Friday, February 25, 2011

Never Blog Your Brags

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL
34 42.54 N 081 05.58 W

A week or two ago I bragged on my blog about how clever I had become in managing my batteries. I ran the generator in the morning instead of the afternoon. I also installed a double-pole-double-throw toggle switch for the solar panel. The switch made it easy to bypass the charge controller whenever I needed to equalize the battery.

Equalization means bringing the battery voltage to 15 volts or more for an hour. Well, on Wedneday I outsmarted myself. I turned the switch to equalize, and then I forgot about it and went ashore for the whole day. When I got back, I could see immediately that something was wrong with the batteries. WHen drawing 4 amperes for the refrigerator, the voltage sank to 11.3 volts.

Investigation confirmed it. I had one dead cell. My theory is that the battery overcharged all day long, and cracked one of the lead plates.

It was an expensive mistake. I bought a replacement battery this morniung for $125. I ignored the standard advice of keeping all batteries the same age. The second battery is only a year old. I didn't replace it.

By the way, marine batteries, if warranted at all, are warranted for 12 months only.

Of course, there is no conclusive proof that the battery failure was my fault, but I'm pretty sure. What would you guess.

p.s. Busy times here. I started a painting project Thursday, but I won't have time to resume it until Sunday. Today 1200-1500 was the SSCA luncheon, 1600-1700 was our Spanish for Cruisers lesson, tomorrow 0800-1100 we'll be at the nautical flea market on Islamorada, 1300-1500 at a flare disposal/flare demonstration at the Coast Guard Station, and 1500-1700 at the pig races. Whew.


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    Love the blog... keep up the great posts. We're following your travels from Yachting Blogs!

    - Jacob

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