The boat was returned to water and we replaced an empty gas bottle for a full one before leaving the services of ‘bottom lock’. Gosty Hill came by and filled our diesel tank once again. Now preparing for a visit. Ann went up to the village to get fresh meat from the local butcher and made a lovely stew which cooked all day on the diesel fire. Toys out and bedding rearranged for our guests. The boys are still small enough to sleep in their own sleeping bags. Woke next day to find it had snowed over night.
Our grand children were soon outside making a snow man before breakfast. Just enjoyed their company on board watching TV, reading and drawing together before they left in the afternoon.
Another alternator failure
Before family left we realised that although the engine was running the batteries were not being charged. Luckily our solar panels were slowly topping the batteries up once the TV was turned off. Rang Justin Green at Marine Services who suggested bringing the boat back down to the bottom lock, plug into a land line and he would have a look. Only half a mile but heads were turning as we travelled with the alarm beeping and some smoke issuing from the engine compartment. Justin removed the faulty alternator that evening. Our Beta engine came fitted with a 70 amp domestic alternator with a Beta Controller designed to improve battery charging. The original alternator had burnt out in 2005 when it was less than 2 years old. This one lasted 30 months. Justin told me that Beta no longer supply the ‘controller’ so agreed to replace it with an ADVERC battery management system.