Fw: Boring boat stuff, Bob.

Wed 11 Nov 2009 07:18
So we are half way through the boat jobs, everything is taken apart and waiting for new/repaired parts to be sea worthy again.  That's kind of half.
1) Our first job was to get hooked up to shore power, having grown up in the Caribbean Winny runs on 110v shore power, Fiji and NZ use 240v.  A 'plug in' transformer in Fiji we thought a little pricey so waited until we got to Tauranga.  Wrong idea, transformers here were at least twice the price and required alot more fitting to comply with regulations.  After a week finding and ordering what we needed cheerful Ian, former super yacht sparky, set us up and there was light.
2) Prior to the power being connected we had to run the engine to charge the batteries, hence lovely Geoff couldn't take bits off to get to the bottom of the cooling system problems. To clarify....  In Fiji I thought we should sort out once and for all the leak that filled the engine bay with water way back last Nov on the way to Virgin Gorda and still raised it's ugly head now and again.  Clever Nadeem came aboard and diagnosed 'back pressure' straight away then set about finding the cause.  He found one or bits of many impellers blocking the system infront of the oil cooler.  I later had a hand full of bits of rubber. 
At least three more of the large size pieces were still below when this picture was taken!  All in a 3/4'' diameter hose.
The impeller we replaced in Galapagos was hardly damaged so these bits must be from the days of Moorings 'maintenance'.
The bits went through the hoses as far as the narrower bore of the cooler and stopped....   Reducing the water flow through the rest of the engine and evidently causing 'eddies' on the far end of the cooler. (How the engine survived the flat out passage through the Panama Canal I shall never know) The oil cooler and heat exchanger were cleaned and when the engine was put back together all seemed fine except a leak on the exit end of the oil cooler.  After much angst and loss of sleep we agreed to patch the cooler and head for NZ, we are a sailing boat after all and should not need it.
Unfortunately for Winny the weather and time were not on our side.  Having only used 110 gallons of diesel between BVI and Fiji (8,000 miles over 9 months), we carried extra cans for the passage between Fiji and NZ luckily, as we burned over 50 gallons! (1200 miles in 13 days) Hence the engine had to do a lot more work than we had reckoned on....
Geoff was shocked when taking the hose off the oil cooler, the end of the unit came off in his hand with no effort at all he had a cooler in bits!!!  His ''You were lucky it did not blow on the way here'' I think was very understated.
The brass end is balanced on the frayed edges of what is left!  The white stuff our silicon patch.
The small holes that stopped the rubber bits passing through further.
Geoff has been doing this job a long time and has never seen this before..... we have to wait for a cooler to come from Singapore as it is so unusual there are no spares carried in the country!
3) Charging the batteries should have been the job of the duogen (you might be thinking), well that had a bad crossing too!  Having installed a new alternator in Fiji it was working well and quietly.. until one morning as the wind died and we tried to lift it out of the water.  One side of the unit had broken off through the pivot hole and it was hanging on the other side. 
Temporarily lashed on waiting for a concerted effort to take the heavy alternator out of the yolk.
Unfortunately three of us spent the morning taking the whole thing apart connecting the old alternator etc. only to find the yolk that holds the alternator was twisted by the weight being on one side, hence nothing was straight, we couldn't use the water mode as it did not track straight and the impeller would not turn.  We couldn't use the wind mode as it would not sit straight in the supporting clamp.  We still don't know how this happened and we are sure nothing hit the trailing impeller.  Hey ho no free power.  Both alternators and the yolk are now packed up ready for shipping back to the UK. 
Thank goodness Susan was praying for us every night - thank you Susan!
So whilst we are waiting for things we are making ourselves at home here, and today we had early Christmas presents of a push-bike each, with complimentary helmets.  Now we can take off whenever to the post office, hot pools in Mt Maunganui, or just to the supermarket.  No more waiting for buses that don't stop at the Marina because of the roadworks.