Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Generator problems

In preparation for going off shore again, we’ve been working on some things on the boat. John fixed a problem with the engine panel instruments and set about trying to figure out why the generator wouldn’t start. It’s getting fuel, the starter motor works, it’s getting air, and there’s oil pressure, but the thing still won’t start. He suspected that the water pump to cool the engine wasn’t shut off properly when we ran the generator to test it in Amsterdam. That would mean that the engine was flooded with Amsterdam canal water for at least a month. Not good.

So this morning John disconnected everything from the generator engine while I was researching places in the area to get it fixed and where to rent a car to get it there. The Internet wasn’t being very helpful, even in Dutch, so I went back to Wateralmanak 2, which gives all the particulars of the waterways and services in The Netherlands. I should have started there. It turns out that there are several places between here and Harlingen that were possibilities, including a motor yacht builder right here in Franeker, so I rode the bike over to talk with them.

The man I spoke with, who turns out to be the owner Mr. Valk, said we should bring the boat over and his mechanic would look at it. The mechanic went through the checklist with John about all the things that were working properly before the engine was disconnected. Then he brought the forklift over, and he and John lifted the little (but heavy) engine onto it. The place that does engine repairs for them will pick it up this afternoon. Meanwhile, the mechanic did some poking around, and he confirmed that it doesn’t look good. Definitely, John was right and it wasn’t something that could have been fixed in place on the boat. We just hope that we won’t have to buy a new engine.

We probably could have stayed at the Mr. Valk’s landing, maybe even for free, but we didn’t have Internet there, and we would be locked in at night (and on weekends, I assume), so we came back to where we were on the wall in Franeker. Mr. Valk stopped by this afternoon, and we'll have an estimate of time and money required to repair the engine tomorrow. And Sjoerd’s going to come and see us on Saturday, so that part’s good.

Here's a photo of a monument to the guy, Eise Eisinga, who built the planetarium that we visited.

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