Date   

Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Bill,
I bought my two chargers 100 amp and 50 amp from the manufacturers in France in 2012 after my electronics were wiped put in an electrical surge in a thunder storm in Fiji We weren't hit, just a surge. They replaced those that were on board when we bought the boat in 2008. They also had the desulphation program. When I go to the boat next I will photograph the page in the handbook.
Regards
Dsnny

Sent from my Vodafone Smart

On 12 Dec 2017 08:23, "greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Danny,


Which model Dolphin charger do you have?  I can't find any mention of a desulphating program on their current website.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL

---In amelyachtowners@..., <simms@...> wrote :

Hi Mark,

Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.

So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 

I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the "right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl



Re: Companionway Removal, another method.

Duane Siegfri
 

Ryan & Bill,

Ryan, I'd appreciate a copy of the companionway door plans you mentioned...or are they in the Photos or Files section?  I searched but did not find.

Bill,

I take it your sawcut was parallel to the door on the inner side of the track?  Did you make the cut on the Starboard side?  When the sawcut went all the way through was it clear of the interior wood paneling?  Did you need to remove the trim for the ceiling vinyl?  

Many thanks,
Duane
Wanderer, SM#477


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

greatketch@...
 

Danny,

Which model Dolphin charger do you have?  I can't find any mention of a desulphating program on their current website.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL

---In amelyachtowners@..., <simms@...> wrote :

Hi Mark,

Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.

So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 

I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the "right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl



Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Mark,

Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.

So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 

I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the "right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl

On 12 December 2017 at 05:18 "mfmcgovern@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Danny,


8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded file?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 

 


 


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

greatketch@...
 

Mark,

8 years is a great lifespan, and shows batteries being cared for very well, but look carefully at the usage. 

Being cycled 4 to 5 months out of the year changes the life cycle picture by a lot compared to 12 month a year cruising. When kept at full or nearly full charge, batteries age very slowly.  Flooded batteries can easily have a life of over ten years if they are floated at the proper voltage, kept watered, and used intermittently with good charging practices.

Another part of the puzzle that is frequently neglected in discussions of battery life is the effect of temperature on lifespan. For pretty much all kinds of lead-acid batteries, a temperature rise of 10C will cut the lifespan in half.  That can make a significant difference between boats that spend their lives in cold water compared to tropical cruisers. (And is a really good reason why batteries never belong in an engine room!)

You also have to be a bit lucky that none of the cells develop an internal short.

On my last boat, I killed a 7 year old set of flooded batteries almost exactly the same way as Danny--by accidentally leaving the boat for weeks with the charger off and the freezer on.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Found it!

Alex Ramseyer <alexramseyer@...>
 

thanks a lot Martin!


On Saturday, December 9, 2017, 4:34:55 PM GMT-4, luvkante@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:


 

Gasventil: BÜRKERT 125301 
SEF 0509

6013 A 3,0 FPM
G1/4 PNO-6bar
24V DC 8 W

Viele Grüsse,

Martin

AMEL 54 #149
CHIARA


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Companionway Removal, another method.

greatketch@...
 

You can access the weather stripping easily without fully removing the slide, just lift the slide up.  

There is a stop on the bottom, aft side of the slide that is easily removable, and once off,  the slide can rise--until it hits the dodger. More than high enough to easily access the weather stripping.

Just a random thought:  It would be nice if that stop was positioned to actually stop the slide at the correct point to lock in place with the cross bar.  Sigh... I think I just assigned myself another project.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

mfmcgovern@...
 

Danny,

8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded file?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Companionway Removal, another method.

Ryan Meador
 

Thanks for the info, Bill.  I was wondering how to do that project myself (I think I even emailed the list about it) and only knew about the first two ideas.  I spent some time studying the plans for the companionway trying to figure out how it could be removed without so much work.  Everything else on this boat is brilliantly designed for easy maintenance and access; I still can't believe there isn't an easy way to remove the companionway slide.  I may take your approach if I'm unsatisfied with how well I can do the varnish while it's installed.  I imagine it would make replacing the weather stripping a lot easier too.

Ryan
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA

On Sat, Dec 9, 2017 at 12:50 PM, greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

I haven't found this method of removing the companionway discussed here, if I have missed it in searching, my apologies for being redundant...


