Jack’s Quests

Jack knows things about Quest that I don’t. Last night for example, he told me the story of our air-conditioning units. When we first bought Quest, they didn’t work very well as reverse-heating. I remember this.

They were forever getting air-blocks. Since they use a constant flow of water to work, we turned the system off, used space heaters instead and eventually left to warmer climes. This is largely where I stopped paying attention. Jack rolled his eyes. He remembers.

Problems on Quest have been Jack’s personal, well for want of a better word: quests. And as we’ve made modifications – improving her systems and sometimes just trying to get things to work, some of her mechanical issues have been mysterious. Jack’s figured them out by largely unpicking things, going back in time – and fixing other stuff.

The air-con story is a classic example. It started in another system. Unbeknownst to us until last year, the previous owner converted the toilet system from fresh-water flushing to sea-water flushing. In retrospect, it wasn’t a bad idea. Fresh-water is better for the toilet because there’s no build up of calcium carbonate, but unless you’re always on the dock and plumbed into the mains, it can waste a lot of your tank water.

This means that sometime before we bought Quest, the conversion to sea water toilets were made, but by still using the fresh-water apparatus. A half-conversion then. Uh-oh.

As well as giving us toilet flushing headaches – constant sticking solenoids due to chemical reaction with seawater – this had a knock-on effect.

Enter the air-con system. With its own through-hull water inlet, the previous owner shared it with the toilets for the sea water flush. The air-con pump is so powerful though, it would literally suck water out of the toilets and introduce air into the system. This was why the air-con never worked properly when we used it for heating in the UK. Assumedly, it didn’t work for the previous owner well either. More on that later.

When we fitted the water-maker in Las Palmas with engineer Jon Crouch. Jack and Jon decided to use the air-con seacock for the water-maker instead. Ironically, this was because we didn’t use the air-con much. Pretty lucky really. The sea-toilet pick-up was moved to the generator seacock and the air-con unit worked nicely again.

We see now how good the decision was. We have air-con which works. And the toilets work nicely too since we removed the solenoids.

This somewhat boring, technical story brings me round the previous owner again. When we first bought Quest, she was lying in Gosport in Portsmouth. She was cold and damp. Why? Probably because her heating didn’t work properly. What did the owner do? He sold her. To us. Hehe. I realised last night that the air-con story is actually a really good story. Jack rolled his eyes again.




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