Back out at the Farm – this time I am staying for the night. May as well post an update – thanks to Telus (and a hotspot)!
The Automatic Charge Relay (ACR) switch has gone to a blinking state a few times while out using the boat. This indicated an under voltage. At the same time I was unable to start the engine with the start battery. I had to manually combine battery banks (using same switch) in order to start the engine with the house batteries.
So I decided to look into this. I immediately noticed that the ends of the start battery were bulging a bit. This is a sure sign that the battery is no good (over charging perhaps). Too bad as the battery was a good one and only a few years old.
I picked up a similar battery from NAPA and installed it. Removing the old battery took less than 15 minutes while putting the new one in took about 2 hours. I ended up repairing the ‘battery tray’ and optimized some wire routing.
So what is the underlying problem? I have a couple of theories but only one solution. I am going to leave the ACR turned off at all times from now on. I can do this because I have two alternators – one for each battery bank. The charger is connected to the house battery bank so the only time the start battery will get charged is when the engine is running – like a typical car/truck. I can turn the ACR on (combine banks) in an emergency (ie start battery is dead). It helps that the primary bilge is connected to the house bank (secondary bilge is connected to start bank but seldom activates). Also; I can put a small portable battery maintainer (the one I have aboard for charging the trolling motor battery) if the boat is not used for long periods.
I need to start monitoring start battery voltage, and the amps coming off of its alternator. I can do this via SeaGauge but its not done yet.
I painted over the white caulking on the seams.
I then touched up some of the lettering and the white paint on the hull plank ends.
Changed the little transom from white (primer) to mahogany. Hoping it blends in with the other colours back there.
Put a single coat of varnish over it. Only way to make it look better is to strip it completely down – and its not bad enough for that.