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Old 08-12-2021, 09:47   #1
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Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

I am in the process of buying a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409. It has 1 electric Harken radial 30 winch and 2 electric Harken 50 radial winches.

We went for survey and sea trial yesterday and the forward Radial 30 winch worked perfect but the 2 helm Radial 50 winches would shut off after a couple seconds and we would get a low voltage warning on plotter. The winches function well manually and are in excellent condition.

With the surveyor, we used a multi-meter on the dual function control box for each winch and they showed that they were getting 11.6v Both winches fail exactly the same so I think can rule out that it is a fault with each winch or control box and something from the power source. If engine is on, no difference.

Turns out, the seller noticed that the Magnum inverter was not working properly and last week replaced it with a Victron inverter/charger ,GX touch 50, Cerbo GX and all new house wet batteries. I spoke briefly with the installer yesterday after our survey and he was going to have a look but didnt think what he was doing had anything to do with the winches.

I am heading back down tomorrow and if he hasn't solved it, what do I need to be checking? Any advice to trouble shoot would be awesome. I will bring my multimeter as well.
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Old 08-12-2021, 10:26   #2
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

Quote:
Originally Posted by bccoast View Post
I am in the process of buying a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409. It has 1 electric Harken radial 30 winch and 2 electric Harken 50 radial winches.

We went for survey and sea trial yesterday and the forward Radial 30 winch worked perfect but the 2 helm Radial 50 winches would shut off after a couple seconds and we would get a low voltage warning on plotter. The winches function well manually and are in excellent condition.

With the surveyor, we used a multi-meter on the dual function control box for each winch and they showed that they were getting 11.6v Both winches fail exactly the same so I think can rule out that it is a fault with each winch or control box and something from the power source. If engine is on, no difference.

Turns out, the seller noticed that the Magnum inverter was not working properly and last week replaced it with a Victron inverter/charger ,GX touch 50, Cerbo GX and all new house wet batteries. I spoke briefly with the installer yesterday after our survey and he was going to have a look but didnt think what he was doing had anything to do with the winches.

I am heading back down tomorrow and if he hasn't solved it, what do I need to be checking? Any advice to trouble shoot would be awesome. I will bring my multimeter as well.
Start at your winch relays.
Positive cons, should be battery voltage, negative cons low resistance to source.
Looks like your connections to POS. Maybe faulty, possible Neg as well.
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Old 08-12-2021, 12:36   #3
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

The simultaneous low voltage warning on the chart plotter tells me that it is a power source problem, if not the new battery bank then look for corrosion on cabling and connections (at the lugs) between battery bank and main terminal bars.
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Old 08-12-2021, 12:42   #4
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

The batteries are new wet cells installed by the installer doing the Victron components. What voltage should the battery be showing? Will that change when under load from winches? The windlass works fine but engine is on during that test. Engine has no impact on other winches.
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Old 08-12-2021, 13:22   #5
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

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Originally Posted by bccoast View Post
The batteries are new wet cells installed by the installer doing the Victron components. What voltage should the battery be showing? Will that change when under load from winches? The windlass works fine but engine is on during that test. Engine has no impact on other winches.
With FLA batteries there will always be voltage sag under load, but it recovers when the load is gone (to a certain extent) More important what size bank was installed? Harken 50's are good sized winches and would place a substantial load on a small battery bank. If the house bank 100ah? 200ah? 400ah? etc.

fully charged FLA at rest disconnected from a charge source should rest at 12.7v
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Old 09-12-2021, 07:43   #6
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

11.6 while the winch is running? If not measure while the winch runs for its short time.
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:33   #7
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

BCCoast:

A voltage of 11.6 measured AT THE BATTERY TERMINALS indicateS unequivocally a dead battery!

If such a low voltage is measured ELSEWHERE IN THE CIRCUIT, while the terminal voltage is okay, the indication is a problem IN THE CIRCUIT.

The charger to which you refer will have a decent voltage read-out, but that will not help you if you are not "plugged in"

I take it you are new to seafaring. I make bold therefore to offer you a chart I use in TrentePieds, which, by my choice, has no fancy electronic doodads.

This chart is used in conjunction with a hydrometer that measures the Specific Gravity of the electrolyte in standard, middle of the road, FLA batteries. A hydrometer that will do the job nicely will set you back the princely sum of twenny bux, and then you have absolute assurance at all times that you will know the actual State of Charge of your batteries. Install your batteries so you have easy access to them so you can "dip" them without having to shift everything in the boat :-)!

You should never let your SOC go below 80% if you want reliability and long life from your batteries. If you observe that rule faithfully, even batteries of middle of the road quality, bought at auto parts suppliers such as Lordco, Bumper-to-Bumper or NAPA, will last you four or five years. They are, nevertheless consumables! But they are cheap, so who cares :-)?

You will see that the VOLTAGE difference between fully charged and 80% (the lower tolerance limit) is so little that you are likely to be misled by ordinary voltage meters fitted remotely from the batteries. Go for the Hydrometer and you get the data "straight from the horse's mouth" :-)!

Do yourself a favour and prepare an "energy budget" accounting for all the use of juice you can foresee. Then install enough battery CAPACITY that you can use all your electrical gizmos according to your "usage habits" for the entire time between charges without drawing your batteries down below 80% SOC.

Remember that the alternator fitted as standard on your 40 horse Yanmar just won't cut the mustard! Nor will that fitted as standard on any other 40 horse engine. Make sure to replace it with a machine that can produce, as a minimum, in an hour or two of motoring, all the juice you use in 24 hours. But have regard to the fact that there is a limit to how fast FLA batts can absorb a charge!

Other devices such as solar panels should be seen "in the same light" so to speak :-) And here in the Salish Sea, part of what is not without reason called "The Wetcoast", your solar panels will only function at rated output a very small proportion of the time, if ever! And even then, at 49ļLat and even more, the insolation is far less than it is where the coconuts grow!

All the best :-)

TrentePieds
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Old 09-12-2021, 15:15   #8
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

That is definitely a power source problem--winches use heavy current.

Replacing the battery bank with golf cart lead acid cells is a solution. The charging system should be checked by a marine sparky, and the system tested to see if there are any constant leaks such as can be caused by incorrectly wired lighting or other apparatus. Go around and feel the water pumps, windlass motor etc after they have not been operated for some time, and see if any are hot. See if your alternator is hot when the engine has not been run.

Because something is wrong. Batteries take MONTHS to go flat from their own current leakage.
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Old 10-12-2021, 03:03   #9
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Re: Electric Winches stop after 2 seconds

Low voltage alarm on instruments points to universal issue, not the winches.

Are the new batteries that were just installed the same/similar size and spec as the old bank? Did seller cut corners for resale?

There are two places for voltage drop in a high current DC system. One is undersized cabling or poor connections The other is across the battery posts - trying to suck out too much. House banks usually use deep discharge batgeries (golf carts) which are less tolerant to high current discharge than starting batteries. If this is the case, a larger battery bank will help. Also, brand of battery makes a difference. For example, I forget the actual numbers, but the Trojan T105s golf cart batteries are rated at 220ah (6v) vs the Costco Interstate GC2 are around 200ah. Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.

Foe some reasons, the seller was motivated to install a new inverter/charger snd batteries. This is a fairly expensive repair. Maybe he was trying to solve a problem and didn't quite get there.

Problems like this can take a while to chase and can therefore be expensive and interruptive when you really want to use the boat. Definitely doing the right thing to be wary.

Goof luck

Peter
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