Monday, May 29, 2006

Drop The Charges

Battery System, 5/28/2006

[Note: backdated this post to reposition in chronological order.]

One more maintenance/repair post, then I promise to write about one of our weekend cruises last summer. I say that as if someone is actually reading this, and actually cares. ;-)

Our pre-purchase surveyor cautioned me about the battery system. There was a problem getting voltage, and it wasn't clear why. We sea-trialed ok, though, so I felt we could address the problem after taking delivery Memorial Day weekend 2006. Oops.

My friend Chris was visiting from Tennessee, and I was glad for the help to bring the boat home. Saturday of Memorial Day weekend arrived and Chris, Michele and I set out to pick the boat up at the prior owner's home. He was away for the weekend, but gave us permission to take her away while he was gone. Guess what, no power. We struggled for a little while and then gave up, resolved to return on Sunday and gut the battery system. We did just that: replaced both batteries, the battery switch, all battery cables, and the ground wire. It took all day and three trips to four different marine supply stores, but shortly after 4pm, the big old diesel engine roared to life.

In the next few minutes, I made a very risky decision. On a Sunday of a holiday weekend, with evening approaching and a 3 hour trip ahead of us, in an unfamiliar boat, in unfamiliar waters, navigating solely by compass and charts, Chris and I cast off and set a course for Shipwright Harbor, our boat's new home.

Fortunately, sunny and mostly calm weather made for a really nice cruise, and we made it with no real problems. Our only struggle was finding red #2 in Herring Bay, but eventually we got in ok and Michele was waiting for us at the slip, ready to catch our lines. We tied up, covered the boat, and headed over to Skipper's for dinner and margaritas. The bartender welcomed us to the neighborhood with a couple complimentary tequila shots, a gesture we surely won't forget!

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