When we got our boat, the teak in the cockpit had been finished with Cetol, a product with a look that is... how to say..."not to my taste."  The vertical sliding door also needed new veneer. A major refinishing project was called for.  To do this we needed good access to the door, which is not a trivial project on a Super Maramu.  I am aware of three techniques to do this.


First method was lifting the door as high as possible, and refinishing only what is then exposed. We dismissed this as unworthy of our yacht.

Second, was unbolting the dodger and raising it enough to lift the door out of its track. This would give us full access to the door, but seemed an awful lot of work and would create the potential for leaks where we didn’t have any.

Last, and in my mind best, is to use a fine kerf saw to remove the inside rail of the starboard side track, cutting vertically, athwartship, followed by a cross cut right at the top of the companionway ladder. This allows the door to be removed without other modification making reveneering and refinishing an easy workbench project.

I used a fine blade on my Fein multitool to do the cutting. Some kinds of hand saw would also do a very nice job. The rail was reattached with four countersunk screws, and nylon washers were added under the rail to make up for the wood removed by the saw kerf.  If you don’t do this the track can become too narrow to fit the door well.

This approach has the advantage that the door can be easily removed anytime in the future by removing the screws.  The gap resulting from the saw kerf is virtually invisible when reassembled. If you don’t want to see the screwheads you can put teak plugs in at the cost of making future removal a bit more work. If you wanted to be REALLY fussy you could replace the wood lost to the kerf by a glueing on a couple thicknesses of teak veneer to replace it. 

I’d love to claim that this method of removing the companionway slide was the result of my own natural brilliance and clever insight, but the idea actually came from Joel Potter.

Bill Kinney

SM160, Harmonie

Fort Lauderdale, FL



Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bilge Pump Quit

Mark Erdos
 

At one point, I think Amel had these in stock. Have you checked with Maud?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Martinique

www.creampuff.us

 

From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2017 11:05 AM
To: Ken Powers sailingaquarius@... [amelyachtowners]
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bilge Pump Quit

 

 

Ken, what was your resolution on your bilge pump?

 

I've just had the same issue on SM 387 (must be that hot weather in Trinidad!)

 

Thanks and regards, Dan Carlson, sv BeBe

 

 

 

Any Help Will be appreciated!

 

Our bilge pump was running for what seemed a long time.  So I went down to see what was up.  I found the motor running, but not pumping.  The motor drive a plastic gear that broke.

 

Does anyone know where I can get this part, or maybe I have to get a new bilge pump.  :)

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Ken Powers

Aquarius SM2K #262

In Trinidad Crews Inn

 

 


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bilge Pump Quit

Dan Carlson
 

Ken, what was your resolution on your bilge pump?

I've just had the same issue on SM 387 (must be that hot weather in Trinidad!)

Thanks and regards, Dan Carlson, sv BeBe



On Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 6:26 PM, Ken Powers sailingaquarius@... [amelyachtowners]
wrote:
 

Any Help Will be appreciated!

Our bilge pump was running for what seemed a long time.  So I went down to see what was up.  I found the motor running, but not pumping.  The motor drive a plastic gear that broke.

Does anyone know where I can get this part, or maybe I have to get a new bilge pump.  :)

Thanks in advance,

Ken Powers
Aquarius SM2K #262
In Trinidad Crews Inn



Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

James Alton
 

Bill,

   I will really be looking forward to hearing how your Firefly batteries work out for you.  

   I am hearing that considerably more efficient solar panels ( +30%) could become available in the not too distant future and am really hoping that happens before I put up my arch.  These are the multilayered designs similar to the ones used for satellites but hopefully we be a lot less expensive or it won’t matter much if they become available or not.  This technology combined with Lithium batteries would be a real game changer.  I unfortunately agree with you that the Lithium Marine batteries are not quite to the point that I would want to put them in my boat for extended cruising at this time either.  One significant advantage of the Lithiums that has not been mentioned is the fact that they can have a very low self discharge rate so you can get back more of what you put into the battery.   The  energy density is much higher than the other options that I am aware of. 

