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Tony Brooks

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Everything posted by Tony Brooks

  1. I agree, but we can not know for sure because the OP can't, at present, give us the required test results or even what type of batteries he has (closed or open cell).
  2. I can't say that is the case, but it sounds as if it may well be. However, a new set could be damaged beyond use within a very few weeks unless you keep the well charged and do not discharge below about 12.2V with no current draw. Where should you look for what? If you mean the volts and amps I referred to then your meter will give you accurate readings on the volt and amp setting PROVIDING you ensure the voltage is set to the domestic bank and not the engine battery.
  3. I think David meant that using the blanket has done no long term damage to the batteries as long as you recharge them ASAP. I agree with him, but that does not mean the batteries were not in a bad way before that.
  4. I suspect the batteries are very sulphated so when new and fully charged that may have run the blanket for several hours, but in the changed chemical state can only hold enough electricity for a very short period of blanket use. If I am correct and you charge for long enough to get them a fully charged as they will go (say 12.7 to 12.8 volts at least an hour after shutdown with no electricity load) or (when the ammeter reads 4 to 8 amps when charging at 14.2 plus volts - assuming 440Ah of nominal battery capacity) they will still discharge quickly.
  5. Nowhere near long enough from the position it looks as if you are in now. Serviceable batteries will require well over 8 hours charging at such an engine seed that allows maximum charge (it gradually reduces). It may take 10 or 12 hours. Once serviceable batteries are well charged AND you are being careful with your electrical use then the four hours a day may well be enough with a very much longer charge at the weekend.
  6. 1. Hours to go to fully discharged - almost certainly a total lie 2. Not sure, it seems to suggest 19 Amp hours has left the battery, again probably a lie. You need the manual or someone else to answer this. 3. Again I am not sure, it suggests that you have an 8 amp discharge going on, almost certainly true, as is 4 and 5. 4. A battery (probably the engine battery) has a voltage of 12.52 volts. it implies it is about halfway to when the time it really should be fully recharged. 5. As 4, but probably for the domestic battery. It means it is discharged way below the level at which you should have started to recharge. 6. Probably means the stupid monitor thinks you have 239 hours of use before the batteries are discharged. Total bullshine. 7. The idiot monitor thinks the batteries are 98% charged, another total lie, judging by 5 above.
  7. That suggests to me that you have a single alternator and a simple split charge relay. The relay connects the two banks for/during charging and disconnects them when charging stops, so you may very well be correct. Such relays are usually fed from the "ignition on" key switch terminal. There are complications but often the relay joins the two banks the moment the ignition is turned on, so the engine battery can feed into the domestic battery. Batteries fail in two ways. One, chemical changes take place (called sulphation) that gradually reduce the electricity holding capacity of the battery. When this happens, a simple voltage test may well show up as OK, but they will go flat very quickly. The blanket would have drained them fairly fast. There are indications that imply sulphation, but I am not going through them at the moment because it will get technical. Two, batteries are designed to have a finite number of charge-discharge cycles. When this number is reached, a or some cells in the battery will start to short out, self discharging the battery. Again there are signs that imply shorting cells but if the batteries were on a modest charge the engineer may not have seen them - especially if the batteries are sealed. You are far from alone in all this, I think such things happen to well over 50% of new boaters who buy second hand boats. Keep working at it. You can see from this there is so much to learn.
  8. I feel for you, but electrics are one of the main ongoing problems on narrowboats for people who don't understand them. That battery charging primer is good but may be a bit complicated for you at first so please ask about anything you do not understand, so we can try to help out. I echo the bit about the thing saying 100% charged will be telling lies. Please ignore the % charge reading. Use the current (amps) reading to tell when the batteries are more or less fully charged and what is known as rested voltage to infer how much they have been discharged. (an hour or more after all charge sources are shut down). That is the voltage with no electrical loads running
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  13. Unless you have ripped all the electrics out, what makes you think it needs a rewire. It may well need some of the engine electrics tidying and replacing, as it may around the domestic distribution board/electrics cupboard, but unless the boat was originally wired with solid strand cables there is little to damage the domestic wiring unless it has been run in contact with polystyrene insulation. Even if it has, often it takes many years for damage to become dangerous, testing with an insulation meter would show if it is an issue.
  14. A worn small end can sound like a tappet, but they can go for many years without anything serious happening. A broken ring can sound similar, but how that would happen unless Easystart was misused or new rings had been fitted to old bores without allowing for the top ridge, I have no idea.
  15. It should not be a cam but an eccentric, however I thought they were forged as part of the camshaft and then hardened. Nitriding comes to mind as the process. I can't see how anything could detach itself unless by some weird occurrence the hardened surface fell off. I agree, lank the hole and fit an electric pump. I think any electric pump will do, Facit is the name a lot of motor factors stock.
  16. It is all to do with cam profile, I think the GM designed engines had a much shorter "back of the cam" so rules of nine/piston pairs methods were not likely to be accurate - hence do it running, but feeler strip is better because it messes up ordinary feeler gauges.
  17. I think the technical term is "trims down by the stern" and in my experience most boats do. The most common exception is when an inboard engine has been taken out and replaced by a small outboard, or yachts that have a hull shape that tends to cause water to collect around the engine/under main cabin area. Whether any water runs right to the back depends upon how any bulkheads have been fitted. If they sit on the top of, or above, the stringers I talked about, then water will run to the lowest point. If any bulkheads are fitted flush to the bottom of the boat, then they will stop water running back UNLESS they have limber holes (technical term) in the bottom to allow water through. Limber holes are often found to be blocked on older boats.
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  19. No we can't because, as has been said, so often, it depends upon the profile of your boat. A narrowboat can have a higher air draft than a wide boat. Many bridges and tunnels are arches, so the air draft right at the side may only be a very few feet, but in the centre perhaps 10 feet or more. The fact that you are asking this strongly suggest the boat may well be too wide and too tall.
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  22. Even if it did, and I am not sure about that, CGT would only be applicable for any gains in value during that period and I suspect they would be below the CGT allowance. In any case, I am having trouble imagining how selling the boat would realise a profit beyond the accrued annual CGT allowances. The tax position re income tax during the rental is open to question, as is the legality of the "rental" without the business BSC, insurance, and gas certification. If it was done as you suggest then there was no profit, but rental income tax is complicated. You beat me this time! I agree. Don't complicate the issue.
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  24. I am not sure boats are subject to CGT, something to do with them being "chattels"
  25. My comments for what they are worth. It seems from photos that Dawncraft canal boats have a very shallow V hull, so the flooring often actually or all but sit on the bottom of the boat at the sides. GRP boats also often have longitudinal stringers running the length of the hull. The floor boards often sit on these as well. They may be GRP covered paper rope, balsa wood, or similar. What this means is that you can have leaks or condensation that build up in the low areas formed by the stringers and the centre of the bilge may be fairly dry, but the outer portions full of water, gradually soaking into the floor and any bulkheads. As showers are usually located to one side of the boat, any leakage between floor, shower tray and bulkhead tends to fill up the outer channel. I think that you need to lift the floor boards, cutout and replace the rot in the boards and bulkhead. Then take special trouble to seal the shower compartment floor to wall area. As said, it is very unlikely to be a hull porblem.
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