After the high of yesterday, today brought a couple of small hurdles that will have to be overcome.
First was the news that the gates of Elton Lock on the Nene are going to be removed, and that the stoppage to replace them has overrun due to the recent strong stream. We’re not sure how long it will take for the work to complete, and will phone the river inspector about it soon, but it might stop us bringing Willow back by the 13th or so. We’ll play it by ear; Elton is nearly commutable to Cambridge for work, and there are various possibilities if we have to leave Willow there and bring it back a week later or so. We can’t make any plans beyond “get as far as possible as quickly as possible”, so we’ll just see how things develop.
The second hurdle is the alternator. It’s unfortunately not working properly. The initial symptoms showed as the water temperature buzzer and warning light coming on as soon as the engine was turned on. Apparently this same warning light can come on if there’s a fault with the oil pressure sender, or a charging fault. Checking the battery voltage with a multimeter, with the engine running, revealed it to be only 12.5, and for it to not change whilst the engine was running.
I spent quite a lot of time fiddling with various bits and pieces. The cables are all intact, although the one piece connector that takes the B+ and initial power supply into the alternator looks a little suspect inside. A possible remedy of bypassing that connector and running a cable directly to the battery positive terminal from the separate B+ post didn’t solve the problem. However there are a few things to try tomorrow.
Other than that, we’ve been getting on with bits and pieces. I installed another LED light fitting, this time in the saloon, and had a bit of a faff getting the wooden trim piece to cover the cables behind it. In the end, I used the multitool to cut a groove in the plywood behind it for the cable to sit in, so that the trim piece can fit flush.
We also ran a few more wires, one pair for the Whale Gulper sump pump in the bathroom, and another pair into the saloon for a couple of 12v sockets for phone charging.
One fairly important job was to attach the heads onto the cabin shafts (boat hooks) securely with new screws. As Willow doesn’t have a weed hatch, you have to poke and prod with the shaft and use the hook on the end to pull off any obstructions. A trial run removed a small piece of rag, but it’ll take some time to learn the technique. I might drill right through the head of the larger cabin shaft and put a decent bolt through it; having had a go with Mike Askin on Victoria, and with Jay Bills on Archimedes, at clearing blades with cabin shafts, you do sometimes have to use a lot of force, and the last thing you want is for the hook to fall off the end!
We spent the evening having a big sort out and clean. Simon is coming over tomorrow, hopefully, with a few more bits and pieces for the boat, and we wanted to make sure we had the space for them to go in.