[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





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.






<
div dir="ltr"
id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie
Wendell







 



s/v Phantom Amel
54 #044



















































































































































































































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Patrick McAneny
 

Alexandre, I have never dealt with an insurance claim , auto ,home ,health or boat . I will assume my insurance co. will do right by me ,unless I see evidence to the contrary. They are going to send someone out to assess things and then find someone to do the repairs. That is my main concern , finding someone that is qualified to do a proper and complete job. I will make sure the mechanic's primary interest is in doing a complete job .
Thanks,
Pat




-----Original Message-----
From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

 
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@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@...
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@... [amelyachtowners]
<amelyachtowners@...>

To: amelyachtowners
<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



















































































































































































































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Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Good morning Pat,

Not going into detail, but I had an accident 2 years ago in Nassau (not at fault since I was stationary in my slip at the marina - someone lost control, panic and run into me).
The expert provided by “my” insurance was awful and I am still fighting (conference call monday morning).

Don’t know who is your insurance, I read Pantaenius cover 100% for lighting strike, mine (Helvetia) will remove value because the equipment is older, not sure what decrease of value they would give a perfectly working radar which is 16 year old… probably closed to nothing…

I met 3 (non Amel) boat owners, I was shock by the total cost $100.000… in their case everything was destroyed (radio, radar, AIS, chargers, inverter, batteries, lights, etc. even some electric wire), one guy had his carbon mast getting on fire…

Personally, just having a bad experience with my insurance, I would read all I can about damages created by lightning and also hire another expert…

Good luck, keep up posted on the progress…

Alexandre




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

On Sat, 6/25/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@aol.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 7:03 AM


 










Alexandre, I have never dealt with an
insurance claim , auto ,home ,health or boat . I will assume
my insurance co. will do right by me ,unless I see evidence
to the contrary. They are going to send someone out to
assess things and then find someone to do the repairs. That
is my main concern , finding someone that is qualified to do
a proper and complete job. I will make sure the
mechanic's primary interest is in doing a complete job
.

Thanks,

Pat













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

From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@rocketmail.com
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

To: amelyachtowners
<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike
Chesapeake










 













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.




















<


div dir="ltr"


id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie


Wendell























 











s/v Phantom Amel


54 #044



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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peacock@...
 

Hi Pat,
Have noted with sadness your lightning woes.  I can’t believe you’ve never had to file a claim for anything at your ripe age; you are one lucky guy.
That said, I agree with Alexandre that you should not rely on you insurance carrier to do the right thing; they may, or they may not. Remember, they are in the business of making money by protecting people, but they are nevertheless in the business of making money first.
One bit of info that may help: the new B&G instruments use a depth/speed/temperature sensor that fits perfectly into your current through-hull. Other manufacturers may fit, but they could not tell me for sure.
Would be happy to show your our current electric/electronic setup whenever.

Tom Peacock
Aletes SM#240
Rock Hall  MD


Ric Gottschalk <ric@...>
 

Pat, 
Call marine electric systems in Severna Park, Md. Talk to Patrick. Knows Amels. Excellent!
Ric 

Ric Gottschalk
Kitchen Magic Refacers, Inc
Office 410-923-5800
Fax 410-923-5802

On Jun 25, 2016, at 8:04 AM, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Alexandre, I have never dealt with an insurance claim , auto ,home ,health or boat . I will assume my insurance co. will do right by me ,unless I see evidence to the contrary. They are going to send someone out to assess things and then find someone to do the repairs. That is my main concern , finding someone that is qualified to do a proper and complete job. I will make sure the mechanic's primary interest is in doing a complete job .
Thanks,
Pat




-----Original Message-----
From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

 
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@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@...
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@... [amelyachtowners]
<amelyachtowners@...>

To: amelyachtowners
<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



















































































































































































































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Patrick McAneny
 

Ric, I will call him , Joel thinks he has dealt with him and is good.

Thanks
Pat


-----Original Message-----
From: Ric Gottschalk ric@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners
Sent: Sat, Jun 25, 2016 10:16 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

 
Pat, 
Call marine electric systems in Severna Park, Md. Talk to Patrick. Knows Amels. Excellent!
Ric 

Ric Gottschalk
Kitchen Magic Refacers, Inc
Office 410-923-5800
Fax 410-923-5802

On Jun 25, 2016, at 8:04 AM, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Alexandre, I have never dealt with an insurance claim , auto ,home ,health or boat . I will assume my insurance co. will do right by me ,unless I see evidence to the contrary. They are going to send someone out to assess things and then find someone to do the repairs. That is my main concern , finding someone that is qualified to do a proper and complete job. I will make sure the mechanic's primary interest is in doing a complete job .
Thanks,
Pat




-----Original Message-----
From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

 
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@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@...
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@... [amelyachtowners]
<amelyachtowners@...>

To: amelyachtowners
<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



















































































































































































































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Patrick McAneny
 

Alexandre, I remember your problem, sorry it is still not resolved. I have Pantaenius and I think their coverage is good , no deductible and items not depreciated , replaced with new.
Thanks,
Pat

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@rocketmail.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sat, Jun 25, 2016 8:32 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake






Good morning Pat,

Not going into detail, but I had an accident 2 years ago in Nassau (not at fault since I was stationary in my slip at the marina - someone lost control, panic and run into me).
The expert provided by “my” insurance was awful and I am still fighting (conference call monday morning).

