Date   

Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Oceanair Skyscreen Shade Screen

Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Good morning Bob,

In January 2015 I installed the Oceanair Skyscreen 1080 in the salon and forward cabin.

Oceanair SKYSCREEN Roller Surface Size 1080 - Beige-Oceanair SKYSCREEN Roller Surface Size 1080 - Beige
They cost $230 each from Defender

I think they are an older, not as elegant version of the one you are showing, but same concept.

I only found pictures of the forward cabin…
http://nikimat.com/hatches_screen_oceanair.html

Because of the daylight pictures of the salon don’t look good, if you want tonight I can take pictures and add them.

I mainly purchase them because it was a pain to remove the net to close the hatches every time it start raining… then 15 minutes later it stops…
With this I can quickly open the screen to lower the hatch.

I am happy with them overall. After 6 months the screen started to get loose from the bar that pulls it, but a little glue solved the issue.
During the installation, I had to put some sort of auto adhesive padding/rubber all around to remove the space/gap to the boat.

Hope that helps!

Sincerely, Alexandre
SM2K #289 NIKIMAT
Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico



--------------------------------------------

On Sat, 6/25/16, rossidesigngroup@gmail.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Oceanair Skyscreen Shade Screen
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 2:43 AM


 









&#92;has anyone ever installed a
suface mount Ocean Air Skyscreen on the salon and fwd
stateroom hatches of their Super Maramu?  These are the
combination screen and shade devices,  I saw a posting for
the aft cabin but we want one for the 2 front large hatches.
 &#92;looks like they have a model for the 20x20inch Lewmar
and a 20x20 generic.  Does anyone have a model number for
the large hatches?   SKYSCREEN
Roller Surface 2 | Oceanair


SKYSCREEN
Roller Surface 2 | Oceanair To
suit all budgets, a custom made combination flyscreen and
blackout blind for hatches. Quick and easy to install,
SKYSCREEN Roller Surface is a uniqu...




View on www.oceanair.co.uk


Preview by Yahoo
 Bob, KAIMI SM
429









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Oceanair Skyscreen Shade Screen

rossirossix4
 

\has anyone ever installed a suface mount Ocean Air Skyscreen on the salon and fwd stateroom hatches of their Super Maramu?  These are the combination screen and shade devices,  I saw a posting for the aft cabin but we want one for the 2 front large hatches.  \looks like they have a model for the 20x20inch Lewmar and a 20x20 generic.  Does anyone have a model number for the large hatches?   SKYSCREEN Roller Surface 2 | Oceanair

 Bob, KAIMI SM 429


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

Barry Connor
 

Hi Jamie,
Thank's for the information. We bought AMEL 54 #17 last year,the survey indicated 2 suspect batteries. A month later we noticed that they were getting hot when being charged, sweated and we had gas and moisture in the battery compartment. Changed all 12 and start battery, now no more problems. When they were being changed everything was turned off, we touched 2 cables and shorted the batteries. No fuses, the Mastervolt 500 Inverter  
got zapped. Replaced it with a Mastervolt 2500 which just fitted, cables upgraded and fuses then put on both + and -. I like your idea of putting fuses on all the individual batteries, that's for that.

Barry and Penny Connor
AMEL 54 # 17
"Lady Penelope II"
Marseille


On Jun 24, 2016, at 12:45 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

James Alton
 

This has been an interesting thread to read.   I only thought that I would add that while all lead acid batteries produce hydrogen, there are low gassing batteries using different chemistries that produce a lot less and this is a consideration for me when making a choice.  I understand the attraction of the AGMs due to the slightly higher initial stats they have over other battery types, but I have had more trouble with AGM’s with cases splitting, leaking electrolyte, case swelling and a shorter useable life expectancy than the  premium flooded or gel batteries.  I might add that while all of the electrolytes are corrosive, the AGM electrolyte seems to be the worst by far.  

