And too we changed…
One characteristic of cruising is the added knowledge of how people in other cultures live. And in French Polynesia everything, well; most everything shuts down. Yeah, there are hotels and some restaurants open. But nothing beyond that. There are no malls, the stores cruisers often need are all closed. One grocery is open until noon and in the afternoon everything it shut down.
If you know about it you can plan ahead for those days. Sunday is a good day to move the boat or do a project on the boat that does not require additional supplies. More than I wish to admit; while doing the thermostat on the boat I would realize near noon time that I needed such and such. Off I would go to be stymied by the business closing for the lunch hour. Quite often it wasn’t a lunch hour but close to a latin siesta; 2 and in one case 3 hours. Coming from the land of “Instant Everything” where even stores you wouldn’t expect to be open are open 24/7 this turn of events can be a wee bit frustrating. But we are adapting. So on this Sunday we choose to rewire some on the Aquagen.
I wasn’t happy with my wiring and some of my mods as I upgraded various parts per Dan at Aquagen. Yeah, he sent me new wiring diagrams but still, it was a bit of a mess. Oh, wires were bundled properly and the ends were fitted correctly but I had to work with the setup Dan supplied. Well. fortunately for me our cruising friends IB and Becca on sv Passport had in Cartegena added the same generator setup and even more fortunate for me IB knows so much more about electricity, electronics and schematics than I he’s like a college professor whilst I wallow in the sand box.
He was kind enough to send me the schematic he made of the way the setup would be best wired. Now up to this I really thought I was doing ok. But; when on the crossing from the Galapagos I had a pump magnet break and short out I discovered how far off I was. Diagnosing the issue took a good part of the am and had I just put in a new fuse I would have soon run out of fuses finding the culprit.
So we set up to rewiring from the control panel onwards. It’s still not perfect but MUCH better and what I found was scary.
To go back a bit any avid reader may recall that I was having issues with the starter on the generator. I had 99% of the time adequate power to it. I even purchased a new key switch from Aquagen and replaced it but that did not change anything. The lights would barely dim as I cranked it over but every so often I would only hear the click on the solenoid and I would have to try the key a couple more times for it so start. Too some may even remember when we had a run away starter in the San Blas of Panama a couple of years ago. So high on my list was to make sure the wiring running to the solenoid was perfect and the wiring running to the other system could allow easy diagnosis of issue.
The key to this was to remove the wiring harness that Dan had put together and add a terminal block. First to remove some of the wires and the connection block he installed and it was there I immediately saw the problem. When I removed the block he had
supplied and wired up there on the pin connecting the solenoid was a great deal of corrosion. This is in a completely dry area and only the humidity in the atmosphere enters. The pin and corrosion was completely hidden and had I not been cleaning up this mess I would never have discovered it.
With that removed I added the terminal block, labeled the wires and reran them to the various parts of the system. We fired it up and viola’ ! There was no pause, no thinking that will it start this time or not. She fired right up, and with the new wiring running to each system I will say it seemed like I have better water flow. Yes; the cooling water in the system is an electric pump. Everything is running better. Everything. I still have some cleaning up to do. I mistakenly used the temp switch on the heat exchanger to run the fan and the regulator, discovering too late that that switch can’t handle the current.
Now we have to manually turn on the regulator. Just a minor inconvenience that will be eliminated when we get to American Samoa and can easily get supplies. Till then, we’ve power again and how sweet it is.