Monday, March 20, 2017

Freak of the Week

This one is for all the boat maintenance aficionados in the audience.

The shot above is the back of our engine instrument panel in the steering pedestal.

As with nearly all the wiring on Galactic, it's a neat, professional looking job.

But I was motivated to dig in there because our tachometer has stopped working, and I wanted it operational for the Canal.

A quick fix got us through the Canal experience with some evidence beyond that of my ears for judging how fast the engine was turning.

A more thorough investigation on the Pacific side showed this:

We've always known there was a bad cockpit fire on Galactic two owners before us. And this appears to be the last damage from that fire to be found and remedied.

These cables run from the engine room, through the stainless steel tubing of the pedestal, to the instrument panel.

The heat of the fire was apparently enough to melt the insulation off the wires. So for years - and for us, for two crossings of the Pacific, and two crossings of the Atlantic - the ignition switch and engine instruments were served by nothing more than bare corroding wires, surrounded by ash and melted insulation.

How they ever worked in that state is beyond me...

So. The fact that I've been getting through jobs like this speaks to the fact that we are getting closer to setting out for Hawai'i.

And in addition to these boat jobs, I've gotten through a pile of science work and we've finally been able to leave Panama City.

We're all happy about getting away from the Big Smoke, none more so than Elias:


  1. Might want to replace those automotive type plastic/nylon ring terminals on the instruments with marine rated heat shrinkable ring terminals, clean up the connections, and add a dab of dielectric grease - all basic things to prevent future problems.

  2. Wow!! All this time it went undetected - someone is watching over you all. Curious is there proper fuse protection on the circuit?

  3. Good find there Mike,

    I have just spent the last two days chasing wires on my boat and finding some absolute pearlers. The best was one where the bilge pump hose had split and sprayed water on the insulation for the bilge pump wires causeing them to short. My Boat spent two weeks on the bottom of the ocean before I bought her because of an open seacock and a faulty bilge system. :o

    I love the way that marine rated electricals are supposed to just that only to have steel contacts and screws in them.

    If you have a spare week or two your welcome to come and help me iron out my electrical board. A word of warning though the labeling is pretty poor.

    Cheers Paul.