Best,

James

On Jun 24, 2016, at 4:39 PM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Hi James, I agree completely with your analysis of the venting and airflow. Just for everyones info we never get battery gas smell in the inside of the boat, even when undertaking the controlled overcharge during desulphation. 
If there is hydrogen gas built up an ignition source such as a spark could set off an explosion. However in a charge situation with lead acid batteries (james I know yours were not) inadequate venting from the individual batteries can cause a battery to explode. At normal charge rates the built in vents are adequate. At boost charging rapidly the battery caps should be removed, the lid on the battery chamber left closed (o n the SM) and the gas vents externally. I would not desulphate with a closed battery box as the 54 has.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..."  
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally.. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentia lly a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside.. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. T here IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the star board aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thank s for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...> 
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries we re bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044









Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Definitely sorry to read about this Pat,
This is always my fear… and yes definitely lots things affected can not be apparent, so make sure the expert you use is not related with your insurance. 2 years later, i am still fighting my insurance…

Sincerely, Alexandre
SM2K #289 NIKIMAT
Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico



--------------------------------------------

On Fri, 6/24/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@aol.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Friday, June 24, 2016, 2:24 PM


 










Kent, I will keep his contact info. I would
like to find someone close to home so I could be available
to help assess situations and oversee work . Sorry to say ,
but I little faith , thus like to have eyes on. There are so
many things that could have been affected , yet not apparent
. I would complain about this being a hassle , but then
compared to what you have been through , its a mere hiccup
.

Thanks,

Pat







-----Original
Message-----

From: Kent Robertson karkauai@yahoo.com [amelyachtowners]
<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

To: amelyachtowners
<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 9:51 am

Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake










 















Hi Pat, sorry to hear about your lightning strike.  I
have been very comfortable with the Deltaville Boat Yard.
 Keith Ruse runs the yard and really likes Amels.  His
electrician was the only one I could find in the East coast
who understood the engine electrical isolation issue and did
a great job on it for me.  Call Keith 804-776-8900 and talk
to him about your damage.  Maybe ask to speak with the
electrician to make sure he's familiar with your
equipment.  Things like the 24/12V autopilot (which I
don't fully understand yet) would let you know if
he's up to the job.  The one who did my engine
isolation was Neal.





Hope you get it sorted out without too much
hassle.

Kent

SM243

Kristy

Currently Curaçao 
On Jun 24, 2016, at 8:22 AM, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@aol.com
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
wrote:




















 











James, I am
sorry to read about your problem. I have owned my boat for
about ten years , and have felt fortunate that I have not
had to deal with some of the problems others have had ,
until this past Tuesday. For the past 40 years of owning
boats , I have had my fingers crossed every time an
electrical storm moved through my area , my luck ran out
Tuesday. While I see know physical damage to the boat , most
of my electrical instruments have been damaged. James if you
or anyone have found someone well versed in the electrical
side of the Amel in the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay I
would appreciate their name. James , best of luck to you and
I hope you only have smooth seas ahead , you deserve
it.










Pat



SM Shenanigans



Sassafras River , Md.












-----Original
Message-----


From: James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo.com
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>


To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>


Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:49 am


Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment
Explosion














 























I
hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting
at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery
compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up
air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any
hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will
release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM
batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined
internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any
gasses from leaking into the boat itself.










The
54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the
vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up
of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode -
2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the
gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the
explosion.










I am
sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation
is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after
my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of
it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus
contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when
the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust
it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if
the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2
S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.










Just
for clarification, there was no essentially no charging
occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the
culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one
or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and
breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the
end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I
have no record of their service history. There was a slight
solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the
morning and little sun would have been illuminating the
panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar
charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller.
While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine
just before the event.










I
will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical
experts here in the yard are able to offer additional
inputs.










Just
as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that.
They are well built. However, I have noted some
less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the
result of EU regulations rather than Amel
philosophy.










I
have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have
only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Imme
diately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am
not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis
proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater
had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head
- not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week
after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine
and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously
compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new
engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost
- not worth it as there was a fair amount of external
corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The
second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the
primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious
issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have
overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt
or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at
the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array
of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And
now the sealed battery compartment issue.










Perhaps
I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere
and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality
that goes into these yachts.










Thanks
for the support - that is what this group is all
about.



Jamie
Wendell





















 



s/v Phantom Amel 54
#044



















On Friday, June
24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@xs4all.nl
[amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
wrote:

















 





















Hello James,








Your AMEL
ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also
not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 








I had a NICAD
battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a
different dimension. 








