Page published 12 October 2023
After our Anniversary Cruise last week we had to wait ten days to get the boat sorted. There were two issues. The batteries had died and the engine was overheating. The Wednesday arrived when Moonfleet were due to visit Anchor Moorings and, as agreed, I went to the boat before they were due to arrive, so that they would arrive with a warm engine to test.
Before I started up the engine I thought I ought to record how things looked in the engine bay.
However, the first thing I did on getting to the boat was to lift the cushions and boards to reveal the engine bay and take a photo. As I discovered after getting the boat to Norfolk, it's good to have a record of when things change. After that I started the engine. As usual, ever since the last maintenance session, it started immediately. It seemed that no sooner had I done that that Kathy and Dylan arrived, the engine wasn't yet at working temperature.
Kathy installed the battery while Dylan worked on the engine.
Nevertheless the pair got to work. There was some discussion about exactly how to install the extra battery. Kathy advised that I should cut away part of the small metal plate that covered the stop cock on the cooling water inlet. If that was not done, then because of where the charge controller had been fitted it would be impossible to remove without lifting the battery.
If you look at the photo I took before work started you can see that, it's likely the boat once had a second domestic battery. The area around the tray containing the bottle of oil, there is existing framing in place.
While this discussion took place Dylan was pressure testing the cooling system. That revealed a small leak around one of the junctions between the metal and rubber pipes. Tightening the jubilee clip appeared to solve that.
The neighbouring cruiser is called Hey Jude a name like ours, one inspired by a song.
I left the pair to do what needed to be done and took the opportunity to take a couple of photos of boats on the moorings around us. Although this was only supposed to be a temporary mooring it felt very appropriate for us. Ahead of us is Hey Jude a boat, like Singing the Blues that also is named after a song, while on the other side of the basin is Artemis. To understand the connection there you have to read how my old SeaHawk, Imagination was renamed Just 17
Artemis, the cruiser opposite our mooring, also has a name with connection with my old SeaHawk
The engine bay as it was left by Kathy and Dylan.
Once the Moonfleet team had done all they could on this visit there were still a few things to sort out, but I reckoned that even I could manage them. It was agreed that I would call in at Moonfleet on Friday to collect a few bits and pieces that Kathy would obtain. Friday would be a good day for me as I was also expecting to be able to pick up the repaired mud weight then that Phil had found for me in Moonfleet's shed.
Apart from the mudweight to collect Kathy planned to obtain strapping, necessary to hold the new battery in place. The BSS specification requires that not only should any battery not be able to slide around, it should also not be able to tip up.
Battery terminal covers also had to be fitted. Kathy had not brought any as she was not sure of the layout of things, and she warned that none were made that would really fully cover the four way connection of the central battery's positive terminal.
Then there was a new fuse needed on the main charging circuit. It seems it had blown and this was the reason we had lost battery power last week. It was suggested that, given the way the sole domestic battery had been left for a year or more without being charged, it is likely that when the engine was started the alternator had attempted to deliver too much charge and that would have blown the fuse.
Finally, it was suggested that what I refer to as the radiator cap was a little worn and was also worth changing as a precaution to avoid any loss of engine coolant. Not that a boat has a radiator in the way that a car has. On a boat it's known as a heat exchanger as rather than the heat from the water jacket around the engine being exchanged with air passing through a radiator, the heat is passed to river water sucked in and passed through heat exchanger. The warmed river water then passes out through the engine's exhaust system.