Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the large Alberg inventory.

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Friday, March 3, 2017

March is being itself again.  

Blustery winds are sweeping across the country and creating some sustained breezes for sailing in our region.  

Gone are the hazy winter skies and pleasant breezes, easy to bear with a bit of sunshine.  Now the wind is definitely upset, and the fetch is annoyed too, the sailing demands some tactics and procedures that you don't use everyday.  It'll be cold going out that's for sure but it will also be a good time to reef-up and test the water sealant along the cap rail again.

During the period passage of storms, I've been on the phone trying to find the problem of my Alternator's outputs and the requirements of my Tachometer.  Also, I'm looking in town for someone who can open up this tach and put in a wire for 4 volts of AC power which the it requires.  Some frustration over this little wrinkle.  It all seems to come down to "sourcing" again.  It was harder before the internet existed. All we had back in the day was the yellow-pages.  At least we can scour around and quickly spot who might most likely be able to get this odd job done.

Purty little thing in its box.  Needs to get to work!

And I found the guy.  Working out of an old garage that showed signs of several generations and hundreds if not thousands of alternator and starter parts, the guy knew exactly what I handed him and exactly what it needed.  Whew.  What a relief.  As he pored over a real desk catalogue to insure he had the correct part, I gazed at the exposed rafters, one or two bowing toward the ground, and the fridge, which looked like something from my early days that held old bottles of coca-cola, yes, the real ones that were small and very cold or so it seemed.  Because in Carolina it gets very hot in the summertime, and this garage showed the signs of it.  

I wondered what we will do when this guy is gone.  Who will be the resident Yoda of electricity here?  The folks at the bright and shiny stores don't have this guy's encyclopedic knowledge or the stories to go with that memory.  He told me all about my original alternator, how GM used these in every car they built, and how the Japanese Hitachi item in his hands was really the same thing except made strictly for one use only, power.  It was 35 watts and it only had a DC outbound peg.  He would pop the alternator open and solder a connecting wire with a 4 volt outbound AC current for my tach.  I breathed a sigh of relief as the internet company had no other recommendations than to find this guy, this one right in front of me, and ask him to fix the additional wire.  And they didn't even know where this guy was.  

And, after securing my refitted alternator from him this week, I installed it and began calibrations.  The fix is good, it works!  Plus the new alternator is just so much smaller than the original Delco monster alternator, so there is a bit less stuff in that crowded space.  The journey of the panel is now complete, from the old faded and sad looking face to a happier and more informative one.

Bringing back life to the original electrical panel.
These photos show what is on the other end of the alternator, the original engine control panel in the cockpit.  Of course the tach did not fit the original hole (you were wondering that I'm sure), I used a curved hand rasp to enlarge the hole for the tach.  

Everything in it's time and sequence.  I want every item I do to be a good fix, not just a band-aid.  If ever there comes a day when I might choose to sell Nautica, I can at least proclaim the fixes were done with attention to longevity not timidity.
Winter winds sweeping the playing field.