The Search For Bright Waters

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boat Work and Out of Power

We have been pretty lucky so far keeping our repairs to a minimum.  Mostly we clean after the cats (litter and lots of cat hair).  We tighten up loose bolts and wires as we find them.  Dishes and general cleaning wrap up our boat work.

However during the week of the regatta it rained a lot and our house batteries suffered never getting a full days charge.  Since then our battery monitor showed 10.5 volts at night and 12.0 volts during the day under full sun light.  That is not good.  We couldn't plug anything in like charging our laptops and most electronics wouldn't run except for our led cabin lights.

I decided to test each battery by hooking them up to the solar panels and battery monitor alone for a day and see if it could charge up.  Two of the battery never showed more than 11.5 volts even under the full sun power so I guess they are dead.  One battery would range from 11 volts at night and 14.1 volts during the day.  The last battery ranged from 9 volts at night to 14.1 volts during the day.  But even those two batteries would not hold the charge at night.

During this time we have been trying out different spots around town that we can pick up wifi and power.  It's not the wifi that we need so much but the power.  We don't use too much electricity on the boat so we've been ok with just using some light at night, however Christine is craving music.

It is quite expensive to replace our battery bank here so we are hoping our new plan will work.  We will use the electricity during the day that the solar panels provide and then only use lights at night.  So basically using the two house batteries we have as a funnel for electricity even though they can never hold it.  Luckily it's sunny most days.

Also lucky is that we keep our small starter battery on a separate switch so it has been unaffected by all this and we can still start the boat!

The other major project I have to do is scrubbing the barnacles and growth of the bottom of the boat which can be tough in a choppy current.   Also restitching a lot of our canvas.  Those cats can be a menace sometimes, but at least it will keep me busy.

Sorry for no pictures as this was quite a lame/boring blog, but we thought if we can tell the good side of cruising we can tell the bad as well.  And everyone knows what a 12volt battery looks like...

1 comment:

Laura and Hans said...

I feel for you with your battery issues! Last summer we were stranded for a whole weekend at anchor (100 degree temps no less) after our batteries died. Since then we've been overly cautious and on cloudy days our beer does not get cold because I can't stand seeing our meter dip below 12.5 when I turn the fridge on.
As for cats; we're still finding our Chlorox's hair on the boat and she died last summer.
Hans tried scrubbing barcacles off when we were in Little Harbor (Abaco)and ended up getting all kinds of gashes all over his arms and legs thanks to the choppy waters.
Living on a boat isn't always fun and games but we couldn't ask for a better place to be, right??!!