Letters from Antipodes in Margaritaville

09 July 2010 | Marina Mazatlan
09 July 2010 | Marina Mazatlan
23 April 2010 | Mazatlan
29 March 2010 | Mazatlan, MX
22 March 2010 | Mazatlan, MX
11 February 2010 | Reno,NV
07 June 2009 | Mazatlan
24 May 2009
24 May 2009 | Mazatlan, MX
24 May 2009 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan MX
24 November 2008 | Reno

Just one of those days

09 July 2010 | Marina Mazatlan
It has been a while since the last post I have been working on the boat like always thinking that maybe we would get to sail somewhere. I have been chasing a slight overheating problem for a couple of years and think I may have found the problem. Really I have found a number of causes for an overheating problem and as I fix each and think maybe I have it there has been another and that another until I figure there can be nothing else. Well maybe maybe not we'll see if the prop re pitch will let the engine run at the rpm it should and that will stop the overheating problem. But that is not what this post is about and it is not about taking your dinghy out of the locker and when you inflate it the bottom falls off not that not what it is about either. what it is about is;

You know how some days it is two steps forward and one back and other days it's one forward and two back? Well today was a two back kind of day. Chris had to call England to ask some questions on the dinghy glue because it was not working too well for us yesterday. After talking to them we felt a bit better because it may be working better than we thought. So to celebrate the news, that maybe it was going to work out, we went up to Gus Gus for lunch. When we got back to the boat and went below we smelled something kind of strange sort of like a hot motor or something but as soon as we opened the boat the smell went away. Later as I was looking up dinghy stuff on the computer, just in case, I smelled it again and started looking for it. As I was smelling everything we could think of ( I'm sure I looked like an old fat puppy with his nose in the air than on the floor sniffing are everything) I put my hand on the floor over the battery compartment and the floor felt very warm in that area. I remembered that it had been warm to my bare feet this morning. So I pulled up the floor boards and found the smell and a very, very hot battery. One of the 4D batteries, there are 4 making up the house battery bank, was too hot to touch. I shut off everything electrical including the charger and started disconnecting all the batteries as the one that was so hot was the first in the line and I had to remove all 4 to get to it. I got it out but because of the weight and how hot it was I could not get it up on deck and off the boat by myself. Chris ran down and got John, the big Aussie guy, on Wide Open to help me. It took both of us to get the battery off the boat and on the dock. It seems that the battery was in a state of thermal run-away and about to melt down. I put it under a hose bib on the dock and ran water on it off and on for a couple of hours and it was still hot 4 hours later. We checked all the batteries and found that one and the hot one other testing bad, so out of 4 we saved two and went from a 732 amp house bank to a 366 amp bank. The charger and wiring all seems OK but we will be watching it for a few days to make sure its working correctly. Since my batteries are gels and it is very costly to replace them down here I may just put cheaper wet cells in for the short term, a year or so. These should serve until we head further South. I will be trying to figure out what happened over the next few days. The battery that heated up was 9 years old and the other bad one was 7 and seems to have a loose post. I am thinking that this maybe what started it all, a bad connection to that post. I well be checking check everything out to make sure there is not something else going on. If we had gone into town or to the beach who knows what would have happened, maybe an end to all the boat projects and a trip to somewhere cooler with air conditioning. Oh well just another day in the life of boat owners in margaritaville. And you all thought it was just sun and boat drinks while having suntan lotion rubbed on your back

Vessel Name: Antipodes
Vessel Make/Model: 1988 Wauquiez Centurion 47
Hailing Port: Reno, NV. USA
Crew: Mike & Chris Brown
Mike is a retired Reno Fire Dept Batt Chief and Chris is a retired State of NV computer programmer. Both retired in 2000 with short returns to gainful employment to replenish the boat fund. Both have been sailing for about 28 years. [...]
Extra: Antipodes was purchased from a French partnership in 1999. It is a step up from their previous sailboat a 16' hobie cat. Antipodes was sailed by one of the partners and his girlfriend from France through the Panama Canal to Tahiti. The boat was featured in a short film about the trip.

Who: Mike & Chris Brown
Port: Reno, NV. USA