blackdogsailor

You Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone

In old boat on 02/06/2013 at 13:23

Left Pickwick State Park after the retreat on 5/16. Since then I have gotten as far as Goose Pond Marina in Scottsboro Alabama but not without problems. Getting ready to leave the park I noticed the battery meter was low. I checked the batteries with a tester and they were in fact low. I thought I had some bad batteries. I knew these would give out eventually but I was hoping they would last in to at least July.

Behold, not the batteries at all but a burnt out on board charger. Not good news at all. In my infinite wisdom I thought well temporarily I will buy a regular charger and charge the batteries each day and limp along conserving power on the fridge, pump and so forth until I had the money to get a new on board charger.

First I wanted to know if the charger could be repaired and what went wrong. This began my education in 12 volt on board charger 101. I eventually found out that the charger I was using was built for a different boating lifestyle.

prosport chargers These chargers are made to be used to charge batteries at rest. Some one brings back their boat after the day and plugs it in, or turns it on, and leaves. The the charger if used on my boat would charge my three batteries. As you might imagine I don’t stop and leave the boat. I use 12 volt power constantly on gauges, alarms, pumps and communication. The sport charger can’t handle this. The sport charger basically has a nervous breakdown and it ain’t pretty .

I use three series 29 batteries

my battery

and have about three hundred amp hours of power to use for 12 volt stuff. Well without getting technical to keep them charged with my little portable takes a lot of time. You have to put quite a bit more energy into a battery to gain back what you use. Thus it’d be a big pain in the behind as well

the fact I have to shut everything down to charge.

So, long story short I need a charger that allows the batteries to charge while being used. I need a charger that can over ride the batteries and provide its power directly.

Thus the three stage on board charger

mastervolt

“ And the answer is…”

$300 plus shipping for the charger. Most likely $300 for three mid level 29 batteries and the bonus is staying at a marina to do the installation and in fact go into a second month to have the money for both. Well It appears I will be staying in Alabama for awhile.

Will do the work and go see my sis. I will be going Greyhound. I just need to get to Chattanooga. A month in a marina is cheaper than a week. Just gotta find a place with good showers Laundromat and such.

Well other than that, “ How was the play Mrs. Lincoln?”

Had some good anchorages and stayed over the holidays at Joe Wheeler State Park. Joe Wheeler was an interesting man. Check him out. I command you.

Well here are some pics

P1010557

Don't get out much

This house boat does not get out much.

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P1010543

This is the Wilson lock. This lock is a 95 foot lift. Remember the J C Whitten lock at 85 feet. On the bottom right is a 50 foot houseboat. Wow!

P1010566

Rain falling about 4.5 miles up river near Goose Pond.

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Big wide expanses of river from Guntersville toward Goose Pond

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This may not look like much but this where the Marshall Space center loaded rocket parts onto a special ship for river and ocean travel to send to Florida during the space program in the sixties. They had good batteries on board.

Well this is Dr. Brad standing by on 16 somewhere out here-

P1010552PS All colloquialisms are on purpose and so are any misspellings or grammatical errors. So there!

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  1. Hi Bradley-   I used to dock my houseboat at Goose Pond Marina about 20 years ago.  Hope it is still as nice as it used to be.    Can’t remember if I told you or not, but I am from Chattanooga and lived there all of my life until about 7 months ago when I moved to Atlanta to take my current job.   It is a beautiful place to live and of course, the best part is the Tennessee River flowing right through town!   Funny your latest blog should be about 12-volt.  Our marina just had its spring flea market yesterday and I bought a book about 12-volt electrical so I can try to understand my boat’s 12-volt system.    About 3 weeks ago my sailboat did battle with a metal boat house roof and my sailboat lost.  Ripped my main sail all to hell!   Tried sailing with just the jib yesterday but not much fun.  Not sure if you were still going to try to go sailing with me but looks like we will be postponing for a while.   Stay safe and I hope you have a nice visit with your sister!   Teresa    

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  2. Good to hear from you Doc. We may see you in OCTOB ER, we plan to cruise ten. river to chatanooga. Hope to have Denise aboard for part of cruise. If we raft up, we buy the drinks. Good Luck on getting your CHARGE.

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