An expensive lesson well learned.
I was recently contacted by my regular diesel mechanic to alert me that the batteries in my motor cruiser were not holding a charge. It was outside his realm of responsibility so I was just happy for the ‘heads up’.
Now before I continue, please allow me to put things in perspective. I am back in Brisbane, Australia whilst my pride and joy still sits on the hard in Guernsey some 16400 klm away. So…I am heavily reliant on my choices for boat support services.
So now that you understand the distances involved let me continue my story…
Upon hearing the battery scenario, I immediately rung the guys that do my general boat maintenance. “Can you please go to the boat and check the solar setup. It appears the panels are not keeping the batteries topped up.”
Well, 9 days passed by with no word – no email – no nothing. So I called (from Australia). I was then told that the answer was simple. The solar charges through the battery switches so they just turned on the house batteries !
They did not check the audible alarm from the helm station nor do a wander around the boat. Consequently they missed the fact that the fridge was tied open (to ensure there was no smell or mold build up). The end result…. the batteries are now totally discharged and the fridge compressor is burnt out.
Am I fair in calling them idiots ? After all, it is the middle of winter and the boat is up on the hard.
What makes matters worse is the difficulty in getting the fridge out to get to the compressor.
So if you are ever remotely trying to get your boat maintained be sure you get a prompt response and dont delay on any reply outlining all the things that should be checked. I guess at the end of the day we know our boats better than anybody else.