A Salt and Batteries

Just when you think you’re seeing the finish line, more stuff gets added to the list.

Although the wind is what moves a sailboat, there’s still a fair amount of electronic equipment aboard – radios, navigation instruments, lights, etc. The power for these comes from batteries which are, in turn, recharged either through plugging the boat into shore power or by running the engine.

Right now, Opus has Lead-Acid batteries. These are the old-fashioned kind where you have to add water to them occasionally and where recharging them can lead to hydrogen gas escaping – which can be explosive when exposed to a spark. There are other downsides to them too, such as the potential to spill acid if they fall over, etc.

Newer battery technology are either AGM or lithium batteries. Both are “sealed” so that they don’t leak if tipped, don’t require maintenance.

In addition, there are two kinds of “drains” on a battery. One is the slow, steady, drain of the “house” batteries. This is the kind of drain that, say, lights or radios put on the battery. They aren’t asking for a lot of power, but they do ask for a lot of time. The other kind of drain is represented by trying to start the engine – it’s a LOT of power being needed for a short amount of time.

Opus has two “deep-discharge” batteries for the house drains (lights, radios, etc) and one battery for the starter drains.

Unfortunately, one of fthe batteries is going bad. I could replace it with another lead-acid battery, but due to some other factors, it’s better to upgrade them all right now. However, that leads us to another boat search as I look for the <deleted> battery charger.

You see, the boat has a battery charger that takes power from the shore power and uses it to recharge (or keep charged) the batteries. It’s a box roughly cigar-box sized and it should be easy to find.

Two days of searching and I have yet to find it. I know it’s on the boat because I have a control panel that monitors its operation. Meanwhile, the whole boat is, once again, a mess as I’ve been moving things from here to there to over there so I can pull up floor boards, bunk boards, etc., all to no avail. So the search will continue today, as will cleanup of the boat.

The constant mess and uproar is definitely getting to me. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll bite off only one project at a time and see that through to completion before going on to the next one.

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