Thursday, 22 October 2009

Electrickery

This week has been a real mixture, of both stress and relief. We joined RCR on Monday morning, and arranged for one of their contracted engineers to visit us that afternoon. Unfortunately, the Duck's wiring was- in his opinion- in a pretty poor state, and he wasn't able to make a completely safe and reliable repair under the terms of his RCR contract, which like the AA will get you going again but not do too much work.
We arranged for him to return on Tuesday, but he had a sinking boat to attend to so came briefly on Wednesday and today. We've had to disconnect the domestic supply as the wiring had an earth leak somewhere and it was causing the ignition to fail.
But we got the engine started, albeit with no instrumentation, and Amy and I set off for Ely at 3.30. We stopped after Bottisham Lock to flush the intake, but couldn't start the engine again. The solenoid would fire, but the engine wouldn't turn over. I turned it reasonably easily with an adjustable spanner, so reckoned the problem was not mechanical, but electrical.
It turns out that the starter battery is more useful currently for ballast than engine starting. We tried wiring in one of the domestic batteries, which are dual purpose, and it started first time. Relief!
Thinking about it, the starter battery has probably always been a bit naff; in the past, due to the selector switch being faulty, it has always had the leisure batteries to back it up; on its own today, for pretty much the first time, it showed its weakness.
The engine eagerly turned over on one of the elecsols, and we had a pleasant cruise into Ely, arriving at a quarter past six.
Moving at last!
So, for now, I have put one of the old leisure batteries in the well deck next to the water pump- because we do need to flush the intake- and I've put the inverter back onto the batteries so we can use the 240v lights as the 12v have no power.
Another job to put on the list for March to look at; and so there may be 12v rewiring when we return to Cambridge.
Lyra, by the way, is very confused that her home was moving. She sat on the engine cover at our feet, yowled a bit to indicate her displeasure at us having the temerity to make her home rattle, shake and move, but she soon settled down.
Where are we?

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