Jonty Pearce carries out some overdue maintenance on Aurial and finds more jobs for his ever growing list
When I was a nipper I remember an old wooden toy board with pegs that I was supposed to hit with a mallet; each time I knocked one down a different one sprang up somewhere else.
Comparisons can be made in many walks of life; management redundancies in the NHS is one that immediately springs to mind, though maintenance jobs on a boat comes a close second.
I visited on her Neyland berth for a spot of New Year fettling. I had bought her several Christmas presents which my fingers were itching to fit.
After my bulging battery experiences at the end of the season, a battery charger update was the main task.
After much research and pestering of the Southampton Boat Show stallholders, I chose the Sterling Pro Charge Ultra Lite as it can be fitted with not only a battery temperature sensor for one battery but also a ‘Daisy Chain’ series of sensors for the other batteries; now, if any of the sensors detect battery overheating, the unit will stop charging and alert me.
While I was at it, I added temperature sensors to the batteries and alternator for my Balmar Max Charge MC-612 regulator – I may have gone over the top, but I now feel safe whilst charging under engine as well as on shore power.
It’s amazing how a hot, bulging battery that sets off the gas alarm concentrates the mind.
The old charger also encompassed a mains consumer unit, so I needed to fit a separate one; a day’s hard work had the units all wired up and the temperature probes fitted to the negative battery terminals.
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Jonty Pearce begins his winter maintenance programme on Aurial - starting with the electrics
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Amazingly, it all worked perfectly first time! The second task on my list was to get my sound system sorted.
After installation of a Fusion system with an amplified subwoofer I suffered severe interference, hums, and popping from other electrical equipment aboard; the lights, gas switch, heater, and USB socket all made listening distasteful. Fusion’s very helpful technical team recommended a ground loop isolator.
I’d never heard of them, but after a quick internet search one popped through my letterbox.
They fit in the phono lead connecting the head unit and the subwoofer amp – a moment’s rewiring and hey presto! – gorgeous clear music with no unwanted noise distractions.
My final repair was to the plumbing. The heads hot tap had failed. Access was limited, but with the aid of a proper tap wrench the job was soon done and a nice shiny new pair of taps await the admiration of the Indoor Dragon.
Dumbfounded by my success, I forged ahead and changed the leaking and stuttering pressurized water pump. What a difference! Proper flow and a decisive pressure cycle.
Why didn’t I do this before? Earlier, I intimated that as soon as one job is done, another pops up to take its place.
This weekend has been no exception; and this time it is once more the dreaded Eberspacher heater.
While I have solved its starting and running problems, its tendency to gradually lace the cabin air with a fine smog continues despite fixing its exhaust leak and routing the fresh air inlet from the outside.
I’m now sure an internal gasket has failed, so next visit will include swapping the unit to my newly reconditioned spare one before stripping the smelly one down.
Oh joy. I sometimes wonder why I own a boat.
Is it for the enjoyment of sailing, or is it because I masochistically crave crawling into tight corners that my arthritic, fat, 6’2 frame cannot access? Answers on a postcard, please.