Monday, April 8, 2013

Sadler Point Marina - the genset works!

A sunrise!
The above photo is offered as proof that not all sailboaters sleep in. I actually got up in time to see the sunrise! After all, this was the day we were to get the new circuit board for our genset. The marina was getting in a demonstration model for the Jacksonville boat show that shared the same motor and boards as the one we bought. The idea was to swap out our defective board for a good one on the boat show genset along with the starter motor we had problems with too. They would send the defective board back to Kohler for servicing for replacement to the boat show genset later.

So everything was installed and the motor turned over but then stopped suddenly. Once again it blew a 100 amp fuse in the starter battery circuit. Reading the manual (RTFM) we found that the starter motor was a 2.5 kw unit. Doing a little math (divide 12v from the battery into 2.5kw yields 200 amps required!) we discovered that the fuse was way too small. The battery could put out the amps okay and the wiring could take it but the fuse which worked fine for the Panda certainly was too small for the Kohler. So just to get things started, they jumped the fuse (no 200 or 300 amps fuses available anywhere nearby) and the genset finally started right up!!

We met Bill and Judy Robinson - they sold their house and are living full time on their boat - hummm
Our enthusiasm lasted for about 5 minutes then the genset died again. The technician heard the motor coughing before stopping which is a sign of air in the fuel. He tried bleeding the fuel using the built in fuel bleed sequence on the engine but no dice. He then manually filled the fuel filter and tried again. This time it ran without a problem. We ran it for several hours, started it up, stopped it, etc. Even so we're going to stay an extra day and exercise the genset for the next 24 hours just to be as sure as we could that all was well.

If things go according to plan, we'll leave Sadler Point on Wednesday morning for Fernandina for two days and reach Savannah Sunday afternoon and leave on Wednesday morning. At least that's the plan. It's a relief to finally get the genset running but I think the checkout on Tuesday is still important.