18. The Problems get Smaller, and So Does My Bank Account

An update and some good news. The electrical wizard I’ve hired has found the issue with the inverter/charger. There was a blown .25 ah frog hair fuse buried deep inside that’s been replaced. I now have a couple of spares. The unit now passes bench testing and is currently installed and charging away, which is a massive relief.

I’m going to let everything charge up for a day or two and have them do a load test of my house bank to see what kind of shape it’s in. If it needs replacement, I may as well do it while I’m here

Jump ahead a few days, and some more diagnostic progress has been made in the engineering department aboard Sylphide. It’s been determined that my house bank has died. It’s passed on. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet it’s maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies. It’s metabolic processes are now ‘istory. It’s off the twig. It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off it’s mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible. It is an EX-Battery Bank.

At nearly ten years old, which is much older than I thought they were, I really can’t fault them. I have therefore decided to replace said battery bank with Lifeline AGMs of the same capacity.

I’ve also made some progress regarding my generator issue. I have the utmost respect for the previous owner of this boat. He really built a hell of a craft. His craftsman’s eye, and pathological attention to detail manifest themselves in thousands of ways. One uncharacteristic misstep I have found though, is the way the exhaust is run from the generator to the ship’s side. It’s a straight run. There’s no loop or elbow between the seacock and the exhaust manifold. To his credit, the PO did tell me that I’d need to make sure that seacock was closed whenever the generator wasn’t running, and thoroughly explained why. Unfortunately, I failed to do so before venturing out into the sloppy Delaware Bay. After a few minutes of getting my ass handed to me, I realized my mistake, but there was no way I could step away from the helm long enough to close the seacock safely, and by then, it’s likely the damage would have already been done anyway.

Long story short, I got seawater into my generator cylinder. It wasn’t running at the time, thankfully. I did try to start it once several hours after the fact, but it stalled quickly, and I decided not to tempt fate again. The techs I’ve consulted believe that there’s a very good chance that it’s salvageable, so we’ll try to do so. In the process, I’m going to have them rework the exhaust so as to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

While this pit stop will be expensive, I’m surprisingly not too bent out of shape about it. Actually quite the opposite. Both of these issues, especially the batteries, were giving me continual low grade anxiety, and it will be a relief to know I have fresh and reliable equipment under my feet. It actually feels pretty good to know I’m improving the boat.

I’ll be heading back to work for another month, and will be leaving Sylphide here at Eastport Yacht Center. She’s in good hands, and will be getting the love and attention she needs.

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