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Old 25-02-2008, 16:51   #1

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Batteries are Dying. So this has to be quick!

Hey Guys,

Got the new boat today. Very psyched in general, but have a good size boat list going already. Here it is:

1) House bank is charging off solar and wind only and not getting any of the 14VDC twin Yanmar alternator output. Doesn't matter which direction I put the Guest Isolators in, I read only a dying battery voltage in the house bank even with engines in gear at 2200RPM. Engine starting batteries are getting proper juice. Problem seems to be on the ground side, which scares the hell out of me since when we hauled for survey, the props were eaten away and needed to be replaced. I hope that's not where my extra juice is going!!

2) Windlass busted. Jammed up and doesn't ratchet in the chain/rode. Manual windlass. I'll try to fix it this week. If I fail I may have to shell out $1100 for a new one. God I hope it works!

3) House bank is dead, I think. Wouldn't know since I only have solar and wind and those two things CANNOT keep a battery bank up to snuff without backup in the S FL. At least my twin 150W solar panels and Air-x wind gen can't. That's why these batteries are dead in the first place. They can't keep up with the loads at night with no wind. Will have to get something working before the delivery so we can have refrigeration (12V Refer)

4) Need to launch dinghy and get outboard running. It's been sitting.

5) Need to get nav instruments and install

6) Need to mount laptop by helm for MacENC fun.

7) Need to get the basics of this list done by Sunday when the wife comes for a visit.

All in all, it's a great boat. Not the biggest list of problems I've seen in my life.

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Old 25-02-2008, 17:40   #2
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I would just say put your back into it, for the busted windlass, but I know I have a hard enough time getting my 15 pound anchor up by hand, yours is probably worse than that.

I would just say unplug the fridge and get a bag of ice and then cut your usage so the panels and the wind gen do cover it, but I don't know how that'll sit with future customers.

In any case, good luck on those. Hope you have a nice refit process.

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Old 25-02-2008, 18:22   #3
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A trashed battery bank is pretty par for the course with many used boats. I would first revalidate all the wiring and of course check the regualtion on the solar and wind gen plus shore and alternator. Get digital multimeter on all of it. A solar setup should maintain batteries just fine based on what you have but it won't run a lot of things.

I would not install any new batteries until you can get that all sorted out. I think you've been through enough of the electrfical threads here to see the issues you'll need to deal with first. Adding any new batteries before you do all that is money down a rat hole.

Without wind power 150 watts is not enough for a fridge that does not have super insolation with the better new fridge compressors / controllers. With that you might be able to get by for a reasonable setup but the rest of the power has to come from some place else.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 25-02-2008, 21:16   #4
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Just to clarify, are you saying the house batteries are charging fine off the wind+solar, but not off the engine alternators?
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Old 25-02-2008, 21:42   #5
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Problem seems to be on the ground side,
WoooW up the horses there Sully. The ground should be a common bond between all electrical systems, so if engine start bank is grounded, so must the House Bank.
I am going to cut and paste this first issue to Electrical. And then all the sparky boys can join in with offering things to check.

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
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Old 25-02-2008, 22:08   #6
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Things could also be bonded at a shunt, as used in a battery monitor. That electrically (sort of) doesn't change anything in terms of being commonly grounded, but could be another spot to look at when chasing down cables.
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Old 26-02-2008, 01:44   #7
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Get a hotel room and keep the missus there till ya fix the problem.Mudnut.
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Old 26-02-2008, 02:28   #8

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Wouldn't be the first time that Ground connections were corroded. And with cats, we have twice the wiring. I'd start tearing connections apart and clean them up. I just did mine last year. It was so bad that only 8 volts was making it to my starboard starter.
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Old 26-02-2008, 04:42   #9

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Moving over to the proper thread.

Thanks for organizing this one for me, Wheels. I had very little power last night, but the sun is coming up right now, so I will be putting in greater detail ande going into the electric section...

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