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rbateman

The first weekend

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Batteries don't last forever. When I was buying my boat advice from this forum was to budget for replacing all five batteries. In the end the starter lasted a few more years, but the four domestics were changed. The new ones lasted four and a half years before the needed replacing again, even though general consensus seems to be that cheap batteries last 2-3 years. (I bought cheap knowing that being new to boating, they'd probably get a bit abused to begin with).

 

Anything that might have had standing water in it during the big freeze may have been damaged by ice. So it's possible your shower pump was one such casualty. Also they use quite a lot of juice. I notice when my engine is running, my bath pump runs hell for leather. When the batteries are low it runs much slower. And the one or two times when the batteries have been very low, it won't run at all. I wouldn't panic about it till you have the batteries sorted out.

 

When my boat was surveyed, the surveyor advised pouring a whole bottle of Milton Sterilising Fluid into the water tank, leaving it overnight, and then running all the taps to flush it through and empty the tank, that may be enough to clean the plumbing pipes out for you.

 

I'm sure everything will get resolved in the end. It's a bit depressing to meet so many hurdles straight away, but don't let it get you down. You'll get them fixed and know what to look out for in the future. You'll a also be able to advise newbie boaters on this forum when they raise these kinda issues. Good luck with it. :cheers:

Edited by BlueStringPudding

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In simple terms, when fully charged, your batteries should read 12.8V, (maybe 12.7). When 50% charged, they should read 12.2V, and when empty, they would read 11.8V.

 

The above apply when the batteries have rested for a few hours,mand are drawing no load, so it isn't an exact science.

 

When charging, your charger should be charging the batteries such that they read something around 14.4V or more, (maybe up to 15V or so max).

 

It's a big subject, but what I am trying to say is that your readings of 11V, and 2V, suggest that your batteries are flatter than flat. This isn't always the end of them , but it often is.

 

When you buy new batteries, you must do all that you can to avoid them falling below 50% full, (I.e. 12.2Vat rest), and you must do what you can to charge them up to as close to 100% as you can, on a regular basis.

 

Your batteries will only draw the "charge" that they want or need, so they can't really overcharge. If charged for too long at too high a voltage, the unwanted power will be dissipated as heat somewhere in the system.

 

Hope that helps a bit! It won't get you going, but may help your understanding.

 

When buying new batteries, if you don't understand the detail of how they work, it's generally best to buy the cheapest open lead acid batteries you can find. If you knacker them in use, your loss is less. When you know more about how they work, you can consider more expensive batteries - I still buy the cheapest I can find :)

 

Good luck - it will definitely be fun!!

 

Thanks, Richard. I'd planned on replacing them after reading the survey but hadn't thought they'd be so shot as to not be able to get me a mile down the canal. A shame.

I'll be buying on the recommendation of a friend, I think - I've furiously reading a Nigel Calder book on boating electrics but, as it's pretty clear, it's a lot to take in.

 

Thanks again, all. You've really made me feel better.

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GOOD MORNING. DID THE BATTS CHARGE OVERNIGHT ? :) Lights back on? Shower pump working? We're all on the edge of our seats.

Edited by DeanS

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Morning! First night done and dusted then...bet you were listening to a few odd noises, or did the whisky sort that issue out for you???? ;)

 

Hopefully daylight will bring you some good news with something of a charge, but I also suspect those batteries are shot to be honest. You will need a few leisure batteries, how many depends on your expected use, and whether you are a low 12v, or hungry 230v person. We only use 12v but have 500Ah worth of leisures...have never dropped below 65%.

Enjoy your day, it may involve much headscratching, but try and just think of it as an adventure! :cheers:

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GOOD MORNING. DID THE BATTS CHARGE OVERNIGHT ? :) Lights back on? Shower pump working? We're all on the edge of our seats.

 

Good morning Dean!

No, sadly, after a night's charge the leisure batteries are only reading about 6v. I've given them up as dead. I'm going to go talk to someone at the marina office about local places to buy new ones today.

