Strider is still high and dry but, according to the definition of cruising being working on your boat in distant places, I’m back at it. I flew down Friday evening and pulled into York River Yacht Haven (On my “Can’t say enough good things about it.”, list) Saturday morning. The water was off in the yard but was running in the sink in a small head / shower outbuilding. My two hoses and a long one coiled next to the building would just reach and I happened to have a sink to hose adaptor so I could proceed with topside cleaning. Marykate On & Off Gel did it’s magic and I quickly assembled all the hoses for a quick rinse. Immediately on boarding the boat, I turned off the battery charger and turned on all the lights and started recording the information from the battery monitor. When I first visited the boat a month after haul out with no power connected, the monitor showed a 100% SOC. I then missed a planned monthly visit due to cancellation of a research vessel meeting just up the road. I was shocked on the next visit to find the monitor reading 0% SOC and just a bit over 10 volts. Strider leaks through the cockpit seat lockers when driving rain overwhelms the lid gutters. One of the bilge pump fuses was blown so evidently I didn’t think soon enough to call the yard and ask them to hand pump the bilges from the cockpit pump after heavy rains. I’d been watching the weather reports and it didn’t seem like enough water could have been pumped to drain the batteries flat. I only had a few minutes to spend on the boat this trip so it remained a mystery. I had the yard plug the boat into shore power and leave it connected to see if the abused batteries would take a charge. I next installed new shaft zincs, put the drain plug back in the rudder, and began restoring bilge and water systems. The mystery was then solved. My bilge system looks like this: The small pump labeled (A) has an integral float switch and takes care of condensation, ice box melt, and sink and shower drains. There are twin pumps labeled (R). These are the emergency pumps which stay dry and unused until needed. The bilge alarm is located just below them for early warning of unusual water inflow. I had removed the small sump pump for the layup and filled the sump half full of antifreeze. When reinstalling the small pump, I found the hose from one of the “Save the boat” pumps disconnected. The outlet nipple on the pump was broken off half way along its length. The hose is heavy and stiff and I must have cracked it trying to get the small pump out. Left over tension in the hose pulled it off the pump sometime after I left. (Yes, I’m going to rethink this installation before too long.) So, here’s what I think happened. I didn’t disable the bilge alarm because I figured the yard would call me if they heard it and I would have them hand pump the sump. It’s not terribly loud so the yard didn’t hear it even on their post rain jack stand checks. The bilge alarm ran the battery voltage down. Then when the water level reached the high pump float switches, the low voltage caused high current draw on the pump that has to push water through the long hose to the transom and it blew its fuse. The second pump then just kept pumping water around and around inside the bilge. I’d asked the yard to hand pump after rains by this time so the pump didn’t run long enough to drain the batteries flat but it still drained them far enough that I thought I might be needing a new pair of expensive AGM’s. By the end of the afternoon, the rate of discharge according to the monitor was about what I usually see in the course of a long evening, even with every light in the boat turned on, so I’m hopeful that the batteries will stand up to normal cruising usage. I’ve got to haul again for bottom paint in a couple months so I’ll replace them then if necessary. I went back to the boat this Sunday morning and threw on a quick coat of wax, just good enough to provide some protection so don’t look too closely if you stop by. It was calm, sunny, and nearly 70 degrees by the time I finished. It’s hard to believe that a winter storm is coming tomorrow, my scheduled launch day. The boat is very low on fuel and with the weather predicted for this week, I’d like to avoid having to take her around to the fuel dock so I made three trips to a gas station up the road and five trips up the ladder with my Jerry jugs. Both tanks are now filled. I was beat by the time I finished the fueling so I took a nap aboard and then puttered with small tasks like lubing the mast track. More on lube gadget here: http://www.cruisingonstrider.us/TrackLube.htm I’ve posted pictures of this gadget before but it’s worth repeating with a mast stepping and unstepping costing nearly half a boat buck. The yard service scheduler and some of the crew then showed up for an emergency haul out. We talked about the weather and they are still going to try and get me in tomorrow if the winter mix and ice hold off and the morning rain isn’t so hard as to make working unsafe. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.