3 DAYS to fix a major PROBLEM – Sailing A B Sea (Ep.94)

3 DAYS to fix a major PROBLEM – Sailing A B Sea (Ep.94)


We have a major problem on board A B Sea and
like all major problems they come at the most inopportune moments because I am
just three days away from flying back to the UK for a long weekend which will
mean Aannsha’s left in charge with the captain’s hat on and we must get this
problem fixed before I leave. In this video we’ll tell you what the problem is,
what the symptoms are that pointed us towards the problem and what we’re going
to do to fix it. The first clue or symptom that something was wrong
came in the middle of the night. As I lay awake I was listening to the compressor
of the refrigerator and it was making a noise that it never made before Now initially I just thought maybe the
compressor was on the way out and so eventually it would die and we’d have to
replace it but the more I listened the more it seemed to me that it was an
electrical problem. What I was listening to was the fridge compressor switching
on, staying on for a short space of time and then switching off and then almost
immediately switching back on again for a short space of time before switching
off. The next clue that something was wrong came from Aannsha. The second clue that something was wrong was in the toilet
and at first I thought it was my imagination but when I flushed it in the
morning the sound seemed odd, it sounded flat. So I mentioned it to Baz and he
said funny you should say that, mine did exactly the same thing this morning as well The third clue that something was wrong
came from our computers. I looked down into the bottom right-hand corner and
noticed that even though I was plugged into the electrical outlet the battery
of the computer wasn’t being charged. Time to investigate. Housed under the port
aft bunk is our battery bank and as you can see all four batteries were replaced
in June 2018 so they’re certainly not old batteries. You can see that all three
house batteries are down to around about 10 volts which basically means they are
dead. Time for car hire and a mission to go and find replacement batteries. Just behind us is a rental car. We’ve actually hired it for three days because on the
evening of the 3rd day I’m going to drop this car off at Athens International
Airport because that’s when I’m getting on an airplane to go to the UK. So we’re
off today on our first mission which is to find three replacement house
batteries for the boat. Well our trusty sat-nav got us all the way to the
outskirts of Athens to the battery place that you can see behind us and inside is a
very helpful gentleman who knows all about batteries
and he’s gonna sell us three batteries that we need hopefully. Come take a look. The size of the batteries has to be important to us because the space that
they’re fitted in they have to be exactly the right size so the largest we
could get was a hundred amp hours which is only five amp hours more than the previous
batteries we had in. Efharisto Now, we’re going to find another mission Yes something to do with computers
and also boat shoes Guess which is more important to me Girls Parking’s a premium in Athens. You can
say that again. It’s like Murcia revisited. Yeah but we found it a little
spot just at the top of the road when we thought we were gonna have to go back
around a one-way system again but oiur parking angel came through again. So off to
the computer shop now where we hope to buy some car adapters for our laptops
because currently we’re taking 12 volts shoving it through the inverter to 220
volts then shoving it through the computer charger pack from 220 down to
19 volts and that’s a lot of wasted energy. Crazy. Crazy energy so we’re looking for something that’s going to take us from
12 volts straight to 19 volts and straight into the laptops and there’s a
computer store down here they might just do the trick. It took a while to find this place and they don’t sell them. Yeah, it’s a big store with lots of computer