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Good morning Dean!

No, sadly, after a night's charge the leisure batteries are only reading about 6v. I've given them up as dead. I'm going to go talk to someone at the marina office about local places to buy new ones today.

 

If you are in Mirfield, Automotive Electrical on Station Road will stock them at reasonable prices

 

Dont ever drink from the tank - who knows the horribles which lurk here. Stick to plastic bottles refilled from the tap. Good luck

 

Advice such as this is not helpful - especially to a new boater. Whether the tank is stainless or integral there are ways to ensure that drinking the water from it is perfectly safe.

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Good morning Dean!

No, sadly, after a night's charge the leisure batteries are only reading about 6v. I've given them up as dead. I'm going to go talk to someone at the marina office about local places to buy new ones today.

 

Replacing them is definitely a good move.

 

Indeed, I would have given up on them 24 hours earlier.

 

Batteries can sometimes be recovered from being run down dead flat, but only if they have actually been run flat, and you recharge them very soon after they are drained. Even then they will nnever be the same again.

 

Batteries that have self discharged, that have been flat for months are quite simply a dead duck. Occasionally you might get a last gasp out of them by repeatedly charging and heavy discharging (using a drop tester) but it is a 10 minute wonder.

 

What size batteries are they (case size)

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Ryan,

 

I'm only just down the road from you. I'd be happy to pop over and give you a hand figuring out the various systems on your boat.

 

I remember well when I was starting out and did a lot of relying on others to advise me.

 

Let me know.

 

Dave.

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We drink our tank water. S/S tank....and you could always fit a water filter. Check what type of tank you have, and clean it up.....should be fine then.

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Thanks, Richard. I'd planned on replacing them after reading the survey but hadn't thought they'd be so shot as to not be able to get me a mile down the canal. A shame.

I'll be buying on the recommendation of a friend, I think - I've furiously reading a Nigel Calder book on boating electrics but, as it's pretty clear, it's a lot to take in.

 

Thanks again, all. You've really made me feel better.

Probabl every thing was left switched on following blacking, i.e. water pump, maybe inverter. Just the water pump would have ruined your batteries as when the pipes split they would be running 24/7 until the batteries were flat.

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Ryan,

 

I'm only just down the road from you. I'd be happy to pop over and give you a hand figuring out the various systems on your boat.

 

I remember well when I was starting out and did a lot of relying on others to advise me.

 

Let me know.

 

Dave.

 

Thanks, Dave - may well take you up on that. Looks as if new batteries are on their way so running around trying to make sure I get those today. Looks like the weather's taking a turn too - thankfully the stove's the one thing that's given me no grief.

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New batteries are in! All three are 110AH and showing ±12.6v, which is good. Lights, water pump, and shower pump are back on (just in time for the extreme cold warning in Yorkshire). The shower pump works and seems to be pumping out fine. I'm not sure what my draw is, but I can't imagine it's a lot - only using the lights and water pump. Going to keep an eye on the voltage and not charge until it's 12.2, which I can't imagine would be anytime soon. I'm now terrified I'll run them down without noticing. How long would it take to charge them back to full from 12.2 using a 20amp Absaar charger?

Haven't tried turning over the motor yet - that'll be next, I think.

 

Thanks again, all. Going to go buy myself some real sheets and a duvet in celebration in preparation for the snow. Really couldn't have done any of this without all your help. I owe each and every one of you a pint.

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not familiar with Absaar chargers...is it a 3 stage charger or a car battery type charger? Ideally you want a 3 stage charger to keep them in good nick.

 

You realise I presume, that the engine will also charge them from the alternator? (or should)

Edited by Ally

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not familiar with Absaar chargers...is it a 3 stage charger or a car battery type charger? Ideally you want a 3 stage charger to keep them in good nick.

 

You realise I presume, that the engine will also charge them from the alternator? (or should)

 

From what I can tell it's a car-battery charger. Will have to look into getting a 3 stage.