Persevere, these
are good boats and you will be well rewarded
eventually








GL








Jean-Pierre
Germain



Eleuthera, SM007 
On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and
Yvonne SIMMS simms@xtra.co.nz
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
wrote:




















 
















Hi
James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the
battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM
299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the
battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not
have these vents.



Regards



Danny



SM
299 Ocean Pearl
















From: "James
Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]"
<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
To: "amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com"
<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Friday, 24 June
2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht
Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion











 























I am
not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened
to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out
there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday
morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one
who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur.
I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new
engine installation completed - that was a subject of a
previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed
that thread separately once I get my new engine
running.








The
explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke
detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no
fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself,
as it may have happened before the contractors started to
come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the
passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between
the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station
closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but
if someone had been in the passageway between the main
saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously
injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what
would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the
berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth
cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived
depending on the material. It
was a scary situation.








I am
working with my insurance company and they hired a local
surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to
know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the
compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are
the facts:






At
least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks
in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
A few
of the batteries were b
ulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened
initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about
half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
My
shore power connections were off. The only charging source
would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have
been working correctly for a long time, and early in the
morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think
it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring
systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus
a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal
when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about
27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC,
easily absorbed with the solar panels.
The
batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the
boat. I have never had a problem with them
, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28
volts.The
battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good
contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the
loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it
hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on
the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review.
However, the explosion would not have been related to
current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way
or the other.I
have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a
12V starting battery.Testing
them after the accident revealed about half of them to be
unserviceable (either electrically or physically).






It is clear to the investigators that the
explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the
battery compartment. The problem they observed is that
(while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery
compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely).
Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will
escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup
air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do
not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally
released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an
AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are
supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high.
However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release
immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows
yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is
that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the
hydrogen gas exploded as it built up
in the sealed compartment.








I am
going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to
the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to
install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T
battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a
modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a
mess.................








All I
can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.






<
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Wendell







 



s/v Phantom Amel
54 #044



















































































































































































































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Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi James, I agree completely with your analysis of the venting and airflow. Just for everyones info we never get battery gas smell in the inside of the boat, even when undertaking the controlled overcharge during desulphation.
If there is hydrogen gas built up an ignition source such as a spark could set off an explosion. However in a charge situation with lead acid batteries (james I know yours were not) inadequate venting from the individual batteries can cause a battery to explode. At normal charge rates the built in vents are adequate. At boost charging rapidly the battery caps should be removed, the lid on the battery chamber left closed (on the SM) and the gas vents externally. I would not desulphate with a closed battery box as the 54 has.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]"
To: "amelyachtowners@..."
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally.. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside.. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044







Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

Patrick McAneny
 

Kent, I will keep his contact info. I would like to find someone close to home so I could be available to help assess situations and oversee work . Sorry to say , but I little faith , thus like to have eyes on. There are so many things that could have been affected , yet not apparent . I would complain about this being a hassle , but then compared to what you have been through , its a mere hiccup .
Thanks,
Pat


-----Original Message-----
From: Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 9:51 am
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

 
Hi Pat, sorry to hear about your lightning strike.  I have been very comfortable with the Deltaville Boat Yard.  Keith Ruse runs the yard and really likes Amels.  His electrician was the only one I could find in the East coast who understood the engine electrical isolation issue and did a great job on it for me.  Call Keith 804-776-8900 and talk to him about your damage.  Maybe ask to speak with the electrician to make sure he's familiar with your equipment.  Things like the 24/12V autopilot (which I don't fully understand yet) would let you know if he's up to the job.  The one who did my engine isolation was Neal.

Hope you get it sorted out without too much hassle.
Kent
SM243
Kristy
Currently Curaçao 


On Jun 24, 2016, at 8:22 AM, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
James, I am sorry to read about your problem. I have owned my boat for about ten years , and have felt fortunate that I have not had to deal with some of the problems others have had , until this past Tuesday. For the past 40 years of owning boats , I have had my fingers crossed every time an electrical storm moved through my area , my luck ran out Tuesday. While I see know physical damage to the boat , most of my electrical instruments have been damaged. James if you or anyone have found someone well versed in the electrical side of the Amel in the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay I would appreciate their name. James , best of luck to you and I hope you only have smooth seas ahead , you deserve it.

