Wednesday, August 15, 2012

yelling fire

Still bleary eyed and not quite dressed yet we sat down to breakfast and my mama radar kicked into high gear. I smelled something burning and it wasn't my cooking this time.

Everybody off the boat, NOW! The kids waited on the dock while I scurried about the boat like a hound dog trying to track down what was burning. I knew the smell was electrical, it had that horrible, acrid, nostril twisting smell of wires on fire. But where, where, where was the offending connection?

The smell was the worst in the aft, port hull where one of our air conditioning units sits. I figured the unit was frying from working so hard all these weeks so I flipped that breaker first. The smell definitely got weaker, but my nose told me not to relax just yet. I brought the kids back on board and through a series of checks that most boaters know about after many years aboard I found the culprit.

We have a dedicated 30amp shore power cord just for our air conditioners and it decided to melt and char the receptacle on the boat too. I am sure glad I caught it at smoldering stage and was home before it possibly turned into flame stage.
(here's a lesson friends, black is not a conductive color)
A trip to the marine store and a couple of hundred dollars later and we were back in business. Doug came home early because installing the new electrical receptacle is a two person job when you have a toddler nipping at your heels. Doug hung out in the fresh air doing his end of the job.

Zach decided taking apart the charred electrical receptacle was the coolest thing ever.

And I got to hang out here.

Inside the dark, damp, stinky, airless aft steps where our rudder post is and where the back end of the electrical receptacle lives. "Mama what you do in dere?"  Sweating, my dear, sweating very heavily.  I hope the next time we smell burning, it's just the usual attempts at baking and dinner.

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