The weather had made for an interesting day yesterday. However, we have made good progress on the electrical work we are doing. The inverter and battery charger are installed and today we will start on the 12V distribution panel, the 230V changeover switch and the split-charge circuitry. All being well, we will be finished by the end of the day and the owner can start reparing for some long term cruising.
We do see some shocking (no pun intended) electrical installations the first picture (left) shows the binnacle wiring on a cruiser we worked on. How can you possible expect to fault find in that mass of wiring. The second picture (right) is just one section of the wiring after we had finished rewiring.
We are also replacing the batteries on the boat we are currently working on. A good battery maintenance regime is essential on any boat. Keeping the batteries fully charged is essential and regularly checking the water levels in non-sealed batteries cannot be ignored. The water should cover the plates in the battery and should be topped up with de-ionised or distilled water. Water usage will increase in hot weather and after heavy charging. If the water is
allowed to get too low, plate damage can occur and if the batteries are gassing heavily, they must be really well ventilated. A good friend of ours, a marine engineer, went into an engine space to change an exhaust silencer. As is normally the case, getting the exhaust apart required the use of an angle grinder. The batteries had been gassing heavily due to low water levels and as soon as the grinder touched the exhaust, there was an almighty explosion. Luckily, the engineer was unhurt. Goodness knows how he got away with it but he did although he was more than a little shaken. The hydrogen given off by gassing batteries is highly explosive so beware. The picture to the right is of the batteries after the explosion.