   As for myself, I shipped two used German 8D Prevailer Gels over to Italy for Sueno and plan to add one more new one before bringing the boat back to Florida.  These batteries are amazingly reliable and long lasting..these are in fact now 16 years old and still seem to have between 90-95% of the rated capacity remaining based on a deep discharge/recharge test that I did before committing to shipping the batteries.  The batteries were used hard for about 7 years, removed from a boat and then have just been recharged every one to two years so they have not seen continuous usage.   The self discharge rate is very low so even after sitting for 2 years I would read between 12.5-12.6V before recharging.   One downside is that the energy density is lower than the other battery chemistries so for the same number of stored amps you need more batteries/weight.  On the other hand, you can cycle these batteries deeper than a flooded cell so the difference between these gels and the flooded in capacity is not as large as it initially appears to be but it is still there.  They also don’t suffer like a flooded battery if you don’t fully recharge them so unless    I am dockside, I don’t bother trying to bring them all of the way up.   One of the best features IMO is the extremely low/no gassing.    They are in fact marked safe for air transport.    Interestingly, the float on both the original battery charger and the alternators on my Maramu were already below 14 volts so I did not need make any changes to the charging system install these batteries.   It will be interesting to see how much longer these will last.  I have had a number of the Domestic Prevailers fail at around 10 years of age or less but I have not yet had one of the German ones fail so far.  Fort Lauderdale battery says that they have quite a few that are well over 20 years now that are still good.  Best of luck with the Fireflies,  they sound very promising!

Best,

James

SV Sueno,  Maramu #220

   

On Dec 10, 2017, at 12:52 PM, greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Paul,


You asked for comments on experience with Firefly batteries.  I don’t have any yet, but thought I would share our logic on our recent battery purchase.

First, I agree 100% with Bill Rouse that if your primary motivation is keeping the annual cost of batteries as low as possible, it is hard to beat flooded lead acid batteries. They do have a short lifespan, but are also really cheap, quite robust, and easy to get. Bill R’s point about making sure your charging system can match the charging curve of any kind of battery you pick is also critical.  This is a place where “close enough” is not close enough.

I do not think that Lithium batteries are quite to the point—yet—of being suitable for remote cruising.  They still seem fussy enough that I’d really want to be close to technical support if I had them. It is also likely that your engine alternator can not charge them.  Not because of voltage mismatch, but because Li batteries can accept full charging amps for almost the full charging cycle.  Very few alternators can supply their fully rated current for the time required to charge a Li battery.  The alternator will overheat and die. Alternators rated for continuous output at full rated current are rare and very expensive. Li batteries are probably the batteries of the future, whenever that gets here!

Harmonie has six year old Lifeline AGM batteries currently installed. The are just coming to the end of their useful life, with a capacity of about 60% of new.  On an annual basis, that puts them at almost exactly the same cost as flooded cells.  For those six years we have enjoyed not adding water, and a higher charge acceptance rate, so I would say the net effect is a positive, although not a huge one.

After much thinking and back and forth on the decision, we have decided to replace our aging AGMs with Firefly batteries--but not because we expect them to be cheaper than the alternatives.  My expectation is that they will last 3 to 4 times what a flooded cell bank would, so the amortized annual cost will be similar.

The reason we went with Firefly is because of their tolerance for extended periods at partial charge. They do not need to be regularly brought to 100% charge to live a long and happy life. This matters to me because my solar panels are capable of making 3.5 to 4.0 kW-hrs of power over the course of a sunny tropical day.  This should be enough to run the whole boat, but we can not currently store all that power.

We can not store that solar power because the batteries can not accept it.  We try to refill our AGM batteries as close to 100% every day possible. Once the they move out of the Bulk charge phase and into Acceptance (at about 85% Charge) the controller ramps back the power from the panels.  If we want the batteries full, we need to do the bulk charge in the morning with the generator, and let the solar system slowly top off the batteries over the course of the day. This means we only get to use only about half the power the solar panels could have produced.

With Firefly batteries we expect to run the batteries from 50% to 80% charge every (sunny) day using just the solar panels, and skip the generator--most days.  Our generator is getting old, with 7000+ hours.  If I can put off buying a new genset for a year, I will have paid back the premium price of the Firefly batteries.  My objective is to have a future owner of Harmonie be the one who has to buy her next genset.

