Clutch – which clutch?

We were on a section of canal today with relatively few locks – several miles at a time of continuous water.  The battery level was dropping steadily despite the sunny weather, so we thought we should find out what it was like to drive under diesel propulsion.  We even got buzzed by a helicopter checking on electricity use in the area – we can take a hint!

Helicopter above Bartimeus
Investigating Unusual Electrical Activity

To switch to diesel follow these steps:

  1. Put the drive in to neutral
  2. Turn the key to start the engine
  3. Er…
  4. That’s it!

We were pleased that even with the engine running it was still possible to blether.  We watched in bemusement as the numbers on the display showed steadily increasing power generation despite a steady engine and propellor speed.  One day I will try to understand how that happens.

Then our first problem.  A couple of times the system started beeping, complaining about the clutch slipping and demanding to be shut down.  As a former IT professional I know the drill – we switched it off and back on again!  The diesel engine just carried on doing its thing throughout.

So now we are discovering the amazing after-service from Ortomarine.  I sent them an email after lunch.  Before tea, I have had a description of the possible problem and some solutions from Hybrid Marine – the folk whose gadget is complaining.  We’ll see what happens next, but I’m expecting it will be a prompt resolution.

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