Inch by inch we’re getting closer to installing some new batteries. This past weekend we moved the old batteries from under the quarter berth to the engine room. They now temporarily sit where the old water heater was located. Over the next few weekends we plan to tear out the old battery box and redesign it to fit our new batteries. We’re hoping to make it big enough to fit more than just the three we now have.
April Boat Show
In April Rich is going to the Pacific Sail and Power Boat show in Richmond where he’s taking a boat electrical systems class from Nigel Calder.
Here’s the description of the class found on the Pacific Sail and Power Boat show website:
The number one source of problems on boats large enough to have an electrical system, both power and sail, lies in these electrical systems. Tech guru Nigel Calder, author of the best-selling ‘Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual’ (now in its 4th edition, with over 300,000 copies sold) takes participants through the core design and installation requirements necessary to head off electrical systems problems, and then delves into step-by-step troubleshooting techniques, including using a multimeter, that will rapidly identify most problems should they arise. Not only will you leave class with a far better understanding of your electrical systems and knowing how to fix common problems, but you will also likely save the price of admission by not having to make service calls or swap out perfectly good parts in search of solutions. No previous experience is required.
Rich has compiled a list of questions about batteries and chargers, inverters, and isolators to ask Calder. He’s especially interested to hear what he has to say about the Firefly batteries we’re hoping to get. One of the reasons we’re excited about these batteries is because Calder has given them high praise.
In preliminary testing I worked the Firefly batteries hard in a real-world (onboard, while cruising off the west coast of Scotland) partial state of charge operation. The goal was to minimize engine run times and optimize electrical system performance in an ‘off-the-grid’ situation with limited recharging opportunities. The kind of operating regime I followed spells death for most lead-acid batteries. In contrast, after two months of intensive cycling, the Firefly batteries tested out with 100% of the capacity with which they started. These are encouraging results which, if substantiated over longer periods of time, represent a ‘game changer’ in terms of lead-acid technology and boat electrical systems design. I look forward to collecting more data. –Nigel Calder
Projects on Deck (literally)
We’re really trying to get the battery project done so our summer is free to finally install the chainplates and finish faring and painting the deck. We’ll keep everyone posted and post more videos of course.