Monday, August 15, 2016


Well, this ninth season with electric propulsion has certainly been one of two steps forward and one step back. Looking back at how things have gone it certainly seems as if the Gods are conspiring against BIANKA venturing too far off the mooring after eight years of pretty trouble free operation. To recap:

Spring outfitting was going well as usual until a few days before I was planning to launch. I plugged into grid power to do one final charge in the boatyard before launch when I noticed one of the batteries was not reaching full charge. Some further testing showed it was going bad and would need be replaced.

Since all the batteries in the bank were eight years old replacing only the bad battery created my first dilemma. By only replacing the bad battery in older 48 volt battery bank results in the older batteries degrading the new battery. So in a few years I might have to replace all of the batteries again. So I decided since the battery bank was eight years old I'd replace all of them now. So that's what I did.

Unfortunately,  shipping damage made two of the new batteries unusable and required replacements to be ordered further delaying installation of the new batteries. Poseidon must have had Thor or whoever the God of shipping is throw the batteries around in the truck to damage them.

Since I would be removing the old batteries. I decided now would also be a good time to reconfigure the position of the batteries so they will be easier to access and service in the future. But, I needed to extend the the battery platform to do this. This was the time to do this but, it meant an additional delay while I worked on how to extend the platform.

Once that was done it was time to install the new batteries which went well. With the new batteries installed and rewired it was time to head out to the mooring. I turned the systems main power and then the key switch to engage the contractor relay. Nothing! For some reason the relay was not energizing and providing battery battery power to the controller and motor for operation. Poseidon is laughing at this no doubt.  I'd been at the boatyards work dock for a week and the boatyard was getting antsy for me to move out of the way.

I thought it would be a simple problem with the Key switch that tells the controller to engaged the contactor. Certainly eight years with the switch exposed to the elements had caused the switch contacts to fail. Something I could easily fix while at the mooring.  It was now already well past July 4th I was also anxious to get out to the mooring where I would also be able to jump off the boat for a swim in the summer heat. So I told the boatyard to tow BIANKA out to the mooring where I thought I would be able to quickly fix the switch issue and finally start the sailing season. Unfortunately this was not to be the case...



bill said...

On the edge of our seats...

SalParadise said...

Sorry to hear this is stil going on. I guess the marine electric industry has some catching up to do in the support department. There are stil two great months ahead of us.