The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Battery Blues

Love your mama
Came across this beauty during a 90-minute fitness walk
Before I start moaning about my troubles, just look at this foreign "hippie" van I came across during our 90-minute late-afternoon fitness walk. It kind of reminded me of Bumfuzzle during their van journeys and the glorious life of individuals who live their lives and don't care what other people think.

But, going back to my "non-hippie" burdens. First thing in the morning, Ana and I went to café Akiacopus. Then I went to the boat.

A little ripple of irritation ran through my skin when I read the voltmeter at 11-point-something. Something is wrong. Either the battery is shot or there's a leak in the system. If it's the latter, by the time I get it fixed, the battery will be sulphated and shot anyway.

I hooked up the little charger again and hung around for a while until I got tired of doing nothing useful. I went home and surfed the Internet looking at solar panels, wind generators and marine chargers. Money, money...that's what I kept seeing on the screen.

It's almost lunch time, Monday, and the charger is still going as I write this.

Gotta call Fernando the electrician and get something going. I can handle the mast paint blistering to hell, rust stains on the stainless accessories, mouldy wood needing varnish...but a dead battery, can't live with that!

Our walk on a windy Sunday afternoon. The beach seems like a ghost town.
Praia da Areia Branca Youth Hostel

Lifesaver's Bar

Foz Restaurant, café and bar

Praia da Areia Branca River
Ana walking ahead while I take pictures


  1. Hey Horatio, I had similar battery troubles on my Irwin. A bit more severe though, after only about six hours of cruising, even with the solar panel in direct sunlight, the voltage would read about 9.9v. I rewired the system, fixing what the previous owner had messed up, and it lasted for about a day and a half until the batteries drained to a useless state. I ended up having to cave and buy two brand new batteries. I feel your pain.

  2. David, batteries are like ice in the cooler box - they deteriorate until they're completely useless.
    The electrician was over this afternoon. After 36 hours of charging the battery seemed great at 12.7. He tested it with a hydrometer and said it was flat, like flat dead.
    Hey, your blog is hard to stop reading...a well written adventure.

  3. R.I.P. & bon voyage Jakatar service Battery. You shall be missed.
    Bytheway, solar power is awesome! Get a good controller (15amps min)and start small with 50W panel. You'll always return to full batteries and not have to worry about anything eg. too much wind for an unattended wind gen. I'm planning on getting up to 100w now... maybe start using the "still working" fridge and having a nice cold beer!

  4. I'm taking my Rutland 913 wind generator to the electrician today. Maybe he can fix it. It worked great for over 10 years.
    I may go solar if the generator is declared a ghost.
    Imagine a maintenance-free boat??