Yep, have a relatively good idea of how the alternator works. The engine doesn't want to seem to catch, though, but it turns over fine. I'm going to have to ask for some help with that from the marina owner I think.

Edited by rbateman

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The diesel is turned on isn't it?

 

As best as I can tell - there's a switch on the ignition board that's turned to On. I've given it a few minutes before I've tried to turn it over for the glowplugs to heat up, as I've been told that's necessary with the old BMCs.

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As best as I can tell - there's a switch on the ignition board that's turned to On. I've given it a few minutes before I've tried to turn it over for the glowplugs to heat up, as I've been told that's necessary with the old BMCs.

 

Make sure you know how to energise the glowplugs. Sounds simpler than it is if you're not familiar. Some engines have the glowplugs on when you turn the key eg anticlockwise from off (with clockwise for on, and a further clockwise to start). Some have a dedicated glowplugs position clearly indicated and/or nitched (so you feel it selected etc) in between 'ignition on' and 'start', while others have it here but with no notch, so you're left guessing the angle to hold the key at. The way to tell is to rig up a voltmeter, it will drop a little when the glowplugs are warming up.

 

And...check the diesel isn't turned off.

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Make sure you know how to energise the glowplugs. Sounds simpler than it is if you're not familiar. Some engines have the glowplugs on when you turn the key eg anticlockwise from off (with clockwise for on, and a further clockwise to start).

...

And...check the diesel isn't turned off.

 

 

Yep, it's this kind. I've left the key in that state for a good two minute before trying to crank it. It may just be a cold engine, but I worry that it's something like the diesel being off (which I don't know how to check) and that I'll do some damage to the engine. For the moment I don't need it - I can charge from the car-battery charger with land power - but I'm going to try finding the marina owner who's run it before and ask him to take a look.

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May I encourage you to take up the earlier offer of assistance from one of our members? It could save you much time & concern, & potentially wasted money if people 'see you coming' as a novice :)

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Good morning Dean!

No, sadly, after a night's charge the leisure batteries are only reading about 6v. I've given them up as dead. I'm going to go talk to someone at the marina office about local places to buy new ones today.

Valley batteries about 3 miles away,massive stock and very reasonable,might deliver too.(im local just not an owner yet)

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Yep, it's this kind. I've left the key in that state for a good two minute before trying to crank it. It may just be a cold engine, but I worry that it's something like the diesel being off (which I don't know how to check) and that I'll do some damage to the engine. For the moment I don't need it - I can charge from the car-battery charger with land power - but I'm going to try finding the marina owner who's run it before and ask him to take a look.

 

As nobody seems to be listening to me on the other thread;

 

From my experience of the Devil's Brood (which some call a BMC engine) the vital thing is the grey smoke from the exhaust. Grey smoke - will start eventually. No grey smoke - will never start.

 

Try a blowtorch in the air intake.

 

That'll sort it out - if 1. above.

 

if 2. above - check the stop lever isn't on stop.

 

2 minutes is long for glow plugs a minute is fine, but make sure the diesel is turned on at the fuel tank tap.

 

But as I say : grey smoke happiness, no smoke misery.

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May I encourage you to take up the earlier offer of assistance from one of our members? It could save you much time & concern, & potentially wasted money if people 'see you coming' as a novice :)

 

Ha. Fair point, though the marina owner seems like a nice enough bloke (already offered to run me through the locks for free to show me how it's done right.) If he starts mentioning cost, I'll back away and take Dave up on his offer (in exchange, of course, for a few pints.)

 

You guys are the best.

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That's a nice change to hear of a marina owner like that! You've fallen lucky! :)

 

edit: *cough* I'm a girl, not a guy! :-P

Edited by Ally

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That's a nice change to hear of a marina owner like that! You've fallen lucky! :)

 

edit: *cough* I'm a girl, not a guy! :-P

 

I noticed - I tend to shoot with "you guys" as a catch-all, just because it's the phrase I grew up with. I'll try to go with "you guys and gals" in future. :)

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