First thing in the morning, I had a look at the alternator and had a clean of the contacts inside the plug that goes into the back of the alternator. Luckily, Simon’s father offered to come over, and as a former owner of a garage, he was just the man for the job.
Whilst waiting, Amy and I headed for Travis Perkins, to pick up a sheet of 12mm plywood to make the part height bulkhead that forms the divider for the kitchen and the saloon and which the kitchen units will be attached to. A couple of long cuts on the jigsaw soon had it reduced to the correct size, although we can’t fit the structure until the gas pipe to the cooker has been installed.
The rest of the morning was spent fiddling and fettling the alternator with Simon’s father. We reconnected the plug, put on the wire retaining clip, and fired up the engine. It turns out that one of the two batteries was taking a good deal of the power of the alternator, having a much higher resistance, but hopefully some good long charging when cruising will even that out a bit. The electrolyte levels in the cells are all OK and there’s no visible shorted cells or warped plates. Nevertheless we’re planning on getting some new leisure batteries soon, as having only two won’t be enough once we’ve installed the fridge.
The rest of the day was spent on odd jobs, such as wiring up various 12v sockets in the engine room, tidying the wiring to the panel, and organising the inside of the boat. Because we’ll mostly be cruising fr the next week and a bit, and not fitting out, we’ve put away all the tools and rearranged the spare wood, etc., to make more space inside the boat.
We also took the boat to get some diesel, getting 40 litres, from the pump by the drydock. Getting there was fun as the pound was about 6″ low, having been drawn off to refloat a sunken boat.
We needed the space because Simon and his father were going to drop off various other items of furniture that come with the boat, including a marvellous Edwardian gate leg table, and we managed to fit it all in with space to spare.
Once sorted, we walked up the hill to Eastwood, the larger town next to Langley Mill, and had a lovely meal in a Thai restaurant (Great Siam – highly recommeded) to celebrate. We also closed a swung open bottom gate on the lock, so hopefully it should fill in readiness for us tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow we’re off, on the first day of moving Willow as close to Cambridge as possible! We hear that there is a possibility that Elton Lock will be navigable by the time we get there so fingers crossed!