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Thursday, December 14, 2017


Envoy is now in Lefkas Marina for the winter and we're home in Auckland for the southern hemisphere summer.

Apart from the ongoing water maker saga I'm pleased to say we haven't had any technical issues for some time now except for routine checks and maintenance.
I checked all our internal water strainers. These trainers filter out debris from water before it passes through a pump, catching it in a stainless steel basket that can be easily cleaned out, rather than clogging the vanes of a pump that can't be so easily cleaned. Some filter sea water, such as for the generator or Yanmar wing engine while others filter fresh water, such as for showers.

I'd left this shower pump water strainer for too long, but once cleaned was fine again

I've heard that our damaged Freedom combination inverter/charger is beyond repair. 
This was damaged early in the season when I wrongly attempted to start the main engine while the generator was running and powering the battery charger while the start battery bank's voltage was too low. It's not a major issue for us as we've already replaced the inverter with a spare equally powerful Xantrex unit we had aboard. The Xantrex is only an inverter not a combination charger so charging when running the generator is now done using our Charles 60 amp charger. The Freedom charger was more powerful at 150 amps and for the future we have the option of the status quo, installing an additional new charger or installing a new inverter/charger, leaving the Xantrex as a spare once again. I'll consider this during winter.

View of marina from Envoy's top deck - we have a great position

Envoy has a dry exhaust system - that is a vertical exhaust from the engine room with a muffler installed above the upper deck level. Although the section of exhaust located in the engine room was checked in 2012 when some new parts were installed and the heat insulation was replaced, the muffler hasn't been properly checked at all during the time we've owned Envoy. All I've done during this time is occasionally measure the temperature of the muffler using an infra red pyrometer to see if there are any particularly hot spots – which would indicate some thinning of the muffler's metal. 
So that's at least eleven years and we thought it was time for a check. When the Sailand engineers arrived they suggested we check the whole exhaust system downstream from the exhaust manifold, since this is supposed to be checked every five years.
I felt a bit sorry for the technician designated to remove the old insulation as it's quite a messy job and fibres from the insulation cause some itching. To remove the complete system was a job that took three mechanics about four hours and I really was wondering whether this was all necessary (apart from checking the muffler). However they did find an area at the bottom of the vertical exhaust pipe where exhaust gases appear to have been escaping – evidenced by black soot stains on the heat insulation's exterior. The current situation is that the various components – the adapter from the exhaust elbow to the expansion joint, the expansion joint itself, the horizontal engine room exhaust, the vertical exhaust, the muffler and the final exhaust pipe have all been taken away for cleaning and inspection.

Here the muffler covered with heat insulation sits in its housing on the top deck

Mechanics pull out the vertical section of the exhaust

The main exhaust atop mechanic's van

Close-up shows the white insulation discoloured by leaking soot

This year we have only a short list of jobs getting done during winter:
-Resealing two Lewmar hatches into their aluminium frames. These were repaired at the end of last year but the sealant has failed again.
-Servicing the sea water pumps on the generator and Yanmar and replacing their vee-belts.
-Replacing a leaking galley faucet

Blog's next positing will deal with the subject of mooring stern-to-shore