Maintenance update

Maintenance update

As I am about to leave Australia and enter very remote areas I have strived to get Furthur as perfect as possible. I have gone over every system and had the engine, stabilizers, get home system, auto pilot, and many other systems all gone over and rebuilt. The water maker now has a rebuilt ETD, new membrane and a new low pressure pump on the way so we will be able to wash off all that sand and suntan oil.

For the last several months I have been plagued with a dead house bank of batteries, a condition that hit critical when I arrived in Darwin. Before I left Seattle I bought 8 North Star batteries with the expectation of at least 5 years of life, two years later they are dead, dead and more dead. I have communicated with North Star and as yet have no resolve but I know they are a good company and we have put many of their batteries in Selenes so I expect to have some satisfaction soon. That being said there is no joy in removing dead batteries and installing new ones, especially at Australian prices. The good news is the chap from the local boat repair company was Johnny on the spot and they had the batteries I needed in stock so all will be done in a short time.

I had great success with using the SSB for e mail and weather through Sailmail, but it seems the stations are fewer and farther apart as I enter SE Asia. Reception in Australia has not been good. So I will try to abandon the free air waves and connect the Iridium Satellite Phone as the portal to Sailmail.

In my quest for ice cream I have replaced the Dan Foss compressor with an air cooled version and reinsulated the box, both reducing the size—it was just too big—and insulating the box better. The result??? An chocolate Sundae on this 85 degree night!! Yahoo.

I have found the technicians in Australia to be very accommodating, consciences and quite self assured. I have had to redo several jobs with other accommodating, consciences and self assured technicians as I move up the coast when work has failed. In all fairness, had I stayed in one place I am sure the original guys would have stood behind their work. As it is I got a long dialog of “no worries” and dissertations about how the last guy did not do things right.

Pricing of parts is brutal, for reasons that can only be explained by the intrepid spirit of the Aussies to take what life delivers, the parts I have bought here have been obscene, like 4 times the price in Seattle. The small market seems to accommodate a hand full of wholesale suppliers who reap huge profits from the smaller businesses they serve. I have checked wholesale pricing- as in what the local chandlery pays for a part- and it is usually twice Seattle retail!!!

So with a Furthur up to snuff and the promise of exotic destinations, new friends and new adventures we await the start of the Sail Indonesia Rally.

1 thought on “Maintenance update”

  1. Brian:
    For what it’s worth, our bank of 8 Northstar 210 batteries is also failing. No real help from Northstar. I think it is sulfation and might relate to the Mastervolt chargers being either programmed wrong (SYS did not set the jumpers correctly) or maybe these batteries are not really as good as the hype. Anyway, when we replace them soon, it will be with 6 of the Lifeline 4D batteries. A little less capacity, but maybe greater reliability. Also, the 4D size is universal and much easier to find in remote locations.
    We are back in SantaBarbara, but will take Eos to the east coast next. Steve Lemon

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