We have a fully programable lines battery charger and solar charger, so we can get whatever charge curve we need.  The Fireflies charge at 14.4V (28.8V) which is the same as many flooded batteries, but if you are plugged in at the marina, or doing extended motoring, they want to float at 13.2V (26.4V) or LESS which is lower than other types of battery.  You need to be sure you can supply this lower voltage.

One significant drawback of the Firefly batteries is the availability is very tight.  Nobody has them in stock, and deliver schedules are spotty.  We ordered ours in August, were told that they would be available in October, and they are finally being delivered here in December.  Don't expect delivery right away.

Is my logic sound? 
Are the manufacturer claims and other testing of the Firefly batteries accurate?  
Will these batteries let me greatly reduce my generator run time without impacting battery life?  

I’ll get back to you in five years.  Or sooner if I am wrong!  

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL




Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi,

We installed new flooded lead acid batteries in July 2009. We replaced them this year just short of 8 years. I killed them then by leaving the boat for 3 weeks on the mooring with the freezer open and accidentally turned on. I believe without this incident there were some years life left.  Our usage began with 20 months of liveaboard as we sailed from USA to New Zealand. Then each year we spent 4 to 5 months aboard cruising Pacific Islands. The balance of each year was on the home mooring with intermittent usage sailing the NZ coasts. So charging was mostly solar and wind generator supplemented with the gen set and main engine alternator .Our time plugged in to marinas was a small percentage. How did we get this long life?. Using the desulphation program on the dolphin chargers, without this we may have only got 4 years. The other factor is the constant charge provided by the wind and solar generators.

Clearly with this experience we replaced them with the same.

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl 

On 11 December 2017 at 05:52 "greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Paul,


You asked for comments on experience with Firefly batteries.  I don’t have any yet, but thought I would share our logic on our recent battery purchase.

First, I agree 100% with Bill Rouse that if your primary motivation is keeping the annual cost of batteries as low as possible, it is hard to beat flooded lead acid batteries. They do have a short lifespan, but are also really cheap, quite robust, and easy to get. Bill R’s point about making sure your charging system can match the charging curve of any kind of battery you pick is also critical.  This is a place where “close enough” is not close enough.

I do not think that Lithium batteries are quite to the point—yet—of being suitable for remote cruising.  They still seem fussy enough that I’d really want to be close to technical support if I had them. It is also likely that your engine alternator can not charge them.  Not because of voltage mismatch, but because Li batteries can accept full charging amps for almost the full charging cycle.  Very few alternators can supply their fully rated current for the time required to charge a Li battery.  The alternator will overheat and die. Alternators rated for continuous output at full rated current are rare and very expensive. Li batteries are probably the batteries of the future, whenever that gets here!

Harmonie has six year old Lifeline AGM batteries currently installed. The are just coming to the end of their useful life, with a capacity of about 60% of new.  On an annual basis, that puts them at almost exactly the same cost as flooded cells.  For those six years we have enjoyed not adding water, and a higher charge acceptance rate, so I would say the net effect is a positive, although not a huge one.

After much thinking and back and forth on the decision, we have decided to replace our aging AGMs with Firefly batteries--but not because we expect them to be cheaper than the alternatives.  My expectation is that they will last 3 to 4 times what a flooded cell bank would, so the amortized annual cost will be similar.

The reason we went with Firefly is because of their tolerance for extended periods at partial charge. They do not need to be regularly brought to 100% charge to live a long and happy life. This matters to me because my solar panels are capable of making 3.5 to 4.0 kW-hrs of power over the course of a sunny tropical day.  This should be enough to run the whole boat, but we can not currently store all that power.

We can not store that solar power because the batteries can not accept it.  We try to refill our AGM batteries as close to 100% every day possible. Once the they move out of the Bulk charge phase and into Acceptance (at about 85% Charge) the controller ramps back the power from the panels.  If we want the batteries full, we need to do the bulk charge in the morning with the generator, and let the solar system slowly top off the batteries over the course of the day. This means we only get to use only about half the power the solar panels could have produced.

With Firefly batteries we expect to run the batteries from 50% to 80% charge every (sunny) day using just the solar panels, and skip the generator--most days.  Our generator is getting old, with 7000+ hours.  If I can put off buying a new genset for a year, I will have paid back the premium price of the Firefly batteries.  My objective is to have a future owner of Harmonie be the one who has to buy her next genset.

