Thursday, August 18, 2016


It was already mid July BIANKA was late in getting launched because of the previously mentioned 48 volt Battery bank issues. The new batteries were now in place and I was anxious to bring the boat out to the mooring and get away from the dock. Being at the dock was certainly convenient especially when loading over 500 pounds on new 8A4D batteries on board. But, in summer the breeze is not always coming from the most favorable direction for working on the boat. It was also one of the reasons I had not attached BIANKA's sail to the mast. As it turns out this was a good move. I had bought it on board in it's sail bag and laid it at the bottom of the mast. My thinking was it would be much easier to install it on the mooring with the boats bow pointing into the wind.

I was finally ready to untie the lines after a months delay. I had four brand new batteries on board. I had reloaded the cockpit lockers with all the "stuff" I had removed to load in the new batteries. I was ready to shove off. All I had to do was hit the main power switch on the controller box then turn the Key Switch in the cockpit.  This tells the controller to engage the contactor relay which provides battery power to the controller  which then provides power to the motor.  The main power switch lit up as normal. I then turned the Key Switch expecting to hear the loud click from the controller box that tells me the contactor relay had closed. But, instead I heard nothing. I turned the Key Switch again still nothing. I tried a few more times making no progress. It was mid morning and looking to be another hot humid summer day.  I was sure that after eight years the Key Switch had finally succumbed to the elements. I'd easily fix this at the mooring I thought. So I told the boatyard folks to tow BIANKA out to the mooring and they could have work dock where BIANKA had taken up space for the week.

I then went to the dingy dock where I kept my eight foot Porta Bote dingy and rowed out to the mooring. I was so confident the the corroded Key switch was the problem that I  spent a day or two doing other things on board before I looked at the switch. When I finally removed the switch things did not look that bad. I removed the spade lug connectors from the back of the switch and tried to short them together for a quick check but, it was still not working. Perhaps there was a lot of internal corrosion inside the connectors I thought. So I cut the connectors off and stripped the wires and twisted them together. Still not action from contactor relay. Uh oh I thought this is still a little more serious. My thoughts now turned to the contactor relay. Another simple fix if it was bad. But, I would have to open the controller box which meant I would have to remove everything again from the cockpit locker and squeeze my large frame down below in the mid summers heat. I was not looking forward to this but, it would need to be done. But, first I thought I'd give a call to David DiQuinzio Chief Technical officer at Annapolis Hybrid Marine U.S. distributors for the Thoosa systems and get his thoughts. 


1 comment:

bill said...

Waiting with baited breath.