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Date: 30 December 2020. New Alternator Bracket.


As detailed in Website Woes Resolved, I had completed a new article when my writing system went kaflooey. Today I have to the best of my ability recreated what was lost. Let us step back in time to the summer, when Seaweed was at Salt Creek boatyard. In addition to the normal boatyard items, I wanted to permanently resolve an issue with the alternator portion of my charging system.

I told you about my experiences at the yard in the Salt Creek Boatyard article.

But I digress...
"Everybody" says to get a larger/high capacity alternator for more power and faster charging. Now that is probably a great idea for many of the boaters I know. For me however, there were a series of ways to do it wrong. I managed to hit most of them. Learn from my errors in the
Upsizing the Alternator - My Mistake article.

In one of the debacles along the way to Failure, I snapped the end off the bracket that holds my alternator in place.

When I put the larger alternator on the engine, the torque broke the end of my original bracket.

The engine alternator on Seaweed charges my battery bank. It is also a part of the cooling system. The v-belt (aka fan belt) that spins the alternator also turns the raw water pump. That is an important component of my cooling system. After my original bracket broke I stabilized it by securing a nut and bolt at the open end. Of course this was not ideal, however it did suffice... barely.

Temporary repairs often are utilized
FAR LONGER than anticipated at inception.

This older photo shows the alternator bracket before the end snapped off.

While in the boatyard I was not idle. I wanted to purchase a new alternator bracket. Seaweed has a marinized Kubota tractor engine. I thought it would be simple to buy a new bracket for my engine. Ha. Every project is generally a bit more complicated than I imagine at inception...

First I had to find a company that sells alternator brackets for the Kubota. There were none local to the St. Petersburg area.  From there the hunt was on. One kind gent recommended MG Industrial Engines. I spoke with Mike at MG [813/622-8763] who asked for the engine serial number.



When I first got Betsy (my new engine) I diligently wrote down every number I could find on her. These were recorded in the engine manuals. I had numbers, lots of them, however they were not the one specific serial number I needed.

Fortunately Mike worked with me. He was patient. I provided photos. You'll see that I was careful to lay out a ruler so he could see the size of both the bolt pattern and the armature. → and ↓

Mike at MG Industrial Engines tractor parts [813/622-8763] received photos via email. He believed he had what I required. To double check he suggested I find the elusive serial number on my engine.


Now one would think so important a number
would be prominent, large and easily found. Ha!

Said serial number is under the injectors, above the raw water pump, near a battery bank, and, well, in a dang near impossible spot to see. I took a picture as getting my head in there upside down would not have been pretty. This was not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

I can best be described as physically phfitt, and I'm not getting any younger.

I scraped off the white paint to reveal a number that was sort-of what was needed.

MG Industrial Engines went above and beyond what one would expect when dealing with a potential sale of a $10 item. The company representative knew his stuff and was great! Mike called Kubota and though we were looking at the number, it didn't match anything Kubota had in their records either. Argh.

Nevertheless, Mike believed he had the part I needed in stock. I ordered, along with spares. All were delivered within a few days.

My new ALTERNATOR BRACKET is installed. It fits. The BOLT pattern matches perfectly.

At the bottom you'll probably note the oil pressure sending unit hose
that came off when my Seaweed overheated. I'll tell you about that soon.

About Spares: There are two schools of thought regarding spare parts. One states that if a part can be obtained quickly, save your money and only order when necessary. The other says if an item is essential have a working spare aboard. I am of the latter philosophy. As I am able, I purchase extras so I can swap things out on the fly.

Aboard our 40'er, we eventually had spares for everything. All those decades ago boaters were really on our own. We had to have or be able to make-do with whatever was on our home. Being able to figure out a way to manage was essential.


Memory Lane: Decades ago on our 40'er we blew a head gasket. We limped into port with a filthy boat. The interior was covered in an oily residue. That was dreadful. Our head gasket was copper and we did not have a spare.


Daddy knew what to do. We headed to a strip shopping center. He always said *some electricians were the filthiest people on earth. We scoured behind the stores and came up with lots of copper wire left on the ground. That we stripped out until we had sufficient copper to facilitate the weld/repair.

*Like most captains, my Daddy did not lack for opinions.

Next we headed to a welding shop. The owner did not believe the job could be done. Daddy convinced the gent to allow us to rent his gear. After patching the thin copper head gasket, the shop owner refused to take payment. He said just watching and learning was worth more than the price of the rental.

Daddy following my
duo up the dock...


This is the knife we used:

That was yet another day when I realized
I had  smart Daddy. He could do anything.

In the extremely unlikely event that my ALTERNATOR BRACKET should fail, I have another ready to install.

Truly I am blessed to live aboard Seaweed. She is my home, my shelter, and my joy. I am indeed fortunate. I wish you and yours the same happiness I get to experience each day. Happy New Year to you all.

Thank you for being a part of my world. I am so pleased you chose to share your time with me. Happiness always to you and yours...

I'd love to hear what criteria you find Absolutely Imperative.
And, have you picked out one particular brand and size that suits you?

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2020, 2023

Categories: Characters, Gear, In the Bilges, Locations, Memory Lane,

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