Yesterday I had a call from a boat owner moored at Rottnest on his Riviera 48 who was encountering a genset issue. Of course the modern boat relies heavily on the generator to power many onboard systems including recharging the batteries.
In this instance the genset had been running perfectly. He had shut it down soon after breakfast and then, when he went to re start mid afternoon, there was nothing, not even a click!
I happened to be nearby so he picked me up from the pub jetty and soon we were onboard. He walked me through the series of events leading up to the problem.
After carrying out some basic checks it was clear that there was absolutely no power to the generator, almost as if the battery had been disconnected.
I remembered some Riviera models had their main generator battery isolator located in the galley cupboard. I guess this was a shortcut to save running wires all the way back to were the main engines isolator are.
With my fingers crossed we removed the baskets of cleaning gear, cutting boards, dish washing detergent etc from the cupboard under the sink.
Low and behold, there was the little red isolator key sitting at the very back of the cupboard….switched off!
None of us knew previously that the isolator was located there. During the course of breakfast earlier that day, someone had replaced the Corn Flakes packet and knocked the switch by mistake which had turned off.
Phew, customers back in action!! Major pain averted.
Had we not managed to get the generator going, the next option for this family would be to run the main engines for a while putting charge back into the house batteries to keep the fridges going over night and head to the Quokka Arms for dinner.
In thirty years of boating this incident was a first. I put this in line with the freak incident where a box of food slides across the galley benchtop and bumps the sink tap into the on position, subsequently emptying your water tank before you get to your destination.