Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engines not starting

Mark Erdos



Test the battery with a load tester. If you do not have a load tester you can take the battery to any automotive parts store for testing. Measuring the voltage will not tell you if the battery has enough oomph left in it.



With best regards,





Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Grenada


From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:00 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engines not starting



John,The 11.8v was after turning the key in an attempt to start , but nothing happens not even a click from the solenoid . I can't understand what would bleed off the voltage , nothing is hot to the touch. Even the gauges don't move or alarm button buzz. On the generator the glow plug doesn't light up.

Thanks ,Pat

-----Original Message-----
From: john.biohead@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Tue, Jul 25, 2017 9:29 am
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engines not starting


Not sure which model you have but on my SM 37 there is one common starting battery for both the generator and motor.

  Reaching back to my days tinkering with old cars I have a couple of thoughts:


1. wiggling a switch then things work sounds like the switch is not making good contact.  I assume you are speaking of the battery disconnect switch, not the ignition/starter switch at the helm.    A high resistance connection could cause the symptoms of OK voltage without load,  but when you try to start there  is not enough current to do anything.  


2. If the battery is failing it might be able to show OK voltage but not have capacity to start the engines.  When you said after attempting to start the voltage measures 11.8,  was that while starting or after the attempts are completed?   


 If the starter motors don't fire there shouldn't have been a lot of drain on the battery.  That 11.8 after an attempt would then point me toward a bad battery.  But you already tried a different battery.  Are you sure all the batteries tried are good and properly charged?  


I am doing some work in the engine room later today, I will take a look at my starting circuit and let you know if I see anything that makes sense for these symptoms.


  Regards,  John


John Clark

SV Annie SM 37

Charleston SC

---In amelyachtowners@..., wrote :

For some time I have had an intermittent probably starting my Volvo engine , I would turn the battery switch on and off a few times and it would start . I don't know if that was coincidental or not. Last night we went out to go for a sail and the eng ine would not start and I discovered that the generator would not start either. I would trouble shoot this more myself , but a year ago and reconfirmed a week ago , I agreed to take an elderly couple and their family out on my boat for a sunset sail to celebrate their 50 th Anniversary , they are really looking forward to it and so need to solve this issue within five days. Below is what I determined last night ;

Neither engine will start.

Battery shows 12.6 V

Have 12.6 V at both solenoids   

Have 12.6 V at battery wires on back side of battery switches

When I turn the key , the fan comes on , turn the key to start and fan and gauges go dead.

After that Voltage only measures 11. 8

After short time , turn key and fan runs very slowly

Turn key again , fan does not run , gauges dead , even alarm button pushed , nothing

I switched wires to another 12v house battery , same things happen< /div>

Generator switch has 12.6 V at the terminals , five white wires , don't know which does what.

The glow plug lite does not even come on.

fuse is good on back side of Gen.

Solenoids don't click

Since battery voltage went down after key is turned a few times , I checked for heat on starter & solenoid , both cool to touch.


It seems logical that whatever the problem is , that it is affecting both engines 

My understanding is that when the key is turned , the ground is momentarily connected by a switch , where is this switch located ?

Both engines would not share this switch , would they.

Do both engines share the same ground?

To me it seems like corrosion on a terminal , but I get 12.6 on the back of the battery switches between the positive and negative wires , from there I have 12.6 at the solenoids 


Any thoughts on wh at to check or what may be my problem would be appreciated.


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