For the longest time, we had been planning on getting together with our good friends Steve and Diane Koch. We met them last year at a Defever owner's rendezvous. Steve and Di are, besides being really nice people, experts at anything that has to do with Defevers. Steve and I spent three days down in the engine room where he showed me the finer points of taking care of our Lehman diesels. We cleaned the fuel injectors, reset the valves and installed some extra gauges. Along the way, Steve discovered some suspicious looking hoses and took care of a nagging leak we had back by the rudders.
But by the far the biggest project we tackled though, was replacing the ship's battery bank. As you may remember, Maya has a large cache of batteries that are used to supply our electrical needs while we are at anchor. From the microwave to the TV to the lights and pumps and yes, the blow dryer, the batteries have to have enough juice to make everything work. Like anything else, the batteries have a finite lifespan and ours were near the end of theirs. While we might have been able to squeak out another 6 months to a year on the current ones, with Steve there to help I thought it a good idea to make the change now and not have to worry about it later.
Maya had twelve of these batteries and they were all located down in the engine room. The space down there is a little tight and the batteries are located in a spot that is not easy to get to. Each one of these things weighs about 125 pounds and they are filled with acid. As we were to find out, some of them were leaking. Not good. This was not going to be one of those quick in and quick out 10 minute jobs. It was going to be a backbreaker.
One by one we lifted out the old batteries and hauled them onto the deck. From there we had to lower them onto the dock and get them out to the car where they would be then taken to the store and swapped for a new ones. Twelve bad ones out and 8 good ones in.
Thankfully, Steve had to foresight to ask around the marina and found some eager young turks who wanted to make a few extra bucks. Once we had them on the dock, the guys took the batteries off our hands and swapped them out at the store for us. It saved us a lot of time and probably kept my back out of traction. You know, I am not that old yet but watching these young guys struggle with the batteries was very satisfying to me.
It took the better part of a day and a half to get rid of the old and install the new and I will tell you that I was really feeling it there near the end. My only solace was that those twenty something year old guys were feeling it too. That was until I invited them up for a beer when we were finished. "Naw, thanks," they said. "We are on our way to the gym now to work out." "Thanks anyway."