Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-04-2007, 22:33   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
Kicking myself, but glad I can.

Because I did the most dumbest stupidist thing you could ever imagine today. It could have cost me my boat and my life. All becuase I broke the golden rule of not double checking and testing before connecting battery cables.
I am alittle embarresed sharing this, but I hope it will aid others to think clearly before hand as well.
I got my starter all bolted back up and electricaly connected. Threw the isolator switch and then climbed out of the engine room. I went to the start button to turn the engine over and was suprised to have nothing happen. I though, oh great, flat batteries. How I wasn't sure, but it must have been something to do with the fact that they were disconnected from the charge system and somehow a current draw must have flattened them. I went below to the DC control board and looked at the voltage and ensured the charger was on and charging. I was watching the charger put 30A into the bank and yet I was watching the voltage on the bank slowly drop away. I just couldn't get my head around what was going on, till I suddenly smelt smoke. I instantly new what was happening.
From this point on I broke all the rules. I had fire extinguishers in place and near by, so I instant lifted the engine room hatch. Smoke billowed out. I was expecting the room to explode with the rush of air, but I knew I had to get to that isolator switch. I managed to reach it and get out. I threw on the exhaust fan and opened all hatches and vents and evacuated the boat. The smoke disapated and after about 15min I went back down to take a look. There was still smoke but I could see the damage. All my battery leads had compleatly melted. But then I noticed something really strange and suddenly I was back to emergency stations. The main fuel line which is hydraulic line with steel braid in it was smoking. It was continuing to poor out smoke and I realised a cable must have melted through to it and it was using the fuel line to get to earth. Expecting the thing to explode at any minute, I had to climb down into the engine room and get to the batteries themselves and disconnect the cable from the bank itself. But in my hast to climb down, the hatch fell and hit my head. This thing doubles as the floor and is solid teak and weighs a lot. I can only figure that the adrenalin stopped me from being knocked out. In fact I didn't really feel anything. but as I was undoing the cvable and trying to hold my breath, as the smoke was burning my throat, my glasses filled with blood and I realised I was bleeding rather badly. I removed my glasses and continued to disconect everything and got out of there. The fuel line settled down and then my head started to hurt. I disconnected the house banks as well because I had no idea of the state of any wiring.
I didn't feel to good and so I came home and had a wee sit down. Now I have to start rewiring all the batteries.
The start banks are capable of delivering 1800CCA. They sure made quick work of the huge cable I used. I have seen wires melted before, but I have never seen anything quite like this.
So becareful when playing with these huge currents. They can be leathal.

Rick if you are reading this, do you think dead shorting Calcium/lead (AGM or Gell--not sure which one) will have damaged them ???
__________________

__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 23:00   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Aloha Wheels,
Glad you are ok. That was scary. Can you sort out exactly what happened to cause the meltdown?
Kind Regards,
JohnL
__________________

__________________
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 23:17   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 976
Images: 6
PHEW............l can see a bit of rearanging going on. Isnt it amazing how you look at your set up and think thats pretty good, ...and then ......POW ...right in the kisser....Would a bloody big fussable link have helped ? glad to here that it was just your head that took the blow ; ).....stay safe
__________________
cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 23:23   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Wohoa!

Happy to hear your OK!

You do know it's still Friday the 13th over here on the other side?

Yeah! it's time to get rid of that metal fuel line and put in a CG approved line. I almost burned up my ole 47 Dodge once because of the insulation missing on the Battery cable.

Time to take a rest, clear that head and patch the wound.

Take care..........................._/)
__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 23:30   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,833
Whoa! I'm glad to hear you survived what could have been a lot worse.
FWIW, I doubt your batteries were damaged.

Steve B.
__________________
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 23:54   #6
Kai Nui
Guest

Posts: n/a
Wheels, glad you are OK, and the damage is not more severe than it was.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 23:56   #7
Registered User
 
RichT's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: currently California, soon to change
Boat: To be determined
Posts: 76
Send a message via MSN to RichT
aw s***, there go last years atta boys.

Alan,
Glad you're okay dude, hope you heal up okay. Not to add more rain to the parade, or to dispute senormechanico, but if you truly dead shorted the batteries, i.e. pos. to neg. you can almost bet they are fried. If the current draw was sufficient to melt cables, it was almost certainly enough to weld your internal plates, or at the very least blow some good holes in them. You can always check them with a voltmeter, but my moneys on them being very dead......
ps. be more careful next time, okay.....

