Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Lost Engine Key


We lost our Engine Key

We had just done some testing of the boat's Battery Charging System as it was not charging the house batteries. Part of that test was to see if the Batteries were being charged by the engine Alternator.
I opened the engine raw water valve and Peggy went into the cockpit with the key to start the engine.

Oh! When we got to the boat today, I replaced all of the rusty hatch padlocks with Combination locks and I threw the old locks and their common key in the garbage, just before the garbage collection trucks arrived.

When Peggy tried to insert the key into the engine control panel it would not turn! It was the wrong key.
Did I toss out the wrong key? 

Of course, we have a spare, of course it's on the boat, of course.

Nope! What I thought were spare engine Ignition keys were not (I know, it's a diesel, there's no Ignition, but the key controls the Engine control panel start button, Glow Plug Button, Blower Button and the Panel Lights.)

We dug into all of the obvious places, Nav Table, Key hooks, pant's pockets, I even went out to the car to see if we had put a spare there. During the search for the missing key, I found 3 spares, but they were not the engine control panel key! Grrrr.

Peggy was trying every key we found even those that were obviously not the right key. But one did fit and it did turn and it did allow us to start the engine.

It was at that point that Peggy reminded me. The last time we took the boat out, the engine overheated because I didn't open the Raw Water valve. After that fiasco, I was reminded that some skippers put the Engine Control key on the Raw Water Thru hull valve - to act as a reminder to open the valve before trying to start the engine. I had removed the key from the boat's general key set and put it on a seperate floating key fob so that I could hang it on the Valve.

DUH! We found the key exactly where it was supposed to be, exactly where I was supposed to look.

Today I went to Lowes and had 3 spare engine control panel keys made, we have a second for on the boat, another on my car key ring and a 4th on Peggy's key ring.

I'm guessing we'll remember where the key is next time we want to start the engine.

Oh! The Battery charger - Failed :(  The Zantrax Freedom 20 Inverter Charger is least 18 years old and not worth fixing. I'll post another article about that.

Meanwhile, we can start the engine and charge the batteries because we know where the key is located. 

See you on the water (if we can find it ;)


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