stuff and phone stuff and tablet stuff but they don’t have the 12 volts
inverters, they only do 220 volts. She did give us a lead on another place
called Kafkas which is on the main road here so when we get back to the car we can
put the internet on, Google it find the address, pump that into the sat-nav and
off we go again. Yes. Oh. This is it and it looks like it’s shut down That’s not good Yep that is definitely a shop that’s closed. Bugger The mission continues. Yes it certainly does. Talk to me Baz. Well we struck out that time. We found the store recommended
to us but it was really just a domestic electrical store with wall lights,
ceiling lights and things like that so he’s pointed us in the direction of a
computer store but it’s quite a way away from the sounds of things. He didn’t know
the address so he’s given the name of the place to us so it’s back to the car,
back to Google and we’ll see how we go from there. So this mission is turning
out to be during the midday heat. We’ve just bought ourselves a nice really cold
bottle of water but it’s a bit bland but luckily where we’re walking there are lots of lime
trees so we’re gonna pluck some limes and put some lime juice into the water. There’s two prime candidates right there Kotsovolos was not the answer but apparently
150 metres in this direction is the place that will have the answer
to all our dreams Yeah right! Or at least our connection for the computers. Well that was another strikeout but we have two leads from that guy in there.
One is Cosmodata and the other one is Plasio. Apparently they’re just up here There’s lots of cafes around here as
well so I’m thinking you know when we’ve done the do and found what we’re looking for we
might just stop for something. Yeah maybe. It’s way past lunchtime It certainly is. I’m getting a bit over this mission now
So am I Nope! Nope! Another strikeout. That’s gotta be
strikeout number six isn’t it? I’ve given up counting. We’ve got another lead. Yeah Strike seven I think we may have exhausted all our options Baz The thing is I do know you can get
them. Yeah. And everyone is telling me well you can’t get a 12 volt adapter
that steps up to 19 volts but I know you can get them. We’ve seen them online so we
might give up on this mission for now and then when we get back to the boat we
can have a look at Amazon, EBay.co.uk and if they have them there I can get them
shipped to my brother’s house in time for me arriving at the weekend. Yeah well I think Amazon may be a quicker bet but yeah. Amazon, EBay, something I don’t
know, yeah we’ll figure something out. Right now it’s hot, it’s well after lunch, it’s three o’clock in the afternoon. Mission not
accomplished but we’re still on the mission Yeah. Now let’s find some food eh?
That sounds like a plan For lunch we chose this place called Simply Burgers and it’s just been delivered and we think it’s more than simple burgers, these are great looking burgers. El Diablo and the Swiss Cheese. Yeah. I got up this morning as soon as there was enough daylight in the sky to allow me to work
because obviously with disconnected batteries I’d have no house lights to
illuminate my workspace and as you can see now we have our three brand new
Varta 100 amp hour batteries in place and I’ve also moved the original Varta
starter motor battery into the separate container cos my OCD was kicking in
having the starter motor battery in the middle of two house batteries. So I’ve
neatened things up a little bit. The Sun is up and our solar is working but just
looking at the batteries right now twelve point seven seven in that one twelve point seven seven there and
twelve point seven seven there and if we have a look at our starter battery – twelve
point eight five. So beautiful so here’s So here’s a question for all of you in the know
about batteries this is a ninety five amp hour 12 volts, the new ones we put in
are a hundred amp hour twelve volts, they are Varta and this one is Bosch. Now I’ve
just tested this one and got twelve point one six volts in it now if I show