Don’t know who is your insurance, I read Pantaenius cover 100% for lighting strike, mine (Helvetia) will remove value because the equipment is older, not sure what decrease of value they would give a perfectly working radar which is 16 year old… probably closed to nothing…

I met 3 (non Amel) boat owners, I was shock by the total cost $100.000… in their case everything was destroyed (radio, radar, AIS, chargers, inverter, batteries, lights, etc. even some electric wire), one guy had his carbon mast getting on fire…

Personally, just having a bad experience with my insurance, I would read all I can about damages created by lightning and also hire another expert…

Good luck, keep up posted on the progress…

Alexandre

--------------------------------------------
On Sat, 6/25/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@aol.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 7:03 AM













Alexandre, I have never dealt with an
insurance claim , auto ,home ,health or boat . I will assume
my insurance co. will do right by me ,unless I see evidence
to the contrary. They are going to send someone out to
assess things and then find someone to do the repairs. That
is my main concern , finding someone that is qualified to do
a proper and complete job. I will make sure the
mechanic's primary interest is in doing a complete job
.

Thanks,

Pat













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

From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@rocketmail.com
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

To: amelyachtowners
<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike
Chesapeake
























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.




















<


div dir="ltr"


id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie


Wendell



































s/v Phantom Amel


54 #044



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Good evening Pat,

Thanks for your sympathy.
Well if you have Pantaenius, then no problem, they cover 100% of the lightning damages!
I already contact them as my next insurer, they are quite more expensive, I found strange the way they start with 40% Bonus, etc. (another topic).
Also heard sometime they cancel policy quickly (for cruising in some areas).
So haven’t made my decision yet.
Please keep us inform of how the whole claim, repair, etc. is going.
Sincerely, Alexandre




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

On Sat, 6/25/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@aol.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 11:09 AM


 










Alexandre, I remember your problem, sorry it
is still not resolved. I have Pantaenius and I think their
coverage is good , no deductible and items not depreciated ,
replaced with new.

 Thanks,

Pat







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

From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@rocketmail.com
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

To: amelyachtowners
<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Sat, Jun 25, 2016 8:32 am

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike
Chesapeake










 













Good morning Pat,





Not going into detail, but I had an accident 2 years ago in
Nassau (not at fault since I was stationary in my slip at
the marina - someone lost control, panic and run into me).



The expert provided by “my” insurance was awful and I am
still fighting (conference call monday morning).





Don’t know who is your insurance, I read Pantaenius cover
100% for lighting strike, mine (Helvetia) will remove value
because the equipment is older, not sure what decrease of
value they would give a perfectly working radar which is 16
year old… probably closed to nothing…





I met 3 (non Amel) boat owners, I was shock by the total
cost $100.000… in their case everything was destroyed
(radio, radar, AIS, chargers, inverter, batteries, lights,
etc. even some electric wire), one guy had his carbon mast
getting on fire…





Personally, just having a bad experience with my insurance,
I would read all I can about damages created by lightning
and also hire another expert…





Good luck, keep up posted on the progress…





Alexandre





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


On Sat, 6/25/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@aol.com
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>
wrote:





Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike
Chesapeake


To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com


Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 7:03 AM








 
































Alexandre, I have never dealt with an


insurance claim , auto ,home ,health or boat . I will
assume


my insurance co. will do right by me ,unless I see
evidence


to the contrary. They are going to send someone out to


assess things and then find someone to do the repairs.
That


is my main concern , finding someone that is qualified to
do


a proper and complete job. I will make sure the


mechanic's primary interest is in doing a complete
job


.





Thanks,





Pat









































-----Original


Message-----





From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@rocketmail.com


[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>





To: amelyachtowners


<amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com>





Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm





Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike


Chesapeake
































 









































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.






























































<








div dir="ltr"









id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie








Wendell







































































 



































s/v Phantom Amel








54 #044



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Patrick McAneny
 

Tom, I have fairly new Raymarine  equipment and I think only one is damaged. Up until now all the tens of thousands I have paid in insurance premiums ,I  have always looked at as a waste of money, until now!

Thanks,
Pat


-----Original Message-----
From: peacock@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners
Sent: Sat, Jun 25, 2016 8:53 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake

 
Hi Pat,
Have noted with sadness your lightning woes.  I can’t believe you’ve never had to file a claim for anything at your ripe age; you are one lucky guy.
That said, I agree with Alexandre that you should not rely on you insurance carrier to do the right thing; they may, or they may not. Remember, they are in the business of making money by protecting people, but they are nevertheless in the business of making money first.
One bit of info that may help: the new B&G instruments use a depth/speed/temperature sensor that fits perfectly into your current through-hull. Other manufacturers may fit, but they could not tell me for sure.
Would be happy to show your our current electric/electronic setup whenever.

Tom Peacock
Aletes SM#240
Rock Hall  MD