Sunday, July 6, 2014

2014 July - Boat Projects

July is going to be a busy month with a lot of boat projects

I have a number of projects related to the wiring on the boat - these are potentially useful resources I want to remember:

One task on my to-do list: label all of the wiring and plumbing. After an initial search, I'm considering either the RhinoPro 5200:

Or, the Rhino 4200

I have three new Group 31 AGM batteries for which I need to sort out a new plan for where to install them.  This week I'll ask a local yard for quotes on a number of projects - including relocating the batteries - and glassing in a new platform for them.

I've swapped the wiring on the Battery Selector switch to assign #1 to the starting battery, and #2 to the house battery bank.  My rationale for switching the assignment: To avoid the potentially inadvertent skip to "Off" when changing from starting to house, once the engine is running.

If #2 is wired as starting, and #1 is house - as was previously done on my boat - you run the risk of turning too far - as I once did when I turned the selector to off - while the engine was still running - which risks damaging the alternator.  You can also install selector switch that has a field disconnect  (or fail safe diodes) to eliminate the chance of alternator damage due to inadvertent switching.

Now with the starting battery on #1, when I switch to #2 for house - I have avoided the risk.

I'm also installing a new mounted battery charger, the Professional Mariner, ProSport 12 Heavy duty Marine Battery Charger, 12A, 12/24V, 2 Bank Charger.

Which is replacing an old Ray Jefferson Guard Model 15S

From my research, this model is categorized as a ferro-resonant battery charger - and there are some comments on various forums that indicate these possibly resulted in overcharging / damaging batteries.  For example:


  • "The introduction of electronic, 3-stage chargers in recent years has been a vast improvement in battery maintenance because these chargers are able to sense when the battery cannot take any more charge and then shut off"
Killing Batteries [how to]

  • "Use a ferroresonant charger in a liveaboard situation."

and this Technical Note, by PowerDesigners, LLC - Battery Chargers - Technology Overview

Ferroresonant Chargers: 

  • "The absence of electronic controls makes these chargers more durable and dependable in various applications."
  • "Ferroresonant chargers have many limitations including lack the sophisticated control circuitry to give batteries what they need. As a result, these chargers may work well with flooded batteries, but can easily overcharge and damage more delicate modern sealed batteries. In addition, ferroresonant chargers are very sensitive to slight changes in line frequency and have low efficiencies since the ferroresonant transformers dissipate more heat than conventional transformers"

I'm also having a technician take a look at the auto-pilot installation - I suspect the issue of the wheel feeling tight/gripping when auto-pilot is not engaged - is possibly related to an improper cut/length of pin on the pedestal bracket

This weekend I had a few spare minutes, and finally got around to installing some new stainless steel oar locks for the dinghy oars:

Another project to tackle this month - replacing two porthole dog bolt assemblies due to some corrosion.  This item from JPW Marine looks like it would possibly work:

There may also be another supplier to consider:

From time-to-time, I have needed to bleed air from a diesel fuel line - here are two very good videos for how to do that:

A good video on how to bleed air from the fuel lines of a diesel engine at the injector

Another good video on how to bleed air from the fuel lines...