We have a fully programable lines battery charger and solar charger, so we can get whatever charge curve we need.  The Fireflies charge at 14.4V (28.8V) which is the same as many flooded batteries, but if you are plugged in at the marina, or doing extended motoring, they want to float at 13.2V (26.4V) or LESS which is lower than other types of battery.  You need to be sure you can supply this lower voltage.

One significant drawback of the Firefly batteries is the availability is very tight.  Nobody has them in stock, and deliver schedules are spotty.  We ordered ours in August, were told that they would be available in October, and they are finally being delivered here in December.  Don't expect delivery right away.

Is my logic sound? 
Are the manufacturer claims and other testing of the Firefly batteries accurate?  
Will these batteries let me greatly reduce my generator run time without impacting battery life?  

I’ll get back to you in five years.  Or sooner if I am wrong!  

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL

 


 


Re: Batteries

Paul Osterberg
 

Mark 

Thank you for the info, good to know

Our boat is in Georgetown, Sassafras River, we will be back aboard mid/end April if things goes as planned

Paul on SY Kerpa


Re: Batteries

Paul Osterberg
 

Thank you Bill!

As we only going to sail about 6 month/y the coming years I think the firefly make sense to us as well, we do not need to worry about leaving the batteries for a longer period without charging. I also believe it is added value with a battery that last for longer time. Did not know about the 26.4 v charging for long time, but we have a dumb regulator and will try to find a smart regulator who can handle that.

Paul on SY Kerpa SM#259

 



Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Amel SM 2000 windless switch

greatketch@...
 


That mistake would be mine...  I have used these switches  for a couple of projects, and linked the wrong size to my post about windlass switches!

My apologies to those who linked straight through to them.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


---In amelyachtowners@..., <andybuxford@...> wrote :

I see the linked items is described as 16mm and same company do
similar switches in 19mm and 25mm sizes.

I wonder if someone could've linked the wrong size by mistake,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AFJXGZQ - "25mm Mounted Thread"
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075QBJVTS - "for 19mm 3/4" Mounting Hole" but 12v
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BM3AN24 - 19mm 24v

Be careful, this range appear to be available in 12v, 24v and 36v varieties.

Andy.



On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 8:05 PM, 'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@...
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
>
> I ordered some of the buttons below to have as spares in case the
> replacement buttons I installed from Vetus fail. However, when they arrived
> I found they are way too small for the holes in the windlass.


Re: Batteries

greatketch@...
 

Paul,

You asked for comments on experience with Firefly batteries.  I don’t have any yet, but thought I would share our logic on our recent battery purchase.

First, I agree 100% with Bill Rouse that if your primary motivation is keeping the annual cost of batteries as low as possible, it is hard to beat flooded lead acid batteries. They do have a short lifespan, but are also really cheap, quite robust, and easy to get. Bill R’s point about making sure your charging system can match the charging curve of any kind of battery you pick is also critical.  This is a place where “close enough” is not close enough.

I do not think that Lithium batteries are quite to the point—yet—of being suitable for remote cruising.  They still seem fussy enough that I’d really want to be close to technical support if I had them. It is also likely that your engine alternator can not charge them.  Not because of voltage mismatch, but because Li batteries can accept full charging amps for almost the full charging cycle.  Very few alternators can supply their fully rated current for the time required to charge a Li battery.  The alternator will overheat and die. Alternators rated for continuous output at full rated current are rare and very expensive. Li batteries are probably the batteries of the future, whenever that gets here!

Harmonie has six year old Lifeline AGM batteries currently installed. The are just coming to the end of their useful life, with a capacity of about 60% of new.  On an annual basis, that puts them at almost exactly the same cost as flooded cells.  For those six years we have enjoyed not adding water, and a higher charge acceptance rate, so I would say the net effect is a positive, although not a huge one.

After much thinking and back and forth on the decision, we have decided to replace our aging AGMs with Firefly batteries--but not because we expect them to be cheaper than the alternatives.  My expectation is that they will last 3 to 4 times what a flooded cell bank would, so the amortized annual cost will be similar.