you the voltage on the definite dead one. Ten point five that is definitely dead so my
question is, can I mix and match Bosch and Varta and does the amp hours make a
difference with the system? If I can utilize this as the fourth house battery
that would make me a happy camper Yesterday I had a thought about our
Victron battery monitor and my thought proved to be quite correct. The guy who
originally installed the solar and the battery monitor hadn’t set it up
correctly. We now have three 100 amp hour batteries which if you want to be
realistic would technically give you 150 amp hours of usage before you start to
damage the batteries. So I came to the battery monitor and I set it up to show
available amp hours of 150. It’s now 7:45 in the morning after a
proper night of battery usage and we can see it’s now sharing seventy nine point
five percent of available amp hours so if we scroll through the numbers here we
can see we’ve got 240 hours of battery potential battery usage left.
That’s only showing that much now because there’s not much draw on the
system at the moment. The batteries are at twelve point five five volts. We’ve,
we’re currently drawing nothing in amps we’ve got zero what’s being drawn and
we’ve used thirty five point two amp hours overnight which correlates back to
seventy nine point five percent of available battery amp hours. So now we’ve
got this set up correctly we can really monitor what’s going on with our battery
drain or usage It’s just on sunset upon Thursday the third of October and Aannsha’s on the boat A B Sea. She’s parked over there and I am about to get into this car and drive
myself to Athens International Airport I’m heading back to the UK for three
days to attend a reunion of Tenerife workers. Some of the people who are going
to be there I haven’t seen in 30 years it’s gonna be so great to catch up. There’s a little bit of concern from both Aannsha and I about leaving
Aannsha alone with the boat particularly because the weather is not steady. It’s
very changeable and today was a good example of that
we had a squall that came through and we had a complete rain whiteout and 40 knots of
wind and I think in a way it was kind of good because we were able to test that
the anchor was in and it stayed in so there should be just one more bit of bad
weather tomorrow afternoon and then it should be good for the rest of the
weekend. Anyway let’s go to the airport hey? So we’re through check in and we’re through security and we’ve still got about an hour and 45 minutes before the fight begins the board so
what else is a bloke to do except drink a beer. Cheers As you can probably tell it’s nighttime
well it’s not really nighttime it’s dusk time and at dusk time on a Friday evening
what you do when you’re at your bro’s place? You go out to the local pub and you
have dinner and a few pints And I think the pub of choice is just ahead
because there’s lots of cars parked here and I can see warm glowing lights in the
distance It’s food time! I’ve got a steak and wobbly ale pie. Big Geoff’s got the hake and the little Geoffs are going for the burgers Hahaha. With tomato sauce of course. Saturday just after lunchtime and now
Big Steve, or Big Geoff is taking us to the next destination which is the motel I’ve gonna
check in to for tonight’s accommodation. So we’re currently driving
through some very nice, very English countryside with very English houses and
hedgerows, bringing back an awful lot of memories. There’s even an old red phone
box Well this is it, Saturday night, we’re at the venue – the Boro Club in
Bury in Manchester and there’s a few people inside already
more to come. Follow me inside we’re gonna check it out. Next week on Sailing
A B Sea it’s a tale of two weekends as Aannsha battles the high seas wearing the
captain’s hat on board A B Sea in Greece while I catch up with some mates I
haven’t seen for 30 years in Bury in Manchester, UK As regulars you should
know by now what to do at the end of the video – Leave a like, leave a comment and
subscribe to see future releases of Sailing A B Sea