RichT
__________________
RichT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 23:59   #8
Registered User
 
RichT's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: currently California, soon to change
Boat: To be determined
Posts: 76
Send a message via MSN to RichT
PPS,
Be glad it wasn't worse. Sometime I'll tell you the story of how I welded a one and a half inch wrench between the electrical panel and the door hinge on a DC9...not a pretty sight..

RichT
__________________
RichT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2007, 00:22   #9
Registered User
 
seafox's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: new zealand
Boat: Lotus 10.6
Posts: 1,270
Images: 26
Paula here. What the hell are you playing at????

At least you have a thick skull(just joking)
Dawn will have to be extra nice to you for a few days.

I will give you a ring.
__________________
seafox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2007, 00:40   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
Thanks for the Call Paula. Nice to know your thinking of me. My skull isn't the only thing that was thick.

Well after a rest, I got Dawn to take me back out to the boat to ensure I had isolated everything. My head hurts so much I was worried I had not carried something through and I was also worried about the fuel lines leaking. What a mess I have made. Fuel lines seem OK, but I have heavey cables melted everywhere. Some have simply melted their way through plumbing and other cables. I so hope that the starter is OK. One cable going to the main power in to the starter has also fried. I can't quite understand that, as it should be isolated. Oh well, I'll figure it all out tomorrow. At least this gives me the oportunity to wire the damn system properly now. The way the PO had done it was simply rediculouse. Like the start bank is on the opposite side of the engine room than the starter. The isolating switch panel has cables running around the room to it and then back again. So tomorrow I am shifting the start bank and the isolating panel and rewiring them in more apropriate locations. Haveing better access to isolating switches is a priority. I could have saved a lot of time and had better safety if I could have accessed the switches from the Pilot house rather than go into the engine compartment.
I have enough battery cable at work to redo it all, so I am going to be a busy lad tomorrow.
__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2007, 02:37   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
Alan:
Sounds like you “let go of the rope*”.

Gord

* Bricklayer's Accident Report

Dear Sir:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident reporting form. I put "Poor Planning" as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation, and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over which when weighed later were found to weigh 240 lbs.

Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs of bricks. You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 135 lbs.

Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3, accident reporting form.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my legs and lower body.

Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2007, 02:51   #12
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Alan, glad to hear you are ok..........I am probably being a bit thick , but I am not sure what you did to start the problem?
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2007, 06:10   #13
Registered User
 
Benny's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: St Catharines ON, CAN
Boat: Irwin 37 CC ketch 'Ta-Keel-Ah'
Posts: 396
Alan - good to hear you're ok and it's a good lesson for all of us to make sure our DC system is properly built, isolated and fused. I have a couple of circuits I know need re-wiring that I put off last year - guess what I'm doing first thing today? Hope the damage isn't too extensive.

BTW - after the hatch hit your head, have you checked it for damage also because if you are like me - your head is your least vulnerable spot?
__________________
Randy Benoit
I37CC 'Ta-Keel-Ah'
Benny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2007, 06:30   #14
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Wheels... my GOD man.... it is not your week at all. Time to maybe take a good rest or something. Come back at it fresh. My heart broke reading your experience..... all I can say is:

That SUCKS.

Keep the chin up.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2007, 06:45   #15
Registered User
 
Sunspot Baby's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: Prout Manta 38' Catamaran - Sunspot Baby
Posts: 1,521
Images: 14
HOLY S**T!!!!!

If it happened to me I would be puckered so tight I wouldn't crap for a week.

Glad you're OK. Additionally, I am glad the Hartley Tahitian didn't burn to the water line leaving only your new mast showing above the surface.

George
__________________

__________________
She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
Bob Seger
Sunspot Baby is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Glad I found you JordanB Meets & Greets 7 27-04-2006 23:01
Glad to have found this board cyclepro Meets & Greets 2 04-08-2004 08:48
Soooo Glad GordMay Forum News & Announcements 12 19-05-2004 14:57
Glad I Found This Place jbeach Meets & Greets 2 18-11-2003 20:55
Glad to be here CruiserBoy Meets & Greets 1 18-03-2003 14:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:14.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.