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Barry's Blog #127 - Wrangle with a mangle

Admittedly the scariest moment of this journey so far was way back in August 2018 at 10.30pm on a moonless Friday night.

That was the night we were tied to a municipal mooring ball just outside the harbour wall at Javea on the east coast of Spain. The mooring failed and A B Sea ended up being dashed upon the concrete blocks of the outer harbour wall.

I won't rehash that story in this blog, but if you want to read it, here's a link.

So what else is scary?

Two words; Boat jobs.

I am literally flying by the seat of my pants with every boat job we tackle and I'm taking apart our 100,000 Euro (AU$171,000) home with nothing more than information gleaned from watching a few YouTube videos and reading advice from people who may or may not know what they're talking about.

I've done enough boat jobs now to be wary enough that I know it's not going to be as easy and straightforward as I imagine, but they've still got to be tackled.

I lay awake some nights with my stomach in knots from stressing over what job needs to be done next and mentally running through the sequence of events to complete the task.

Job completion, that's another issue. I take things apart and then discover some other issue and that means sometimes months can pass before I can put back together the first job I started. Will I remember how everything goes back together? It's stressful.

A job actually completed

Every boat owner has their own personal level of maintenance. Some pay excruciating attention to detail and get stuff repaired or replaced straight away. Others just follow their annual check list and keep the gremlins at bay. And then there are those with a 'near enough is good enough' attitude.

Boat owners in the third group are the ones most likely to be allowing their boat to eat your boat. I'm talking about galvanic corrosion. I've mentioned it in a couple of previous blogs mostly when explaining about sacrificial anodes, which are there to protect the metal parts of your boat from corrosion.

Because boats in a marina are all connected together by the green shore power ground wire, when plugged into 220v shore power, they become a giant battery. The shore power ground wire should be connected to the individual boat's DC grounds, engine block and bonded underwater metals.

But if Joe Blow (or several Joe Blows) have a fault that they're unaware of then the stray currents in salt water form an electrolyte and the dissimilar metals connected together act as a battery, causing corrosion to your underwater metals; through hulls, propeller, prop shaft, bow thruster and even your engine.

Hang on a minute Baz, didn't you say that the sacrificial anodes protected all those metals?

Yes I did.

But the first metal the hungry stray current eats is the sacrificial anode and it eats it faster than an African Cheetah on steroids. So even if you've recently replaced your anodes and you think that you're protected for another season, you may not be.

So what's the solution Baz?

It's a very simple bit of kit called a galvanic isolator. This unassuming device is used to block low voltage DC currents coming on board your boat on the shore power ground wire. That's the simple explanation, Google if you want to get all technical on how it does that task.

And that's what I fitted to A B Sea this week. The installation is fairly straightforward, expose the green earth wire coming into the boat, cut it, crimp on the supplied spade terminals and attach the two ends of the earth wire to the galvanic isolator. Secure the isolator with the provided screws and voila the job is done.

What else did you do?

We celebrated Aussie Easter with some delicious homemade chocolate fudge that Aannsha whipped up and I went a bit off script and ordered mine with some crispy bacon bits fried in maple syrup.

I know what you're thinking and the same thought did cross my mind too, but the combo works so well. The Greeks celebrate Easter on the 19th of April so I've requested that Aannsha makes another batch of chocolate fudge with extra bacon for me again.

After that yummy breakfast treat it was back to the boat jobs and we tried to move further along with removing the prop shaft and as you'll see in this week's video it was just a small step forward before running into another unknown.

We will get there eventually.

Wrangle with a mangle

You may recall that one of the Christmas presents Aannsha bought for herself was a portable mangle to help make wringing water from washed clothes a simpler and easier task.

Well this week, on one of the sunny days, she did a wash and decided to give the mangle a tryout with it attached to the stainless steel rail of the push pit of A B Sea. It was a semi success and I'll let this week's video give you the full low down as to how it worked out.

There are still many more boat projects to work on and I think that the most important one for me at the moment is bringing my stress levels down stressing over boat jobs. That's definitely a work in progress.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.

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