Saturday, 5 April 2014

Cruising Preparations

It has been a busy day making a start on all those small maintenance tasks which need to be completed before commencing the 2014 summer cruising season.  The current list is:

  • Clean bow thruster locker and remove any winter condensation
  • Clean cratch lockers
  • Check cratch sump and bilge pump
  • Service generator
  • Fix faulty 12v socket in bedroom
  • Fix Freesat system
  • Clean hand basin and galley grease traps
  • Free the propulsion diesel tank cap
  • Check engine
  • Check domestic battery bank and auto watering system
  • Remove rust in engine compartment and repaint starboard swim
  • Re-configure the new laptop
  • Wash and polish boat
  • Rub down and paint starboard gunwale

Last year we removed 2 litres of water from the bow thruster locker.  This year there was only 250ml.  A milder winter?

The grease traps proved to be a quick but dirty job.  I like these ‘bottle’ style traps.

The hand basin trap wasn’t all that dirty (above) however the galley was a different story.

Jan had delayed restocking the galley knowing I would need an empty cupboard to reach the waste.  One problem which occurred whilst I was away was the failure of the 240v system on Waiouru.  I did the fault finding remotely talking Jan through a checklist.  Not quite on the same scale as Apollo 13 but interesting all the same.  The 240v runs from the shore power through the Victron inverter.  The first thing I asked Jan to do was check the shore power was live.  Then I asked her to change the shore line connection from the bow to the stern socket.  The problem still existed.  I then asked her to turn the circuit breakers on and off.  That didn’t solve the problem!  Jan then told me there were no lights on the Victron.  My initial thought was the Victron had failed.  But then I realised the Victron was still charging the batteries.  I told her she would have to call in an engineer but to make sure he checked the 240v switchboard before fault finding the Victron (always look for the simple problem first).  When the engineer arrived he immediately wanted to examine the Victron but Jan insisted he first check the 240v consumer unit.  He found the fault in the RCD.

The engineer went for a replacement (£40) and the total bill came to more than £140.  Ouch!  If I’d been with Jan we could have completed the repair for less than £20.

The next problem was the FreeSat.  The problem was there was no picture on the TV.  After discussing it with Jan over the internet we worked out the problem wasn’t the sat-dome or the sat receiver.  It was either a problem with the TV or the cable between the receiver and the TV.  The cable runs through the ceiling and would be a bit of a mongrel to replace.  However look for the simple things first.  I placed the multimeter across the ends of the cable which indicated no continuity.  So the problem was the cable rather than the TV.  The satellite cable has a single copper core.  This means it lacks flexibility.  If a cable breaks internally it will usually be at the end because that’s the area which receives the most movement.  I was able tor run my finger and thumb over the TV end of the cable and felt the “break” in the copper core.  It was then only a matter of cutting out the broken section and re-joining the ends by fitting two ‘F’ plugs.

I’ve very unfit and rather fat stout after too much of my own cooking.  Fortunately the English countryside beckons me, although I could do with some hill work!


Jenny and Robin said...

Tom I bet your a glad to be back where you can talk to everyone and not worry about walking into the wrong shop. Oh also get a decent home cooked meal!


Judith Emery said...

Welcome back to sanity. Really have enjoyed your Sandy Tales. Had been wondering how Jan was getting on on her own over here, she must be so glad to have you back in one piece. Looking forward to your boating blogs.
Ju & John

Paul and Elaine said...

Welcome Home!!

Tom and Jan said...

Thanks for the kind comments....

Just munching my way through the largest pork pie Jan could find!

nb AmyJo said...

Hi Tom,
Welcome back and hope your stoutness is not too much of a hindrance you'll soon wear it off lock wheeling :-) Enjoyed your blog abroad but its nice to hear about Waiouru again

Everyone is dying to know how Jan got on while you were away, hope she is well?

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Steve & Chris

I did consider bringing a 2nd wife home to keep Jan company but she said I'd be back to one if that happened. Jan told me I was surplus to requirements and that she managed quite well without me!

David said...

Hi Tom
Welcome back. Hope you and Jan are both well.Did you get my camel though quarantine? :-)


Tom and Jan said...

Hi David

You mean the one with the lovely big brown liquid eyes and large yellow teeth! Boy could she spit!

Unfortunately customs confiscated her :-)

Carol said...

Welcome back Tom, hope to see you somewhere on the GU or Thames after we launch!

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Carol,

I've been reading your blog posts with interest. I think you'll be able to get lost inside a WB! :-)

Lisa said...

I only just have seen you are back, Welcome. I haven't had a chance to read my fav bloggers as doing this malarky has taken me ages to learn, simple that it is.
I am getting to enjoy it too. So glad you are back and glad Jan is OK too,

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Lisa

We are enjoying your blog posts.... Keep it up! :-)