Treading Water

2009: A daisy chain of electric shocks

But before the shocking story, in chronological order this came first:

February was the month we ordered a new settee, (black leather recliner) for the boat, very posh indeed. But MFI, one of the UK’s largest furniture stores had just gone down the pan. So for the first time ever in our lives we had to “compare the superstore” as opposed to the usual “compare the price” (DUT COM) thing.

Still to this day when you’ve got to pay up front for something, it’s worth checking out which businesses might still be trading by the time the delivery date comes round…

When Dave handed over his plastic card, I even asked the guy if there was any chance of their place following MFI in a furniture world financial meltdown. [Yes we have no faith in you] “No chance” said he with a nervous laugh.

The delivery date came and went…

Meantime, in preparation for said date, we’d given our tired chairs away to charity. Which left us sitting on garden chairs for another 3 weeks. No, the company hadn’t gone bust, the admin staff just didn’t know how to tell the time. (Figures). Eventually, in April our settee arrived, at last a comfy bum. Still looks like new today. (The settee, not the bum).

We wouldn’t have gone to MFI even if it was still alive. We once ordered a new double bed (for the house). The delivery truck backed onto the drive and the guys brought out a double mattress and a single bed. DUH… We eventually got our money back and went somewhere else.


Anyway, returning to the heading of this post, not long after the new settee was installed, TT’s battery charger buzzed loudly for a few hours and then died, taking the batteries with it. The inverter was a cheapo jobby which wasn’t very clever at all, and had to go as well.

So we opted for a powerful SMART Inverter / Charger, Victron top of the range, plus 5 new leisure batteries. Total cost: £3,500.

What else could go wrong now? I mean we’d practically created a new boat by this time with all top notch tech stuff. She’s only half her real age even NOW in 2013!

Well it goes like this, in May 2009, off we went out on a two week voyage up & down the Leeds Liverpool canal with some friends. A widebeam and a narrowboat out on a jolly together. (Unusual that).

We were so happy with the new expensive set up. BUT a week into the cruise a different problem appeared. The leisure battery alternator died on us. Get the shocking daisy chain thing now? Zzzt. Wonderful, marvellous, crap.

So basically there were no electrics, we could still use the cooker because it’s gas, but it had to be lit with a match. A bit like going back to the dark ages. (Excuse puny pun). No lights…

But, determined to have a good time we stayed out there on the cut. The weather was warm so sod it. We had to chuck everything in the freezer away when we got back to the marina, again, sod it, we’d had a great time. Once hooked up to the mains (shore power) “the lights were back on” as it were.

It was time to do some research and work out the best option, we wanted a better, grander, more powerful alternator. Could’ve just got a new replacement but that wasn’t good enough, only the best, (even if we were cursed).

It was a big job because all the fittings around the new alternator had to be changed, wasn’t just a case of slapping a new one on. It, and the engine had to be in perfect harmony with each other. We called in our expert engineer, and he did a great job, again.

Keep replacing crap with top notch stuff and eventually you run out of problems. It worked, even if the bank account didn’t.

Then, in September we had the “bespoke” new luxury conservatory installed, yes, forget the “back cabin.” We now had marine grade material meeting up with a hardwood front screen and stainless steel supports. What a wonderful space it’s been over the years, and still is! 

In August we went to Germany to visit our soldier and his girlfriend. Had a great, nay, precious time there, and we’ve been to visit them every year since. They come over here too, usually Christmas, and Liam drives here in the car!

Towards the end of next year, they were married with a baby son… Aw…

Coming up tomorrow in 2010: Spending even more serious money and time on “extras” for the boat, things we wanted to ADD. All problems and tech upgrades had already been sorted.

So it only took us 2 years (sarcy pants) to recreate the boat we thought we’d bought in the first place…

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