Sunday, 9 October 2011

phew what a weekend!

Arrived on Phoenix at about 19:00 Friday, and immediately set too in removing wiring... trying very hard to keep at least one light and the radio working as long as possible.... and worked through to about 23:00 where I collapsed exhausted into bed.

Early start on Saturday, and at it again by about 08:00.

It was becoming clear that removing the wiring was going to be a mammoth task... every little wire was buried deep in the darkest recesses of the boat, and required mases of dismantaling, revealing dusty, smelly areas that hadn't seen the light of day for years... and blessed with corroded and awkwardly placed screws that needed removing... some of cable was slimy with years of gunk, some dried out to the point of just snapping when pulled. It was clear that the wiring desperately needed replacing, as i'd already known.

A good deal of the wiring ran through the bilges... a pretty daft place to put any electrics, and after our little flood of the 2 weeks agao, was nicely slimy with a greasy oily coating... pretty unpleasant to remove.

One area of the bilges still needs pumping out, and so some of the cable was even underwater still... I haven't pumped it out yet, as the water is contaminated with diesel, and I don't want to pump it into the marina... and its enough water that I can't put it into containers easily without removing the pump outlet, which is below the water line... it'll have to wait until we are ashore, and then I can remove it 10 gallons at a time!

The hardest job of all was removing battery cables... for some reason the domestic batteries are located under the saloon seating, which seems a bit odd given the amount of space in the engine room, and because of this, some pretty heavy duty cables run under the bilges... they were absolute pigs to get out, as they wouldn't easily pull through the holes they had been run through due to how stiff they were.

Eventually though, they were released from captivity, along with the 3 way switch, and the 2 isolator switches (which are being replaced with more modern versions, and also being relocated to a more sensible position.

I'm also fitting a Sterling Alternator to Battery controller, as this will make better use of the power generated from the alternator, as well as providing a spilt diode facility to ensure the engine battery is always kept topped up.

I consequently moved the batteries to the engine room, and measured up for the new battery cables that i'll order this week. That'll be expensive... they're about £16 a metre!

So... all the saloon wiring removed, along with everything to the chart table... most of the wiring forwards to the forepeak... and the loom back to the aft cabin... Still got the wiring in the two cabins to deal with, but that should be easier as there isn't anywhere near so much.

In a couple of places, the wiring is buried behind teak tongue and groove panelling over a bulkhead leading to a light fitting... THis wouldn't come out no matter how hard I pulled, and so there was no chance of mousing in a new cable... so this had to be cut off and left in place.... its not visible, only a few inches of it overall, so no matter.

While I was revealing the wiring, I also discovered the copper water pipe and the copper gas pipe, neither of which look very healthy, and are being replaced anyway... so that's one task that at least I undertand where to hunt now.

I finally stopped at 23:00 on Saturday, and then started again at 07:00 Sunday, and worked through to about 16:30.

At this point, i'd had enough... with so much wiring removed, i'd lost the radio, as well as the water pump, so had no lights, no water and nothing to listen to... completely had enough!

I'd also removed hundreds of screws.. some with obvious uses, some seemingly completely random!

As part of the work, i'd removed all the wiring from the switch panel, and the panel itself.... and installed my new panel... it looks great even if I do say so myself!.. all worked as expected, with two exceptions... one light came on immediately, and stayed on regardless of switch position.... easy solved... i'd go the connections on back to front.... and the second.. the LED went pop immediately upon powering up... i've got some spares, so i'll just need to replace it... other priorities right now.

The wiring behind the panel is completely refreshed with a new fuse box, and all finished onto bus bars and a distribution panel, awaiting the main wiring to start going in.

One more good weekends work, and we should start to see some services up and running again, especially the water pump, and lights!

One final thing... found another leak... when the new pedestal was fitted just before we bought her, it needed new mounting holes.... and the old ones weren't filled... and they leak... that'll be easily solved!

Pretty happy with progress overall... no jobs ticked off my (long) list as completed, but an awful lot got well underway.

Piccies to follow.

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