The reason we went with Firefly is because of their tolerance for extended periods at partial charge. They do not need to be regularly brought to 100% charge to live a long and happy life. This matters to me because my solar panels are capable of making 3.5 to 4.0 kW-hrs of power over the course of a sunny tropical day.  This should be enough to run the whole boat, but we can not currently store all that power.

We can not store that solar power because the batteries can not accept it.  We try to refill our AGM batteries as close to 100% every day possible. Once the they move out of the Bulk charge phase and into Acceptance (at about 85% Charge) the controller ramps back the power from the panels.  If we want the batteries full, we need to do the bulk charge in the morning with the generator, and let the solar system slowly top off the batteries over the course of the day. This means we only get to use only about half the power the solar panels could have produced.

With Firefly batteries we expect to run the batteries from 50% to 80% charge every (sunny) day using just the solar panels, and skip the generator--most days.  Our generator is getting old, with 7000+ hours.  If I can put off buying a new genset for a year, I will have paid back the premium price of the Firefly batteries.  My objective is to have a future owner of Harmonie be the one who has to buy her next genset.

We have a fully programable lines battery charger and solar charger, so we can get whatever charge curve we need.  The Fireflies charge at 14.4V (28.8V) which is the same as many flooded batteries, but if you are plugged in at the marina, or doing extended motoring, they want to float at 13.2V (26.4V) or LESS which is lower than other types of battery.  You need to be sure you can supply this lower voltage.

One significant drawback of the Firefly batteries is the availability is very tight.  Nobody has them in stock, and deliver schedules are spotty.  We ordered ours in August, were told that they would be available in October, and they are finally being delivered here in December.  Don't expect delivery right away.

Is my logic sound? 
Are the manufacturer claims and other testing of the Firefly batteries accurate?  
Will these batteries let me greatly reduce my generator run time without impacting battery life?  

I’ll get back to you in five years.  Or sooner if I am wrong!  

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Re: Batteries

mfmcgovern@...
 

Paul,

In September 2017 we purchased 12 x Deka Marine Master flooded G31 batteries. If you are still in the Annapolis MD area, I strongly reccommend that you buy them from Stevens Battery Warehouse in Annapolis. (https://www.stevensbattery.com)

We paid US$120 for each battery and with sales tax the total came to US$1624 for all 12 batteries. The staff is super friendly and they will load test each new battery right in front of you so you know it's good. They have them in stock by the pallet and seem to turn their inventory over quickly as the batteries we purchased in September had stickers saying they were manufactured in July 2017. They also carry the Deka AGM Intimadator batteries as well as Lifeline brand batteries.

Mark McGovern
SM #440
Deale, MD USA


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Amel SM 2000 windless switch

Andy Buxford
 

I see the linked items is described as 16mm and same company do
similar switches in 19mm and 25mm sizes.

I wonder if someone could've linked the wrong size by mistake,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AFJXGZQ - "25mm Mounted Thread"
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075QBJVTS - "for 19mm 3/4" Mounting Hole" but 12v
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BM3AN24 - 19mm 24v

Be careful, this range appear to be available in 12v, 24v and 36v varieties.

Andy.



On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 8:05 PM, 'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@...
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

I ordered some of the buttons below to have as spares in case the
replacement buttons I installed from Vetus fail. However, when they arrived
I found they are way too small for the holes in the windlass.


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Martinique. Boat on island about January 18

karkauai
 

Great, Thanks!  I'm on it like a duck on a June bug.

Kent

Check the December issue of the SSCA's Commodores Bulletin - they have about 50 contacts listed.  Also, you may want to reach out Joan Conover on Growl Tiger who is likely very knowledgeable.
Cheers, Craig & Katherine


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

Hi cousins,
Iris and I are heading S from Jacksonville FL in a couple of weeks.  We are hoping to get involved in the hurricane relief effort somewhere.  We could bring supplies or equipment, help in a medical clinic, hammer nails, or just about anything else that's needed.  I just discovered a website that is attempting to coordinate efforts by sailors called www.sailorshelping.com .

Does anyone know of specific needs or contacts in the islands that might be able to focus our efforts more precisely?

Is anyone else going to do any relief volunteering?

We'll make an effort to be in Martinique in mid-Jan for the apparent Amel Rendezvous.

Thanks,
Kent
SM243
Kristy