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Old 09-02-2016, 08:36   #1
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sailing around the world
Boat: Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44
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Alternator - not working

We have Helia 116 and she's about six months old. Our windlass stopped working whilst thankfully the anchor was up and not down (we found a mooring instead of anchoring). After some testing - and some very helpful advice on this forum! - we've located the problem as the starboard alternator has stopped kicking out a current which was preventing the windlass for powering up.

Has anyone had any issues with their alternators and know of anything worth testing. If I can't fix it while in the boat, then the next stage is to get it out and have it tested/rebuilt, which will keep me here in the marina and away from the beautiful anchorages for another few days, which I'm keen to avoid!!

As a heads up for a quick solution so that you can get your anchor up/down if you encounter this problem - there is a relay in a box under the main 12V breaker unit in the Starboard Engine room. If you bypass this (by directly connecting the two wires that go to the windlass unit - relay ports 30 and 87) then you appear to have a working windlass again. Which is handy. Just be careful not to run your batteries down. I know there is discussion also in this forum of how to permenantly bypass this relay, which is another option.
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:56   #2
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Re: Alternator - not working

Replace it with the other alternator. You can survive fine for a while with just the one on the starboard motor.
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Old 09-02-2016, 17:24   #3
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Alternator - not working

1) As Captainjay stated, it best to start by Check for Loose wires or corrosion

2) You can also pull the 2 Alternator brushes to make sure they are still good and not sticking in there sleeve’s

3) The Alternators are also made by Mitsubishi Electric p/n A003TR0091 for $360 usd

Alternator for VOLVO PENTA D1, D2, D4, D6 Diesel Engines Mitsubishi OE Alternator A003TR0091 for European and Thai VOLVO PENTA MARINE 874502 or 3840181 115A 12V: Automotive

115A 12V, internal regulator
Mitsubishi OE Alternator A003TR0091
Volvo Penta #874502 or 3803650
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Old 09-02-2016, 18:02   #4
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Re: Alternator - not working

"She's about 6 months old". Check the warranty on the alternator and if under warranty get it replaced.
You can sail anywhere on the planet and never be more than 7 miles from land - it might be straight down, but its never more than seven miles
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Old 09-02-2016, 19:52   #5
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Re: Alternator - not working

If your alternator is not wired directly to your battery's you should think about doing so,if the battery switch is inadvertently turn off with the engine running that can blow the diodes if not wired direct. look at the color of the coils of wire that you can see through the case and see if they are black or copper color, if the color is good most likely its the diodes or regulator.
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