Date: 12 March 2021. Lightning
Strike and Errors Made (part 1)
It all started 28 December 2020, though at that time none of us were not
aware of how far the problems went. This is part one of the
lightning series. Today I detail how fortunate I am
to have a great neighbor, and the far reaching events that began
late last year. Mistakes were made by me. Here is what I learned.
I have one
of the best neighbors possible. His name is Cap'n Dave and he's been
a real blessing as far as the small boating community I share here
on the beach. The man pays attention to noises that are out of the
norm. Then he calls or texts so further investigation can be made.
enjoys boating in both center console speed boats and larger
happened: On 28
December Cap'n Dave sent a text saying he heard an alarm coming from
one of the boats west of his home. I'm almost always up late writing
so I went looking to isolate which boat was alarming off. It turned
out to be a Prairie.
This is the
Prairie, when she was in slings at Salt Creek Boat Yard:
I told you about my experiences at that yard in the
Salt Creek Boatyard
first thing I did upon entry was pull the batteries out of the CO
alarm in the main cabin of the Prairie trawler. I then opened up the
back door and windows. It had been storming so the breeze was brisk.
After airing out the boat I closed her up then returned home.
A bit later
that night Cap'n Dave said the alarm was again going off. This time
the CO alarm in the forward cabin was ringing. Again I aired out the
boat. About the only thing that will cause an alarm to go off on a
boat is a battery off-gassing. I assumed that was the case here so
made sure the battery charger was shut off. Then I returned home.
The smoke alarms aboard
the boat were silent.
The following day the boat
owner came down. He verified that the
water levels in his 6-volt battery bank were a-okay. All was well
addition to the 6-volt battery bank there existed one addition
battery. That one was a new 12-volt batt used to start the
Westerbeke generator onboard the vessel. It was purchased and installed
last year. I did it, and therefore we had no reason to believe a
battery would be the cause of the alarm.
battery charger off, no further alarms sounded. Tracking down the
source of the alarm the previous evening didn't stay a priority once we were
sure there was water in the old batteries. Both the boat owner and I
thought this might have been an odd one-off. It slipped from our
Ignoring an alarm.
Jesse, a *shipwright of some renown hereabouts...
An individual who understands marine systems, and is able to
troubleshoot and repair same.
Via my friend Cheryl, Jesse agreed to spend some time here and
resolve the myriad of issues the boats nearby and my Seaweed are
experiencing. You met Cheryl and her husband Fred in the
Sojourners Saloon article
On Island Time
(Schucker 440 Motorsailor). They are great
Cheryl and Fred, in their dinghy:
on the neighbor's newly purchased
vessel. She lacked instruments at the lower helm.
Boat projects always
seem to take multiple trips to stores. Though I love
outings, I prefer to shop versus buy. Buying trips for me
are always stress-filled events. In addition to the
instruments, a trip to Home Depot was required for a chunk
of oak. That oak was used for the tachometer mounting box.
gauge is larger than the Oil, Engine Temp, and Voltage
meter trio. Jesse sketched, cut out and sanded the oak
piece for the tach. Then I did the finish work.
Ladies will understand how traumatic
the disorder boat projects can become. This boat, the one that Jesse
started on, has not been lived aboard yet so she's in major chaos.
When I am painting or staining over several days,
I do not clean my paint brush. Instead I put the bristles into a
sandwich bag and store it in the freezer between uses. Thus I
avoid the work of cleaning a cheap paint brush. In the few
minutes between removal from my freezer and use, the brush is
nearly defrosted. This saves work.
I do purchase
expensive brushes available.
Daddy bought good brushes and used them forever. He DRILLED HOLES
he could hang his brushes after cleaning. Decades later, I still
have his old paint brushes. Nowadays though I use them to sweep
dust and puppy fur off the floor.
Skipper is my joy. I love this dog:
She helps me keep my sanity when my world tilts
Jesse consulted with the boat owner
to decide placement of the tachometer gauge at the lower helm.
New instruments at the lower helm pleased the
In the meantime Jesse was
checking out the diesel Perkins. He said we would have to take the
new alternator to a shop for an additional wire/stud so
the tachometer gauge recently purchased would work. In the meantime we were running
the built in battery charger to bring the voltage up.
Alternators: If I understood it
correctly an alternator with the addition of a single wire
from the inside will work with a tachometer to display engine
RPM's. Now I'm definitely NOT an expert, however I did find it
interesting that I wouldn't have to install a "fancy"
alternator to get this reading.
Whilst down in the engine room, Jesse noticed the
*separate 12-volt battery was hot. With this discovery, the source
of that CO alarm was identified. The newest battery, the one I had
not checked because it was a recent purchase, was overheating and off-gassing.
battery: The main battery bank is comprised of four 6-volt batteries
forward of the engine. This batt, a single 12-volt Group 29 is the
start battery for the generator. Group 29 is the size of the
battery. The 29's weigh just approximately 65 pounds.
Knowing where a problem is centered is always a good thing. Issues
cannot be resolved until the
root cause is located. Having Jesse has been a real blessing. I can't wait
until he gets to my Seaweed!!!
Lightning Strike and Errors Made
Thank you for reading. More
Has your boat ever been struck by lightning?
And, how many CO monitors do you have in your home?
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