So why are we are still in Galveston?

Stephen and Roberta Arnold
Tue 25 May 2010 23:03

029:19.339N 094 46.565W


So we were up bright and early this morning with plans to fuel at the Galveston Yacht Basin and then head out to sea (ok the Gulf). Everything was ready, nothing was keeping us here until we started to raise the anchor and noticed smoke coming from the circuit breaker panel.


This is one of those things that will stop you in your tracks -  priority number at this time was to stop letting all the smoke out of the wires.  I shut down the generator – I have a 110 V AC windlass, don’t ask me why it isn’t 12 V DC like most of the rest of the world I have no idea. Stopping the generator stopped the smoke so I could look behind the instrument panel. While I was opening the panel, Roberta was standing by with a fire extinguisher covering me. Fortunately the fire was out and I didn’t get doused with fire retardant.


Now it was time to take a breath and access the damages. Actually we had  to go on deck to catch our breath – the smell of burning wires is not too pleasant.


I could tell where the wires were burned, the singed wood gave it away, but getting to them required me to bend my body into what I am sure is a new karma sutra position. The short was where one big bundle of wires entered the circuit breaker panel. Working through a small whole I was able to figure out which wires were burnt and cut them. Then it was a ‘simple’ matter of splicing in new wires.


Of course this required a trip to West Marine, dink in the water and off I go. I was not about to make more than one trip so $100  later I had everything I imagined I might need.


Back to the boat – spliced in the wires and smoke tested it. This time the smoke stayed in.


So it’s 2pm and we decide there is still time to get fuel and anchor by the Galveston Yacht Basin for the night – so here we are.


Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to do something we’ve always wanted to do – go cruising.


Roberta wants to know is when the fun will start.


For you engineering types here’s what the wires looked like after I cut them out. The top wire is the three strand power to the windlass and the other is the generator hot wire. There is a U shaped cut out in the bottom of the circuit breaker panel that the wire bundle passes through. The panel is hinged at the bottom so opening and closing it probably caused the wires to chafe either on the wood or on each other. Extra chafe protection has been added.




On the positive side the weather has been very nice and the autopilot seems to work.