Pat
SM Shenanigans
Sassafras River , Md.


-----Original Message-----
From: James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:49 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2 S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Imme diately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were b ulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them , and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

< div dir="ltr" id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

seafeverofcuan@...
 

Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ireland


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: bow thruster service. Problem

Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

I think you are right Bill!
Can't wait to hear from Jim is there was any barnacle !!!

Alexandre



--------------------------------------------

On Fri, 6/24/16, 'Bill & Judy Rouse' yahoogroups@svbebe.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: bow thruster service. Problem
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Friday, June 24, 2016, 1:01 PM


 









Jim,
I am trying to imagine what could have caused
that. I have an idea, actually two. Both involve the
anti-torque boot that is above the propeller.
1.) If the bow thruster tube was not totally
vertical, I would imagine that the anti-torque boot that is
above the propeller could possibly jam in the bow thruster
cavity because it is a close fit.
2.) There may have been barnacles or other
shell sea life in that cavity near the internal waterline.
Since there is a close fit of the anti-torque boot, I am
guessing that could also cause a jam.
I can't wait to hear what it was.
Bill Rouse

BeBe Amel 53 #387

Sent from my tablet

+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail
On Jun 24, 2016 1:01 PM,
"capt.anderson@gmail.com
[amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
wrote:















 









Kent & the Group, Yes, the shaft was clear of
the motor by at least 10". It jammed with about 4"
of shaft remaining above the seal. I will report more when I
re-install tomorrow, which I will do with my diver present,
just in case.
Jim
SM384
Sirena Azul
Seattle


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: bow thruster service. Problem

Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

Jim,

I am trying to imagine what could have caused that. I have an idea, actually two. Both involve the anti-torque boot that is above the propeller.

1.) If the bow thruster tube was not totally vertical, I would imagine that the anti-torque boot that is above the propeller could possibly jam in the bow thruster cavity because it is a close fit.

2.) There may have been barnacles or other shell sea life in that cavity near the internal waterline. Since there is a close fit of the anti-torque boot, I am guessing that could also cause a jam.

I can't wait to hear what it was.

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail

On Jun 24, 2016 1:01 PM, "capt.anderson@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Kent & the Group, Yes, the shaft was clear of the motor by at least 10". It jammed with about 4" of shaft remaining above the seal. I will report more when I re-install tomorrow, which I will do with my diver present, just in case.
Jim
SM384 Sirena Azul
Seattle


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: bow thruster service. Problem

Jim Anderson
 

Kent & the Group, Yes, the shaft was clear of the motor by at least 10". It jammed with about 4" of shaft remaining above the seal. I will report more when I re-install tomorrow, which I will do with my diver present, just in case.
Jim
SM384 Sirena Azul
Seattle


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Alternator pulley

Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

Paul,

You should ask the country of origin and about isolated ground. This is not a part that I would risk on randomly good and bad manufacturing in China.

Good luck!

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail

On Jun 24, 2016 9:52 AM, "sharongbrown@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Bill,
I don't know where its made, but its being sold by YachtBoatParts.com in the UK. I don't know about isolated ground either! I guess I'll find out. It is supposed to be the exact same part.
Paul


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Santorin furling motor brushes

Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Good morning Ian,

Not really replying your question, but when you find out, would be interesting to know if they are similar to the SM2K.

I only know the ones for the Genoa (on the SM2K), since I have not changed them, would love someone could confirm:
http://nikimat.com/charbon_genoa.html

Sincerely, Alexandre
SM2K #289 NIKIMAT
Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico



--------------------------------------------

On Fri, 6/24/16, oceanhobo@yahoo.co.uk [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Santorin furling motor brushes
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Friday, June 24, 2016, 10:30 AM


 









does anyone know the size of the brushes for
the furling motors on the mainsail, also the size of the
Genoa motor brushes?Thanks
Ian 'Ocean Hobo' Santorin 96









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Santorin furling motor brushes

oceanhobo@...
 

does anyone know the size of the brushes for the furling motors on the mainsail, also the size of the Genoa motor brushes?

