Saturday, 15 June 2013

More on batteries & fenders

Apparently we are new to the neighbourhood and the locals have been checking us out.  This lady has been along twice and only seems to disappear when dog walkers pass.  Unlike Australia, the countryside isn’t infested with them so we assume the climate isn’t quite as conducive to breeding or they more natural predators.  The latter is less likely.

The Victron BMV600

Today I started doing what both John (nb Phoebe) and Paul (nb Waterway Routes) do daily and record information about the state of the batteries from the BMV on a spreadsheet I’ve created.  This morning the BMV was showing we had consumed 55 amps since the batteries were charged yesterday and the state of charge (SOC) was 96%.  The voltage was 14.5V.  The Smartgauge showed the SOC as 88% and the voltage as 14.45V.  On starting the engine the BMV showed an initial charge of 132 amps but after approximately 10 minutes there was a change in the sound from the engine and I noticed the amp reading had fallen to 68 amps.  One assumes the Bulk phase had completed and Absorption started.  I then left the engine running for several hours until the BMV was showing just under 16 amps going to the batteries.  The Kipor generator was then connected and the engine stopped.  The Kipor continued the battery charging using the Victron combi.  After an hour I noticed only 6 amps were going into the batteries and the solar panels were producing just under 10 amps.  It seemed a waste of petrol to run the generator when the solar panels were producing all the necessary power to recharge the batteries.  Two hours later the batteries were only taking 1 amp and the solar was producing sufficient power to charge the batteries plus run the constant load on the boat (fridge & freezer).

I’ve also tested the generator and it’s capable of producing a maximum charge rate of 32 amps.  A good strategy seems to be to run the boat engine until the BMV shows the charging amps have fallen to 32 and then run the generator until the solar panels can complete the charge.


Yesterday afternoon there was a boat selling fenders moored in front of us.  However the weather was liquid and I decided not to venture out.  This morning they left before we had an opportunity to speak with the crew about additional fenders for Waiouru.  However they passed us again in the afternoon so we raced outside with our queries.  The boat is nb Ratty (from Wind in the Willows) and the couple aboard were most helpful.

nb Ratty

As a result of our discussion we now own a second bow fender which will hang below the existing fender and protect the blacking from those low concrete and steel edges.  We’ve also purchased two long “sausage” style fenders for either side of the bow in the hope they will protect the paintwork below the gunwale in the vicinity of the cratch.

The price was very competitive and the service exceptional.

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