So, in the last instalment I bought a boat, had it fail to start, bought a new alternator and worked out that the old alternator had been wrongly fitted. I refitted the new alternator and proceeded to run the engine with the diesel tap closed until it stopped. Not clever.
So on the Saturday morning on my new boat I awoke with the job of bleeding the diesel through to the injectors to get the engine started again. I had also been disappointed when the engine had been running the previous evening to note that the bloody charging light and alarm had still been sounding, leading me to believe that the alternator still wasn’t quite wired correctly. Booo.
So, I bled the engine through, and poured over more internet pages with schematics of Hitachi alternators. I came to the conclusion that the connection on the wire on the alternator marked ‘P’ for phase simply wasn’t required in my set up. P is used to power rev counters and such like, which my boat doesn’t have. So I connected live to the lug that the chap in the shop had indicated, and connected the boat wiring’s neutral cables onto a nut and bolt on the alternator body marked ‘E’. Earth right?
I then got a new battery for good measure and fired everything up. It all worked beautifully. No alarm from the Yanmar starter panel, no charging warning light, and a good 14V+ across my batteries! Yay! Finally success. Time to get out for a sail before high tailing it back to Somerset. Maybe a pasty first…
I grabbed a pasty from Dizzy’s in Oreston, where I was very pleased to see, they were making the pasties right there in the shop. And very nice my pasty was too!
Then I got back to the boat, dropped the mooring and headed out of the Plym for the sound. Once I rounded Mount Batten breakwater it was time to put some rag up and get the noisy old engine shut down. I took a good look around for approaching vessels and then pulled out the genoa. Took another quick look around and a hydrofoil sailing dingy had sliced its way out of nowhere and was flying past! What a sight!
I pulled up the canvas and found Dennis and I had left a reef in the day before. Still, I had canvas up and was goose winging across the sound.
With the reef shaken out and all canvas up I had a good sail. I’d left the dingy on the mooring, and the transom mounted outboard was up and not dragging and consequently the boat behaved much better, tacking happily and although you wouldn’t call her quick she was OK. I’m sure she’ll be like a new boat when all that weed comes off!
Later the wind picked up and the sun came out briefly. It was a beautiful autumn sail, with moody skies, dancing sunbeams and fickle winds.