Thanks


Ian 'Ocean Hobo' Santorin 96


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Alternator pulley

ya_fohi
 

Bill,
I don't know where its made, but its being sold by YachtBoatParts.com in the UK. I don't know about isolated ground either! I guess I'll find out. It is supposed to be the exact same part.
Paul


Lightning Strike Chesapeake

karkauai
 

Hi Pat, sorry to hear about your lightning strike.  I have been very comfortable with the Deltaville Boat Yard.  Keith Ruse runs the yard and really likes Amels.  His electrician was the only one I could find in the East coast who understood the engine electrical isolation issue and did a great job on it for me.  Call Keith 804-776-8900 and talk to him about your damage.  Maybe ask to speak with the electrician to make sure he's familiar with your equipment.  Things like the 24/12V autopilot (which I don't fully understand yet) would let you know if he's up to the job.  The one who did my engine isolation was Neal.

Hope you get it sorted out without too much hassle.
Kent
SM243
Kristy
Currently Curaçao 


On Jun 24, 2016, at 8:22 AM, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

James, I am sorry to read about your problem. I have owned my boat for about ten years , and have felt fortunate that I have not had to deal with some of the problems others have had , until this past Tuesday. For the past 40 years of owning boats , I have had my fingers crossed every time an electrical storm moved through my area , my luck ran out Tuesday. While I see know physical damage to the boat , most of my electrical instruments have been damaged. James if you or anyone have found someone well versed in the electrical side of the Amel in the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay I would appreciate their name. James , best of luck to you and I hope you only have smooth seas ahead , you deserve it.

Pat
SM Shenanigans
Sassafras River , Md.


-----Original Message-----
From: James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:49 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2 S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Imme diately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were b ulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them , and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

< div dir="ltr" id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Dodger glass thickness

Walter
 

Jay,
just for clarification: Plexiglass is a product name, not the material, which is acrylic - this is used for the dodger windows of the SM. You bought polycarbonate, which is fine: more sensitive to scratches, stronger against impact.
If you use polyurethane for bonding (either a Sicaflex or a GE product), you will need some kind of UV protection for the sealant. Amel used a thin coat of gelcoat on the windows. To put it on you have to check with the manufacturer (of the polycarbonate), if there is any kind of wax/protection on the "glass", how it can be decreased and if you need to sand the strip of polycarbonate, where you will put the UV cover (first) resp. the polyurethane (later). For the polyurethane you will need some kind of spacers (like small rubber strips) to keep a certain thickness (about 2mm) of the polyurethane.
If you use gelcoat as UV protection, it will be sticky on the surface (if you don´t cover it with tape). Either sand the sticky surface or don´t bother, because you will use polyurethane afterwards.
If you use topcoat (which contains paraffine for getting a glossy and nonsticky surface) as a UV cover, you will have to sand it to get a good bonding of the polyurethane.
I´m not sure about what you mean with "5000" - if is it some kind of rigid adhesive with a thin coat, it might be difficult to make it waterproof.

Regards,
Walter (Noa, SM2K #436)


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

Patrick McAneny
 

James, I am sorry to read about your problem. I have owned my boat for about ten years , and have felt fortunate that I have not had to deal with some of the problems others have had , until this past Tuesday. For the past 40 years of owning boats , I have had my fingers crossed every time an electrical storm moved through my area , my luck ran out Tuesday. While I see know physical damage to the boat , most of my electrical instruments have been damaged. James if you or anyone have found someone well versed in the electrical side of the Amel in the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay I would appreciate their name. James , best of luck to you and I hope you only have smooth seas ahead , you deserve it.

Pat
SM Shenanigans
Sassafras River , Md.


-----Original Message-----
From: James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:49 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2 S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Imme diately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were b ulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them , and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

< div dir="ltr" id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>
 

Vladimir many thanks for the offer. I am OK. We are working to fix.
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 8:07 AM, "Vladimir Sonsev sonsev52@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Hi James,
I am very sorry for your troubles.
Do you need any help? Call me if you want me to come and help. You have my phone.
Vladimir
SM 345
S/V Life is Good.
On Jun 24, 2016 6:19 AM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044







Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

VLADIMIR SONSEV
 

Hi James,

I am very sorry for your troubles.
Do you need any help? Call me if you want me to come and help. You have my phone.

Vladimir

SM 345
S/V Life is Good.

On Jun 24, 2016 6:19 AM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044