July/August 2010 Sailing Trip — Day 8

Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day…

OK, let’s see…what did we do today? Ah, of course! We drained the water tanks again, cleaned a bunch of debris and silt from the bottoms, refilled them with an even stronger solution of bleach, ran the bleach-water through all the pipes, and left ’em to sit overnight one more time.

We also continued our research on the battery-charging problem, coming to the tentative conclusion that our (aging) AC charger was probably faulty. But we didn’t want to leap to expensive conclusions, so we continued to research possible causes, learning in the process that our alternator is apparently putting out only 12.32 volts (it’s rated to put out at least 14 volts) and our solar cells only 12.5 volts (they’re rated at 16.5 volts)! What the hell is going on?

Worse yet, we get different voltages depending on exactly where we’re doing the measuring. At the batteries themselves, we might get 12.65 volts, but at a nearby positive distribution post only 12.35 volts, and at another location perhaps 12.42 volts. Some of this is probably due to corroded connectors, some might be due to cables sized too small, but I don’t really believe that’s the cause, because a digital voltmeter just doesn’t draw enough current to cause such voltage drops.

We did have one genuine accomplishment, though. I installed the new JVC (car) stereo that I bought a couple of months ago, replacing an old stereo that had been on the boat for about 10 years and played cassette tapes instead of CDs. The new system plays CDs (including MP3 CDs), plays music from my iPod Touch and from USB “thumb drives”, and sounds great!

Oh, I neglected to mention yesterday that Barbara went to the grocery store to provision the boat for our stay. It’s extremely hot here (the heat index is about 106° or so every day) and we need loads of cold fluids. Unfortunately, because of the battery-charging problem, we can’t run the refrigerator/freezer compressors all day, but have to ration our DC electricity. Sigh…Will we ever get to the jobs we’d planned to do?

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>