Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sadler Point Marina - The new genset doesn't start!

We moved next door for the weekend after the sad news

Oh where to begin? The day dawned full of hope, the sun was out, the air was warm and Sadler Point Marina had two of their best techs in to do the final prep on the genset before the first turn-on. After a couple of hours, everything was finally connected and ready to go. So the start button was pushed - nothing?! There's no power at the control board. Checking the components, the tech finds a short across the terminals of the starter motor. We also find the 100 amp fuse from the starter  battery blown. Something is wrong here.

So the starter motor is removed and taken to the bench inside the building. When tested there, it seems to work as it should. Back to the boat, the starter motor is remounted on the genset and the start button pushed once again. However, now the control board doesn't energize the starter motor - nothing happens, puzzlement ensues. The genset was supposedly run at the factory for over an hour to ensure everything was in order.

Oh the docks are nice, the facility is top notch here, next door to Sadler Point Marina - but our new genset doesn't work!
So what to do? The control panel is non-repairable by the marina, it's all electronics mounted on a circuit board. The only thing that can be done is to replace the board. But it's a Saturday morning and nothing is open and nothing is going to happen until Monday. With that we receive the bad news and an offer of a slip at a nearby marina where we can do laundry and have better accommodations. We take them up on the offer and motor down about 1/3 mile to the new marina.

Now we are full of apprehension. We just spent a new kitchen's worth of money on a genset for the expressed purpose of having an absolutely reliable piece of equipment. But already it's had two component failures: the starter motor that shorted out and the bad control panel. Is there more to come? Has the genset been stressed in some way we're not aware of (was it a display model at the boat show..., lots of moves) The last thing we want is to be out at a remote anchorage and push the start button with nothing happening!! We went after the Kohler name on the basis of it being the most reliable genset on the market but now we're not so sure. The experience today, Saturday, sure says otherwise.

We'll do boat chores Sunday and will return to Sadler Point Marina on Monday for further work on the Kohler with, hopefully, a better outcome than today!