Finishing off projects

Today was a good day in many ways, not just that I managed to harvest over 600Wh of solar, which means that the battery was topped off in the morning and full already at 8, but also that I got two projects done, one that I even started today!

The biggest one, and most important one, started when I got a message that the starter was delivered. As you might know I have had some issues with my old starter. What I think has happened is that the coals that transfers the electricity to the rotor were jammed and thus when I pushed the start button nothing happened, since the circuit wasn’t closed.

That is a safety concern for me, since I really need to be able to rely on having the engine available when I need it. And since I will be single handing the boat most of the time I really don’t want to spend time taking the engine apart doing emergency repairs while sailing.

To replace the starter is on paper a fairly easy task, it is two bolts that needs to be unbolted and a nut to release the cables, and that’s it. Do the reverse with the replacement and it should be good to go. In reality the starter sits tucked in under some pipes on the engine and the bolts are situated in such a way that you mostly have to work them by feel.

Removing the old starter was pretty easy, since I already done it one time before. It does really help knowing beforehand the steps needed to remove it. The issues started when I put the new one in. For some reason I just couldn’t get the top bolt to align correctly, and to make things even more frustrating I managed, in an unattended moment, leave a bolt in one of the holes that obviously fell out and disappeared down into the engine bay sump. And it was just gone! I knew it had to be in there somewhere, but it took me ten minutes just to find that darn thing again. The entire swap was frustrating, since I’ve already had done the maneuvers earlier when I removed, inspected and mounted the old one without issues and I knew what to do, but still it was a struggle.

As soon as the new starter was in place, I tested it and it started the engine just fine. So that was a project done. Sweet!

The second project of the day was installing a waterproof USB-charger in the cockpit. It was rather straight forward – get a hole saw, make a large hole in the helm, splice in some new power cables for it, connect it up and – done! It was really that easy. The whole helm station needs a rewiring though, it is a mess! And I’m adding to it at the moment, I’m afraid. But it will happen later, when i have some more time and the right material at hand.

Why I need it is mainly because of two reasons, the first is that I use my old iPad as a chart plotter and its battery is not just old and tired but as the iPad is running with the screen constantly on it also drains the battery quickly. So by having the charger at the helm station it can be charged under way, which is great. The second reason is convenience. Having a USB-charger nearby is always great and I hope that I will spend some time in the cockpit at anchor and then it will be convenient not to leave the phone or the iPad down below while it is charging. And other things as well, of course.

I did intend to do an oil change as well, I have all the needed replacements for oil and filters, and since I had to start the engine anyway to test the starter I thought why not, it has to be done. But just as I sat down and was ready to pump out the oil I realized that I didn’t have any tool to remove the oil filter and I couldn’t remove it by hand, unfortunately. So that will have to wait until I get the proper tool for it.

But all in all, a very nice day.

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