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Old 07-01-2013
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Lack of Confidence

I am battling a major lack of confidence. I have a list of projects that I would like to complete on my Watkins 27, and I'm having a very hard time starting.

I need to pull the propeller to remove barnacles, Figure out why my electrical system isn't working properly, Replace the drains in the cockpit, Replace the masthead light, And service the diesel and transmission.

This is all so new to me. It's hard to decide where to start.

The problem with my electrical system could very well be the broken masthead light causing the short. I've never been to the top of the mast before, I need to locate a boatswains chair.

If any of you sail netters happened to be in Islamorada Florida and would like to lend a hand please feel free to contact me.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Lack of Confidence

Take it one piece at a time. If you look at the mound of stuff you have to do, you'll be overwhelmed easily.

If you have the money, sometimes it helps to just bite the bullet and pay people to do stuff to work away at the list and leave you with fewer things to do. Sometimes others with experience can get stuff done faster than you can and, depending on how you work, can save you money in the long run.

Why not pay a diver to scrape the prop? We get our stuff done for < $50 by a local guy.

What exactly is the problem with your electrical system?
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Lack of Confidence

When I purchased the boat a few months ago everything worked well. Now, the stereo won't stay on long enough for a cd to start. The fan runs at 1/3 original speed. I have replaced the fuses.

I have two batteries, 3 solar panels.

It doesn't look like shore power does anything besides run ac power. It's not charging my batteries. I am guessing the solar panels aren't working properly as well but do not know how to check them out.

I have so many questions for the PO, but he passed away in January.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Lack of Confidence

It sounds like nothing is charging your batteries.

Get one of the marine electrical books and map out your system and figure out what you've got.

It's likely that the solar will only charge if the battery switch is turned on. It depends on how the charger is wired in.

It's not uncommon for shore power to only power shore outlets, and for a boat to not have a shore power charger. Shore power chargers are pretty big and would be hard to hide on a 27' boat.
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Re: Lack of Confidence

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Originally Posted by TheWollard View Post
When I purchased the boat a few months ago everything worked well. Now, the stereo won't stay on long enough for a cd to start. The fan runs at 1/3 original speed. I have replaced the fuses.

I have two batteries, 3 solar panels.

It doesn't look like shore power does anything besides run ac power. It's not charging my batteries. I am guessing the solar panels aren't working properly as well but do not know how to check them out.
Do you have a voltmeter? If so, what reading is it giving?

How are the solar panels wired to the batteries? Is there a charge controller?
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Lack of Confidence

I'm showing 12.5 volts on my built in meters.
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Re: Lack of Confidence

What are you showing if you cover the solar panels with a towel?
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Lack of Confidence

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWollard View Post
I have a list of projects that I would like to complete on my Watkins 27, and I'm having a very hard time starting.
The old saying is, you can eat an elephant, you just can't eat it all at once.

You need to pick one, small project. Focus on that. Do your research. Get it done. Then move on to the next thing. And then the next thing.

Electrical system your biggest issue right now? Fine. Start reading about 12 volt electrical systems. There are thousands of web pages out there with good explanations. Start by searching around here. Look at the "West Advisor" page on the West Marine website. BoatUS has a page with some explanations. Google will yield many thousands of hits, you'll just have to filter the wheat from the chaff.

You can do this. You just have to look break it down into small enough chunks of work that starting with the first one doesn't overwhelm you.

Good luck.
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Re: Lack of Confidence

That is a good list. Personally, I'd fix the cockpit drains first since that can be a 'boat sinks' kind of problem.

The electrical is really a can of worms and can be difficult to really fix, and certainly to do properly. Corrosion and iffy connections can really make things hard to track down. Lots of time with a voltmeter and ohmmeter. A knowledgeable DIYer can do it certainly, but if you aren't confident that is one that might be worth paying someone to look at.

The diesel and trans service you can probably do yourself.
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Re: Lack of Confidence

I've spent the last hour in the cramped starboard engine room access area. If anything, I've damaged more than I've fixed. I am going to call a marine electrician.

It's a rats nest of wires, some not connected to anything. I can't tell whether some parts are old and disconnected on purpose or just broken.

The cockpit drain I understand. Broken piece. Raplace it. I am going to shift to that after I find an electrician and schedule a visit.
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s/v Miss Marisol
1978 Watkins 27

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