Thursday, July 12, 2018

Milford - Still here with an alternator problem

What is this thing?
We are in Milford
Yes, I know what your thinking, but I’ve decided to tell you the ending at the beginning. This morning we all woke up and fought over who got the cocoa crispy cereal (it was Sarah and me) but before that Rowan, Grandpa, and I went out to walk Hoolie. We went pretty far around the dock, over the bridge, through the city,  past some stores, by the train station, and back to the Milford Landing. Everything was normal, us kids played on our devices for a while then, “Alright kids put your shoes on, all hands on deck!” said Nana. We untied the lines and the nice man helps us with that, then we were off! Sarah and I sat on the edge of the boat talking as we passed the other marinas. We get out past the rocks and everything was fine until I said, “I smell a campfire.” You're not supposed to smell a campfire on a boat. Grandpa was checking the engine when it started sparking! So Nana slowed down and turned around the boat. Nana called into the docks again and got permission to come in, “#8 port side”. I heard the man over the radio say. Finn, Sarah, and I moved all the fenders on to port side and got ready with the lines. We threw the nice man the lines (again) and nearly had our bow completely over the dock! But we actually weren’t as close as earlier assumed so everything was fine. Sarah and I tightened the lines then coiled them up. We had some lunch then went on a dink adventure and played on the playground! No sooner then we came back did Grandpa and all of us kids head out to get Subway sandwiches for dinner, yum! We have finished dinner and are heading off the boat to get Scooby Doo’s ice cream so I really must go. But wait, I almost forgot…. We are in Milford!
                                             By the way, it’s Natalie and so long!   

The middle of July and the place is empty!
I had installed the new brushes in the alternator last night and everything appeared in order so we started out in good cheer this morning for Port Jefferson. The first thing I noticed was a burning smell coming from the engine, that couldn't be good! When I rev'ed the engine to cruising rpm, I actually saw sparks come out from the alternator. That was pretty exciting. I told Ann to turn around and head back to Milford at idle speed. When I measured the temperature of the alternator with my Fluke IR meter, it was 240F and the armature was actually running about 400F! We made it back to the dock at Milford with the crew up on deck and me down below monitoring the engine while running a chat session with Matt in Texas where AmpTech was located. The company is very responsive, especially Matt. It's nice to get a human on the other end. I sent photos of the problem and finally wound up ordered an exact replacement to be shipped overnight to my marina. Once you figure in the cost of daily dockage, the charge for overnight vs several days later is clearly the best deal.

If I believe the tracking information, the new alternator is due to arrive by 10:30 am on Friday (it was shipped 3:00 pm Thursday from Texas). If so, I just have one additional day of dockage instead of two.

Ice cream is always a hit
With that bit of excitement over, we took the kids on a dinghy ride to see the waterfall in town and out towards the entrance to see all the boats. Everyone likes to drive the dinghy so they all had to take turns. We took them out to Subway for sandwiches and the ice cream shop again for dessert which is always a big hit. Hopefully, the alternator will arrive on time and we'll be able to leave Friday morning for the Port Jefferson anchorage. Boating is never dull.