We had a relatively late night last night as we were watching a DVD.
There was a bit of commotion going on outside, though Maggie didn’t alarm up, and at 11pm it was time to take her out for her final wee, though to be honest she didn’t want to go and we had to get cross with her.
This is The Look we get when her ladyship doesn’t want to be disturbed from her comfort!
It wasn’t too cold outside, so jumpers sufficed, and as we alighted from the helm, we saw a figure on their knees with a torch tinkering with the electric meter bollard.
We recognised our neighbour who has been away for a couple of months, and when Hubby asked if there was anything he could do to help, she said she had no electricity though there were 7 units on her meter.
Hubby checked the connection, followed the cable from the bollard to the boat and all seemed OK, so he was allowed on board to check the fuse box to discover that the trip switch had fired.
Having sorted that out, at least she had lights, so we resumed our intentions with Maggie.
Coming back, we noticed that the little red light on our meter wasn’t on, so Hubby checked all the switches on the bollard and found that our service had been turned off completely!
Each bollard can supply power to 2 boats and has three separate compartments.
One is for the service supply, connection to each meter and subsequent trip switches, and the other two are for the individual meters and top up card slots.
Our ‘friend’ had unscrewed all three compartments and played with all of the buttons and switches therein trying to get her problem resolved before we came on the scene.
Our batteries were therefore taking a serious hit as we had no mains power, and the little gizmo on the wall that monitors every aspect of power use in the boat showed that the readings were way off what they should be.
Our boat has five batteries on board and they are not cheap to replace. One runs the bow thruster, one runs the engine and the other three run the services (lights, water pump etc).
Inside the controls cupboard we have a combined inverter and charger, so when we are moored here and connected to electricity, our service batteries are being constantly topped up.
When we are out on the water, everything runs on 12 volts from the batteries but like a car, when we are in motion, the batteries are automatically charged by the engine’s alternator.
The biggest drain on our power is the fridge, so when we are away and moored up, we switch it off having already planned accordingly by not having anything perishable in there to spoil.
Thus, if we hadn’t noticed, we may well have woken up to flat batteries this morning.
Today, our neighbour purchased a top up card but still had no power to her boat.
Hubby offered to have a look at it for her and armed with his electricians test screwdriver and a smile was welcomed aboard.
Oh. My. God.
She has SERIOUS wiring problems, and her boat is a fire waiting to happen.
Not only is there evidence of water running down the walls into sockets, but there are unprotected wires simply twisted together or completely detached and exposed from their fittings.
It is completely unsafe and needs immediate professional attention before she even contemplates switching something on, let alone living aboard.
Everything has therefore been disconnected inside and out, the batteries isolated, and the electric cable from meter to boat unplugged and removed.
The Marina have been informed as they have a set of keys, and she is planning to stay with her sister until it can all be sorted out.
We are therefore practicing unhitching our ropes quickly just in case we have to get out of our berth in a hurry!