Wed 25 Nov 2009 23:09
Weather: Sunny and warm
We almost got away but not quite, yesterday I had agreed to help a French
single hander sailing a small 6.5 meter boat with even less money than me
with a problem on their autopilot,. How could I refuse? I know very little
about autopilots but have always been pretty good at troubleshooting
mechanical and electrical problems so thought I could do lirrle harm. After some
discussions and looking at the installation we pulled the back off the
control unit, it smelt like something had been toasted and after a little
inspection identified a power triode which was clearly burnt out. Testing it
with a multimeter tended to confirm the diagnosis. A friend of my new
acquaintance, originally French but now a local, was also helping and he
managed to locate a replacement part. It is now back together and we will
soon be testing it. I am not convinced the burnt out triode is the cause of
the original problem but believe it was burnt out in the coutse of trying to solve the
original problem, so I suspect more trouble shooting is required. In the
meantime I have completed all my clearing out formalities and am ready to
go. As it was getting late and rapidly approaching beer O'clock I have
decided to stay the night and get underway in the morning.
All is well.
We are still here. I hear sailing time has been delayed but as a thoroughly
dedicated nautical feline I continue my sea preparations, confirming all
bunks remain at immediate readiness. So far so good . . . Zzzzzzzz.
We have just finished testing the pilot, and as I suspected we have not solved the problem but am still disappointed. Whatever is wrong is way beyond my abilites to solve, especailly with no circuit diagram and without some serious test equipment. Sylph has no such beast on board, just a mechanical wind vane, she doesn't sail fast enough to need one. Time for that beer.