What’s That Noise?

We stayed on the boat Friday night and came back home late Saturday after getting quite a bit accomplished.

I installed a few things on the boat and changed batteries in some of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

We spent most of Sunday outside or running from store to store, so it was late evening before Janet listened to the messages on the phone recorder.

The marina had called. Much earlier in the day.

The message was that someone had reported a beeping noise coming from our boat.

Now when the boat is just sitting there, and power to all systems except the bilge pumps (and bilge alarms) has been turned off, beeping noises are not welcome noises.

So, I climbed in the truck at 7:30 for the hour-plus drive to the marina. I decided to take a change of clothes and some food so if I had to, I could spend the night.

All the way over there, I wondered what it could be. I called the marina, and they were still in the office.

I asked them to describe the noise, and they said it would beep for several minutes and then go off for a few minutes, and then start again.

In my mind, I could see a leak letting water into the bilge, the bilge alarm going off while the bilge pump put the water back outside where it belongs, and then everything going silent when the water was gone.

Until it started coming back in.

And then the cycle would start all over again, just as they described.

So now, despite them telling me that the boat seemed to be floating just fine, I almost had myself convinced that I had leak, and I could see it getting progressively worse as I drove through the heavy late Sunday evening interstate traffic.

I arrived at the marina and headed directly for our dock.

Halfway down the dock I could hear it.

A high pitched beep, only it didn’t stop…just kept beeping.

Great… the pump can’t keep up, I thought.

I climbed aboard, opened the salon door and stepped inside expecting to hear the sound of water being pumped overboard.

The beeping was coming from the galley area, not from below decks. That’s good.

In a flash, I knew what it was. I reached up behind the panel over the helm and opened the smoke alarm and pulled the battery out. Silence.

Guess which smoke alarm went in the trash?


About TwoCaptains

The TwoCaptains are Jim and Janet, both US Coast Guard licensed boat captains home-ported in Daytona Beach. We recently sold our 1990 Ocean Yachts 56' CPMY "Magic Carpet", and now we're in the hunt for a replacement.
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