We dropped anchor as the sun was going down about 5pm today after just 4 hours of running.
On Tuesday we made about 60 miles in ten hours and anchored in St. Simon’s Island for the night. We are trying to train Goose to do his business on a piece of carpet but he is having none of that yet. In fact he is actually a bit leery of the moving around on deck ever since he slipped and fell in the water off the dock in Savannah.
A 60 pound wet dog is not easy to pull out of the drink!
Anyway, we dropped the dingy in St. Simons and motored in to let him fertilize the ground. He was extremely grateful. Tomorrow we will try the carpet again.
Yesterday (Wednesday) when I started the motor at 0630 there was a funny burning smell. I have been a bit worried about the alternator as we are using a LOT of power to run the 30 year old AC refrigeration compressor off the alternator and the inverter. It works but…
As soon as we pulled up the anchor the smell got worse and the tachometer quit. (The tach is driven off the alternator) so I shut it down and dropped an anchor to check.
Three hours later I still had not figured out why the alternator was squealing like a stuck pig and getting very hot. Luckily just a few miles down the waterway was a marina with a mechanic who could look.
We made it to a dock at the marina, and the mechanic and an older electronics guy I had found showed up. They spent 2 hours to tell me my belt was not tight enough. Charge – $380.00
Dumb me. I just did not trust myself, and had over thought the problem and had convinced myself there was a bigger issue. In fact I convinced these two guys too! There is a really good lesson here!
No worries. I enjoyed talking with both of them and they helped me understand some other questions I had about alternators and inverters.
Then as soon as they left, Ryan and I tackled getting the old non functioning generator out of the hole…
This had been nagging at me for four weeks. How to do it, what was wrong with it and can it be fixed with our limited resources.
We got it out in 2.5 hours and used the main halyard to get it up on deck. How many 15 year olds get to remove a generator from an engine and get a lesson on how they work? Ryan is fun to work with. He is smart and willing and asks good questions…
The field windings were measuring open and when we took it apart it was obvious that due to salt water leaking on the main engine and being sucked in by the cooling fan on the generator, the insulation on the wires connecting the field windings had deteriorated, and they had broken. (For all you mechanical minded friends!)
Hopefully we can get it fixed in south Florida…
We got off the dock today at 2 and turned south again after a short detour due to the captains inability to pay attention!
Tomorrow the goal is Jacksonville Fl, and then on to St. Augustine the next day.
299 miles to West Palm Beach and we have to meet Ian there on the 20th.
And the shakedown cruise continues! Hopefully the sunny 70 degree days will continue. Not bad for December!
Don’t you feel like a dolt when something so simple costs you $$? I know the feeling… I was confused about why the tach quit working though. So I Googled it and found this page – http://www.amplepower.com/primer/tach/. Interesting explanation of how they work (or don’t work). My guess is that when it failed it was because you had no electrical load on the alternator. No load translates to no excitation in the field windings, thus no tach signal.
Looks like the preferable setup is a direct pickup tach, running from the crank, ‘It’s only money!’ 🙁
BTW – I know this is a dumb question, but you do have a spare alternator belt right? Yours just aged several years, lol.
Glad you making way to warmer weather. Keep us land locked souls entertained!
P.S. – Goose + carpet = Funnnnny 🙂
Well yes I have several in fact. Less one now of course! Included in my $400 charge was the old grizzled Navy Chief electronics tech who said my tach was a goner and get a new one.
I hooked it back up because all the grounds were attached to it and it fired right up. LOL.
I am right back where I started – less $400, generator out (I’ll call you about that one) and some good sea stories – plus a comfort level of running the refrigeration with the inverter and alternator…