What do you do when your electronic voltage regulator stops regulating in the middle of a delivery, and your batteries are trying to flatline?
Several options: 1, replace it with the spare that’s on board; 2, go into port and buy a new one; 3, use your generator to keep the batteries charged.
Let’s say, as was the reality on this long delivery of an 80’ sailboat from Florida to northern Mexico, that you had no spare regulator. And let’s say that you were a long way from any port, and so elected to use the generator, which you did have. Let’s also say that your generator was not the smartest piece of equipment, able only to charge full bore whenever it was on. In effect you became the regulator, turning the unit on and off to keep the charge in a safe range. Let’s say that you became tired of this, and put into Manzanillo, Mexico to find a replacement.
Manzanillo, which is not exactly the yachting capital of the world, had no electronic regulators in stock. What it did have, you found by calling around, was an auto parts store that stocked heavy duty school bus regulators, so you taxied there, and bought one for $25. Was it disconcerting that this old clunky unit looked like it came out of a 1950’s vintage school bus? Yes, but only until you had it wired in, fired up, and found it worked perfectly.
Yet another happy ending. **As long as it's under 15 volts...)
Long delivery south to LA with the owner along, a good companion. A day and a half out, he developed severe lower abdominal pain which increased until he couldn't move. Called the Coast Guard from offshore and got patched to a surgeon, among whose questions were: inability to urinate? Correct. Has he taken Bonine? Yes.
Advised to head for the nearest port (air evac unnecessary), we crossed into the Columbia River to find a doctor in Astoria. After treatment, full recovery to pain-free state took several days. The takeaway: read seasickness drug warnings and take them seriously. Most have cautions about using if urinary problems exist. My local pharmacist adds, stay within the prescribed dosage.
This day was in the "mostly not" category: Twenty-foot seas crashing into the high cliffs at Cape Flattery. A good day not to be going anywhere offshore. But see the recent Facebook post for dramatic update.