We try to get back to Anacortes a couple of times during the winter to check our dock lines, make sure everything else is okay, and run the engine, genset, and other systems. Since it had been almost two months since we left the boat in early October, we were starting to look for an opportunity to head back to Anacortes before winter weather sets in and travel becomes more difficult. So, when we had some settled weather recently, we decided it was a good time for a trip north.
Our first maintenance job when we got back to the boat was to replace the thermostat for our Webasto heater. The thermostat failed in August when we left, and we determined it was old and couldn’t be repaired, so a replacement was needed. We ordered a new thermostat from Sure Marine, where we got the original unit, and we brought the new one with us when we came back to the boat in September.
Yea! We are able to use the Webasto heater again. Heat is a good thing! But when the system got hot yesterday, some of the coolant leaked. Turns out that the pressure relief cap on the expansion tank has worn, so we replaced it with a new cap. That helped the bulk of the leaking, but today we noticed that there is still a bit of coolant overflow, which we will have to address by adding an overflow reservoir…another project!
The first step in installing the new electric winch on our boom is removing the existing manual winch. Jim got the manual winch off yesterday afternoon, but work time was cut short today due to rain. We’ll resume this project when we have a bit of dry weather.
Last March when Jim came to the boat to check on things, the Webasto diesel circulating hot water heater started, ran for a while, and then quit and wouldn’t restart. So fixing the heater when we got to the boat has been high on our list of repairs. This morning it was 42 degrees, windy and cloudy. It was 56 degrees inside the boat. Wow, did we miss the warmth of the heater!
We have small, electric space heaters mounted on bulkheads in the two lower cabins, so we weren’t completely without heat…but it takes a long time for the electric heaters to warm the boat. This was a good day to get the heater working.
Jim discovered that one of the circulating pump valves had been accidently closed. This caused air to enter the system, thereby causing the heater to overheat and shut down. So today’s task was to bleed the air out of the system, add coolant as needed, and restart the heater. It took a while, but by mid-afternoon the air was out of the system and coolant had been added. Since the sun came out later in the day, the boat became too warm (go figure!) to test the heater, so we will test it tomorrow morning.
While Jim worked on the heater, I walked to the post office. I headed north along the waterfront, past the nearby Cap Sante Boat Haven and back through some of downtown Anacortes. It was windy and cool, but sunny…so it was a nice afternoon for a walk.