Let’s Get Going

January 14, 2023

I haven’t written in a long time, and I feel bad. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, thanks for reading.

I will circle back to some of that merriment perhaps, but we are back on Home Free and getting ready to move to the Bahamas. We have added a lot of things to our todo lists and are working hard now to get ready for an extended time away from the USA.

We arrived at the boat and immediately started opening the boat, and our first problem occurred. Somehow I opted to turn off the Comms Battery Charger (that’s our 12V system) and so my battery drained down to 11V. Ooops. I turned the battery charger, went to dinner and well, there was some smoke while we were away.

There are a couple of good lessons in this post. The first is that you should use fuses to protect circuits when they are prone to very large currents. The second is that fuses, when installed properly will save your bacon. I guess that is an outcome from lesson 1. But still, use fuses!

Here’s what happens to a fuse when it protects your circuit from overheating:

This 20A fuse and holder was blown, protecting a battery from an inrush of current

Here’s what it looked like still installed in the boat . . .

Note the burn marks on the boat. Good Fuse, you died well!

Given that we are on a bit of a schedule, I simply opted to replace the battery, repair the circuit and get on with the preparation. As usual, a thank you to the team at YachtTech for supplying the battery on short notice. I now have a lifeline battery instead of the prior AGM. In reality, the battery was probably just fine despite it’s single deep discharge. Well, now I have a new one.

Here is a picture of everything put back together again.

Ready to go . . . with labels on the fuses now!

The wonderful thing about this process was that I had time to use a bunch of the tools I have aboard (the value of a ‘large’ crimping tool can’t be overstated here) and also found a few items that I needed to have aboard. (I needed larger battery lugs and some heat shrink tubing). Overall though it took a while to redo lugs, splice in a new fuse holder and wrap everything back up, but I did get everything working in a timely manner.

Part of our preparation is that we expect we will need to switch insurers when we head to Panama. That will necessitate a new boat survey (they check for safety and valuation mostly), and that is to happen Monday. While the boat is mostly ready at any time, we know that our fire system needs to be reviewed, and so we also had fire/safety inspectors aboard on Friday. We are upgrading a number of pieces to modernize the system and hopefully that will be out of the way early next week, and well before our insurance change over.

Locals are probably upset by our arrival because we apparently brought the cold with us. This morning temperatures went down to about 4C and it is windy so a cold morning.

Once we get moving we will have plenty more pictures and more updates about our adventure. For now, it’s back to work on the todo list. Our prep time has been collapsed by that 12V update, but we are working on our fire safety system in parallel.

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