Look Ma! I took off the alternator!

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Well, the other day I learned more than I ever thought I would about alternators and then some!  We were having issues with our batteries where they would not charge fully and would not keep their charge.  A boat without batteries is no bueno.  We tried to troubleshoot the problem by researching in Niger Calder’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual (a must have for cruisers because something is always in need of fixing).  After hours and hours of discussion amongst me, Marc, Ben and Teresa, we determined that it was probably an issue with the alternator.  So off came the alternator.  And off to Dixie’s Electric (a little mom and pop shop in Hampton, VA) we went.  How did we find this place?  Ironically enough Ben was in Hampton a few years ago on his boat and he had alternator issues and the guys at Dixie Electric rebuilt his alternator.  So a note to you fellow cruisers…if you stop in Hampton…YOU WILL HAVE ALTERNATOR ISSUES!!

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OK, so I’m sure you are dying to know what was wrong with our alternator.  Well, after Dixie Electric ran a test on the alternator, we found out there was NOTHING wrong with it.  So back to the drawing board we went.  And off to West Marine we went…for the 8th time in 3 days.

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Hi ho. Hi ho. It’s off to West Marine we go.

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After more Nigel Calder research and more trial and error, we had to call in the big guns and phone the local marine mechanics.  Hampton Marine Services showed up and within 10 minutes, the mechanic determined (by using an amp meter) that one of our house batteries was bad and was sucking the life out of the other ones.  Really, that was it?  It was that simple?  Well, not all was lost.  At least I learned how an alternator works and how to take one off and put it back on.  So if you ever have an alternator issue, have me on speed dial!

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Our sweet little alternator

13 thoughts on “Look Ma! I took off the alternator!

  1. Pingback: All the fixins…… | Love at First Sail

  2. Hey Marc and family. Bill Demaree here. Congrats on your new adventure. I look forward to following you on this site. Also, Marc, Our Jaguars and Land Rovers have alternators, so if your looking for employment wehen you return you might make a good fit 🙂

    • That’s too funny – Except that it was Jen not me that is the alternator expect so you will have to hire her not me — Thanks for the congratulations – still praying for your co-worker and hopefully will be able to continue my Cursillo grouping in various ports of call
      — I had my last group yesterday morning at Starbucks and will miss this weekly accountability group – Going forward, Jen and I will have to group together

      • We will keep your voyage in our grouping prayers as well. Good Luck! Look forward to seeing many posts/

  3. Jen, just started following your blog. Love the name and can’t wait to follow you on your
    fantastic journey! Love to all!

  4. Missed seeing you and the family the other evening…glad Marc got home safe!! Will miss you all…but will keep up with you via the blog!! Safe travels…

  5. Missed seeing you and the fam, but glad Marc finally got home!! Will miss you all, and be thinking of you and reading your adventures!! xo xo xo

  6. Jen and Marc,
    You both inspire me! You are a great happy and spiritual couple. I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet you 🙂
    Love reading your blog, I have read all your postings so far and I can’t wait for more… Thank you for sharing! I wish you the very best! Happy sailing!

  7. Hi Jen & Marc,
    I’m impressed – I had no idea what an alternator looks like…much less what it does! Pretty cool that you’re learning so much new stuff! Can’t wait to see you at Ruby Begonia’s for Christmas!

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