Fixing day today

The postman came late yesterday with goodies, but I missed him at the office, so collected the bits, a new water gauge and a bow light, this morning. So after a couple of poached eggs with Kathy I got stuck into the jobs.

Nice tidy cabin, breakfast cleared away
  1. Battery Charger
    Yesterday I was doing some testing to understand how much power I was getting from the wind generator and solar system. During the testing I noticed the battery charger was overheating and shutting down, further investigation showed the fan was broken on the charger. I picked one up yesterday and fitted it this morning. Job done, lets hope it lasts a while.
  2. Engine Water coolant leak
    I spent some time yesterday in hardware stores looking for hose fittings to improve this connection to the engine, but there aren’t any. I will probably post on some sailing forums to see what others do. I noticed the hose was quite brittle and I’m going to replace it all next week. For now I cut back the bad hose and re-fitted it. img_2828
    This worked, but a lot more cooling fluid poured out of the hose than I expected, I think the calorifier must hold a lot, and be located higher than the pipe. Managed to catch most of it in a 5 litre jug, but when time came to refill it, I had a litre left over, which in my mind means there is an air lock in the system now. I was expecting to have to add an extra litre. Anyway, I hoped that if I ran the engine a bit then it might work it’s way through.
    The engine wouldn’t start, turning the key, gives a click from the engine, but the starter doesn’t turn. Really disappointing and I assumed the solenoid had jammed, so a gentle tap on the solenoid was tried, no luck.
    I hot wired the solenoid and the engine started, the water level dropped, but not enough. So now I have two show stopping faults, when before I only had an intermittent drip.
  3. Water levels
    The port water tank level gauge had packed in, the float didn’t float and its magnets didn’t magnetise, so Kathy replaced it for me.img_2808 I have wired up the switch that used to just show the starboard tank level so that it now switches between port and starboard. I’ve never had such sophistication on a boat before, very posh. Hopefully we can top up now before the tank gets empty, that will save the pump running on an empty tank, and air spurting out the taps when we are empty.

    Half full tank on port captain

    Full tank on stb captain





4. Steaming light on mast

The new light finally arrived, and I popped up the mast for a fitting 😉 Well the mast is sort of oval shaped in cross section and the light has a flat back, I took the old light down and worked out a way to use its bracket for the new light. It looks like it will work well, but by now the sunlight was going so Kathy and I headed off to the pool to watch the sunset and have a cooling swim.

Tonight I have been studying the wiring diagrams for the engine, I now know far more about the Volvo MD22 (AKA Perkins M50) than I ever wanted to know. Things like, the engine ground is isolated from the boats electrical ground when starting or stopping the engine. Doesn’t say why, but might be related to galvanic corrosion caused by heavy currents.
Anyway the click I can hear when I turn the key to start, isn’t the solenoid, it’s a separate relay that switches the starter solenoid. I found that 12v leaves the control panel, and the relay is clicking with it, so it must be the wire or relay contacts from there that leads to the solenoid, as there isn’t any voltage getting to the solenoid. I’m very disappointed with the electrical side of the engine. It’s only ten years old, very low hours, yet the electrics are giving me too many problems. I think the control panel is damaged because it’s out in the cockpit, the UV caused the corners to crack so moisture gets in and has its evil way. How long should water hoses last, these are only 10 years old. The engine on Stardust is 8 years old and still looks new.

Not looking forward to tomorrow, the relay I need to get too is in a most inaccessible place. I will do the mast light first before it gets too hot. Hopefully if I can sort the engine tomorrow we can get out of here on Tuesday and go for a sail and anchor overnight somewhere nearby for a change. I’m hoping the rigging will arrive in a few days time and we can depart for Thailand.


Paul C.


2 thoughts on “Fixing day today”

  1. ” So now I have two show stopping faults, when before I only had an intermittent drip.”

    Sounds like the story of my life. Still we have our best people working on it 😉

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