11 Comments

  1. Will be so interesting for you to see what your friends have done in 30 years, I would think your story could be one many would envy.
    Hopefully you can get your 12 to 19 volt converter in the big smoke of the UK.

  2. I,am a an life long control system engineer ( now retired) and have some remarks )
    It is not well done to parallel more than 2 standard batteries with AGM perhaps 3 will be ok .
    This due a small difference in internal resistance with is much lower with AGM.
    Never mix different brand of batteries , same reason, different internal resistance and composition .
    300 Amp/h of batteries gives you max usable 150 Amp hour by 50% discharge if you discharge more the life cycle drops dramatically and that by a 20 hours discharge rate .
    At a boat you will have a lot higher discharge rates , higher discharge rates will kill your batteries a lot faster . ( 1 or 2 years and they are done )
    The max charge rate for standard batteries is around 20 % of their capacity !
    For your battery bank it will be max 60 amp .
    The best solution for your sail boat is the following , an initial expensive solution but it will last you a LONG time and so in time the more economic and better solution.
    Change over to direct replacement 100Anp/h Lithium batteries (1000 US a peace !)

    Thew have a way better cycle life and can be draw back till 15 % (they say 10% but stay on the safe side ?
    That give you with a lot lower weight in the same space 255 amp/h usable !!!!!
    And another gain is the speed you can charge them, the will take easy an 150A charge !
    More gain from these Lithium batteries they have an internal control system so you can parallel as much you want put one extra in and you have roughly 350 usable amp/h !!!.
    Spend more money and go for a High output alternator like a Balmar 170 A with the Balnar regulator . ( Around 1200 US ) you need also a pulley conversion kit for your engine ( price around 300 US ? )
    And you are rock solid !
    Example , you are going anchor up, you run your engine for lets say an 1/2 hour in the same time you put 85 amp/h in your battery bank and the solar will do the rest of charge.
    Further more, never charge your batteries more than 80 a 90% with your engine , the last 10 % take to much time and fuel, the solar take care for that .
    Pff, a lot of talking and it will cost you an arm and a leg but you will be fine for many years and will have plenty of power .
    You can run easy at day time a 30 gallon/H water maker on this system ! ( the best and cheapest and simple ones are drawing 25 amps, a DIY kit cost around 3000 US it is really no rocket science, one hour motoring every 2/3 days and you can make PLENTY of water )

    Somebody interested in a very nice house?
    It come with all art, 2 cars, full audio an video , 2 x 55 inch Sony, 3.5 KW grid tied solar, beautiful clean natural water from our own well, and a lot more like a big pool and you have only to bring a toothbrush and some money !
    We wanna buy a sail boat !!!!!!

  3. I would try a Car Accessory sales shop for your laptop adaptor they should have the type that fit's into the Cigarette lighter of a car and see if you can get the type that has different end fittings so you can use with other units that require said power.Good luck the price i see in Thailand is about $20.oo Dollars or cheaper if i go to a shop cheaper than on line .Universal Adapter.

  4. Hi, as others pointed out, it may not be a good idea to directly paralell the 4th bttery due to different internal resistance – it practically means that one battery would charge+discharge faster than others, so they would end up being diffrent voltage all the time, which would lead to uncontrolled electricity low between the batteries (one with higher charge is trying to charge the lower one) this uncontroled charge is uncontrolled as the charge current may exceed the limit of one battery. However, there is an easy solution to this: using diodes. Diode regulates lelectricity flow, so the electricity can only flow in one direction. This way you can block any charge coming to your unique battery from the other batteries so only the solar charge controller can charge it. on th other hand you also need to have a diode isolating the other three batteries so that the cannot be charged by the three new batteries. This way you can safely use the fourth battery.
    As for laptop chargers: try to search for CAR laptopn charges as they all use 12v input. If you went to car accessory shops instead of laptop shops, you might have saved up time to have cold drinks instead of walking in the heat.:)

  5. Some really good advice there Baz. From Zasde35 👍👍 Only thing I would add is you should consider moving the + to the last battery in your parallel bank and leave the – on the first.. Currently both run to the first one and then to the other two. There is some maths due to resistance but, simply put; the first battery is taking a higher % of the load when used and consequently when charging. So it will die quicker. You may want to think about desulfator too for when your on the hook. Recomended from us is the "Battery Extra". Sold on Ebay UK. Read the blerb in the description, they really do work well on all lead acid batteries inc AGMs. Our next battery change will be to Lithium we have found them as low as £700.00 for 100 Ah from reputable supplier in UK with built in BMS. We have had our AGM spiral cells 4+ years now and they are OK but, nothing is forever as they say. Sail Safe. Ant, Cid & the Pooch crew.

  6. careful …the bosch may be a starting battery and hence not deep cycle, hence not suitable as a house battery. my preference is never to hook up new with used batteries even of these wee all deep cycle units.

  7. Aannsha reminds me of lyrics to one of The Highwomen's new songs "Redesigning Women". It says, "And if the shoe fits, we're gonna buy 11." We have to keep our priorities in order.🤭
    As yachties you're in a select group that help each other out. If it were me, I would reach out to Captain Brian of SV Delos. IMHO, he's an Einstein🧠. This vlog addresses the issue very thoroughly when they switched to Lithium batteries and from propane to induction cooking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvDCLtN22jY Since Brain and Karin are at home in Sweden, I'd venture to say he'd help you out in a NY minute. He's that kinda guy!👍💖 I'm looking forward to next week's episode with bated breathe. ⏳

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