Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A good fettle and batteries !!

One enjoyable aspect of new boat ownership is getting down and dirty to understand how everything works. I have recently been doing that with some focus on the propulsion side of Percy.

Percy has hydraulic drive, this keeps a full height in the back cabin. Not such a benefit for me at 5 foot 6 inches and it makes for a climb down into the cabin from the counter. Tony has well engineered the rear end and it only takes two wing nuts and three screws to have it all open and accessible. there was a little water in the very small 'bilge', easily removed with the little pump that sits there waiting for this task. There was also a little hydraulic fluid in the very attractive when polished up catch tray. I could not easily see the date on the 'greaseomatic' stern tube greaser, click the link to read about it from a previous post., but I could see it was down to its last 10cc of grease. I very easily unscrewed it and set one of my two spares going for another 12 months. The date on the old one was to be replaced in April.... last year... so it had done a good shift. Finally took the grease gun to a nipple that fed a bearing on the shaft.... it took a good amount of grease.

All fettled and cleaned and it was a reverse of the dismantling. I then cleared under the counter, a really useful storage space, especially now we have a couple of 45 litre plastic boxes to hold waterproofs, ropes etc.

Another over bed reading lamp was fitted to provide matching facility for his and hers pre-nighttime reading.

The engine has also had a check over...oil checked and those bits that rock and go up and down have been given some grease or oil.

The smartgauge I think is still getting to know the boat! The instructions say fit and forget for a few days of charge and discharge. Today it was down t 61% so that was 23% use last night compared to 16% the day before. It took about three hours to get is back to 74% and as I type this before  going to bed it is at 62%. The solar charge controller is still saying  have a full battery and that was showing half a battery yesterday when the smartgauge was at 61%

I have had some very helpful comments from Brian from NB Harnser and Halfie from Nb Shadow & Jubilee on the charging side of my setup. Seems I have a simple, blocking diode type split charger, simple but inefficient. I recon I am loosing about 0.8 of a volt from the alternator to the batteries. I am looking at the option of adding a smart bank split charge controller... anyone got experience of this or any other split charge controller?

The one outstanding job now is the fore cabin. This has been a dumping ground to date and needs  a good sort, sometime soon for that job.

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