Boogie Nights

A sweary hyperactive maritime professional, really very keen on laughing a lot, doing their best to avoid all the trappings of societies' expectations by acting on impulse to any adventurous idea that wafts by. Let's go!

bienvenu, hola, ciao!

08 May 2007


There's been lots of singing and dancing. jumping up and down and rejoicing to the sound of the holy Beta marine, puffing the peace pipe of diesel and clinking glasses of bubbly french bevarage, to say thanks dad.

what am I on about?

we only got our bloody alternator working after five months... that's what!

ok, so we only realised it wasn't working when we left our marina mooring a month or so ago, but we've been trying hard to solve the problem since then.
I'm fairly mechanically minded and so is Mr X, but neither of us know much about alternators or how they work. ( or should I say knew, because now I think I'm bordering on hexspert)

So after we discovered it wasn't charging I got on 'tinternet and started researching.
I read quite a lot of useful information and we started to work our way around the system, there was many calls to my dad who is considerably more patient when it comes to problem solving and much much more knowledgeable of electrical systems. Unfortunately he is nearly 180 miles away.

so it started thus:
- I ordered a new alternator, a more powerful one as we want to add another battery and this seemed like the opportune moment to do so.
- after some net research I looked at the warning lamp bulb to make sure it had a good connection, cleaned the contacts and put it back
- Mr X cleaned every battery connection, replaced spade connectors that were loose and cleaned all earth connections.
- we fitted the new alternator
- still no charge
- we put the old alternator back on
- still no charge
- back to the start we checked all the wires, one by one running from the control panel through the loom to the engine.
all checked out ok, except we noticed the start relay wasn't closing. it would sometimes, but not others.
- a new relay fitted
- still no charge
- more calls to my dad and more discussion about the warning lamp bulb. I said it was the first thing i looked at and its seems to be working ok. so he suggested we try to short the circuit across the back of the bulb to give us a shot of un-resisted flow...
BINGO, the alternator started charging.
- Problem solved, all we needed was a bigger bulb! a trip to the nearest motor spares shop came up with a 4watt bulb, priced £2

now we've fitted our new 65amp alternator and this bad boy really does charge the batteries well. So well in fact it's almost like being hooked up to the mains power.

next job on the list: fix the leaking boiler.

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