Sunday, November 22, 2015

Repairs in La Paz.

 Tearing apart the high pressure pump, only a part of the project. 
This picture does not show 1/10th of parts scattered along 3 benches.  I wish I had taken more pics.

For those of you that follow us via ham radio email we apologize for the lack of communications. Getting out via ham radio right here in La Paz is not possible because of all of the electronic noise due to the city.  The flip side is that we have internet, fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of boat friends surrounding and plenty of resources available to fix anything on the boat that might not be functioning as it should.

Enter various chores and a couple major issues that needed to be resolved before leaving including the house battery bank and the water maker.  Battery banks on boats are like lipstick on a call girl... it might be good and beautiful for a long time or it might be gone in an instant. Less than one year ago every battery on the boat was replaced with new, a total of 11 type 31 batteries costing about $2000. They should have been golden for 3-5 years depending on the use.  One year later the 8 house batteries were on their way out already and even though they were still somewhat useable  we elected to replace them while we were in a place that had easy access to them instead of losing them entirely in some remote location along the Mexican coastline.  The sound of that goes something like this...CHA CHING!

Then on to the water maker.  Our Little Wonder water maker is now 12 years old, has about 2500 hours on it and besides some basic maintenance like oil and filter changes, it has just done it's job. The manufacturer suggests a rebuild around 1500 hours so I suppose there is no reason to complain if the unit has given up almost twice that much time of service.  With the help of a Little Wonder rep that lives here in La Paz we set about the task.  

Beginning to reassemble

After the unit was removed from the boat it took an entire day to tear it completely down and replace every seal, o-ring and other parts that showed wear.  Internally and externally there was not one bolt, seal or part that did not get removed, inspected and/or replaced.  With that many hours on the machine there were several problem areas that were addressed.  

Besides the obvious benefit of having a water maker that is now "like new" with many hours of service to give I received an education and know the intricate workings of this important piece of equipment.  It is back in the boat and working perfectly!  Our PPM (parts per million) that indicates water quality has gone from 780ppm to 365ppm!  Better than bottled water from the store!   This project made a slightly different sound.  It went more like CHA CHING CHA CHING CHA CHING.  
Rebuilt and re-installed on the boat.

Definitely not planned expenses but expecting the unexpected is something you must get used to living aboard.  

We had hoped to leave La Paz by now to head across to the other side but aside from projects, weather is keeping us here.  We have an El Nino year and it is definitely affecting our weather. Strong northers continue to blow through and we even have some tropical storms/hurricanes that have most cruisers sitting tight to see how they will develop, which is very unusual this late in the season.  We will most likely head out to the islands just north of La Paz for Thanksgiving and spend it there with friends on a couple other boats and wait for our opportunity to cross over to Mazatlan.

That's it for now, hope all is well on terra firma.  Ciao for now!

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

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