Point had established that it made no difference whether we went to Vuda Point or Port Denarau – both provided the same comprehensive level of support. Moreover, they are agents for Raymarine, Spectra Watermakers, various makes of auxiliary generator and so on. So, no problem in sorting out our Raymarine VHF radio reception, the auxiliary generator, the engine-driven domestic battery alternator or our Spectra Watermaker. Bingo! Or not. We cannot vouch for the equivalence of support between the two locations but can say that that provided at Port Denarau falls well short of being comprehensive.
generator still appears to be producing a charge at a lower voltage than it
ought to its internal battery.
Baobab don’t rewind these things and so we’ll have to live with it. We did discover that the generator
engine mounts were pretty well shot so we await the delivery of replacements
We were pretty sure that we knew that the cause of the random reception on the VHF radio was caused by a duff antenna splitter in the brand new Garmin 600 active AIS transceiver. But we needed a VHF engineer to pop along with a standing wave ratio (SWR) meter to do a few minutes’ worth of tests to rule everything else out and establish that if we re-inserted the old Raymarine 250 passive AIS all would be well. It is unclear how anyone claiming to be able to support Raymarine VHF radios on yachts can hope to do so without such a meter. However, nobody in Port Denarau possesses one and it took quite a lot of determined digging to discover Tecair in Lautoka (perhaps an hour away by road) who did possess one and on turning up seemed to know what they were talking about. They confirmed our original diagnosis. Thank you, Mr Garmin, we will be returning your quality marine product anon and well before its warranty runs out. Not much of a consolation but some at least.
On arrival in
Port Denarau it took no time at all to establish that when Baobab Marine said
they were agents for Spectra Watermakers they meant that the could sell you as
many filters as you liked but hadn’t got the first idea how to diagnose or fix
problems with them. This was
something of a surprise to Spectra’s Technical Support in
were unable to help with the burnt-out main engine 24V domestic battery
alternator beyond confirming that is was, indeed, burnt out. They do not re-wind these things and
have no recommendations as to who might in these parts. They were also unable to source a
replacement but knew someone who might.
This proved a fruitless distraction which delayed the placing of an order
for a direct replacement with Golden Arrow in
very attractive prices of large capacity solar panels here we did toy with the
idea of having a couple mounted on a gantry at the stern – above the
bimini. Certainly the installation
costs and those of fabricating the stainless steel gantry would be much cheaper
here than in NZ. Once again, having
received assurances from the suppliers of these panels that they were eminently
suitable for marine use and absolutely everyone fitted them hereabouts, a quick
call to the manufacturers in
So, it’s been a week of some progress at least. With luck, this week will see the arrival of some of the bits and pieces being shipped from various parts of the world and we can get a bit closer to returning to doing what we came to do.