Adding a "Masse Light" to an older Amel


Bill Kinney
 

One of the changes that Amel introduced with the introduction of the SM2k model was the "masse light," a quick and easy way of telling if the isolation of the bonding system had been compromised.

Of course older boats can have bonding isolation problems too.  So I wired up an add-on masse light so us owners of older Amel boats don't have to live in ignorance. Here is a description of what I did: https://www.cruisingconsulting.com/post/check-your-bonding-system

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada



 

Thanks for that Bill. 

So now all 24-volt Amels prior to the model year 2003 can easily add this. And 12-volt Amels can do exactly this but use 12-volt bulbs instead of 24 volts.

In our first year of cruising on SM 387, I knew very little about this. I began learning when we met a family cruising on a Bavaria that they had bought new. It was not their first boat and they had already circumnavigated on their previous boat. They were excellent boat owners and sailors. They didn't know much about this either. They had a problem in their boat caused by NOT fully understanding Bonding and Isolation. Without getting into a long story, they had made a slight modification which was recommended by other Bavaria owners. That modification caused their aluminum sail drive to turn into one big aluminum anode and it dissolved enough to begin leaking oil before they realized the problem. It was an expensive lesson.

I wholly recommend making Bill's device (thanks again, Bill) but at the very least test your boat for battery isolation and system bonding. If you are not sure how to do it yourself, email me and I will send you what I have.

image.png




CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 12:51 PM Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:
One of the changes that Amel introduced with the introduction of the SM2k model was the "masse light," a quick and easy way of telling if the isolation of the bonding system had been compromised.

Of course older boats can have bonding isolation problems too.  So I wired up an add-on masse light so us owners of older Amel boats don't have to live in ignorance. Here is a description of what I did: https://www.cruisingconsulting.com/post/check-your-bonding-system

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada



 

Bill,

I also should have said, that you should make several of these and offer them for sale to Amel owners. I am sure that more than a few owners would welcome this.

Bill


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 1:12 PM Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
Thanks for that Bill. 

So now all 24-volt Amels prior to the model year 2003 can easily add this. And 12-volt Amels can do exactly this but use 12-volt bulbs instead of 24 volts.

In our first year of cruising on SM 387, I knew very little about this. I began learning when we met a family cruising on a Bavaria that they had bought new. It was not their first boat and they had already circumnavigated on their previous boat. They were excellent boat owners and sailors. They didn't know much about this either. They had a problem in their boat caused by NOT fully understanding Bonding and Isolation. Without getting into a long story, they had made a slight modification which was recommended by other Bavaria owners. That modification caused their aluminum sail drive to turn into one big aluminum anode and it dissolved enough to begin leaking oil before they realized the problem. It was an expensive lesson.

I wholly recommend making Bill's device (thanks again, Bill) but at the very least test your boat for battery isolation and system bonding. If you are not sure how to do it yourself, email me and I will send you what I have.

image.png




CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 12:51 PM Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:
One of the changes that Amel introduced with the introduction of the SM2k model was the "masse light," a quick and easy way of telling if the isolation of the bonding system had been compromised.

Of course older boats can have bonding isolation problems too.  So I wired up an add-on masse light so us owners of older Amel boats don't have to live in ignorance. Here is a description of what I did: https://www.cruisingconsulting.com/post/check-your-bonding-system

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada



heinz@quetzal.berlin
 

I would be interested. 
Heinz, sy quetzal, sm 2000, 292
In New Caledonia on the way to Australia




Am 20.08.2022 um 05:18 schrieb CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...>:


Bill,

I also should have said, that you should make several of these and offer them for sale to Amel owners. I am sure that more than a few owners would welcome this.

Bill


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 1:12 PM Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
Thanks for that Bill. 

So now all 24-volt Amels prior to the model year 2003 can easily add this. And 12-volt Amels can do exactly this but use 12-volt bulbs instead of 24 volts.

In our first year of cruising on SM 387, I knew very little about this. I began learning when we met a family cruising on a Bavaria that they had bought new. It was not their first boat and they had already circumnavigated on their previous boat. They were excellent boat owners and sailors. They didn't know much about this either. They had a problem in their boat caused by NOT fully understanding Bonding and Isolation. Without getting into a long story, they had made a slight modification which was recommended by other Bavaria owners. That modification caused their aluminum sail drive to turn into one big aluminum anode and it dissolved enough to begin leaking oil before they realized the problem. It was an expensive lesson.

I wholly recommend making Bill's device (thanks again, Bill) but at the very least test your boat for battery isolation and system bonding. If you are not sure how to do it yourself, email me and I will send you what I have.

image.png




CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 12:51 PM Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:
One of the changes that Amel introduced with the introduction of the SM2k model was the "masse light," a quick and easy way of telling if the isolation of the bonding system had been compromised.

Of course older boats can have bonding isolation problems too.  So I wired up an add-on masse light so us owners of older Amel boats don't have to live in ignorance. Here is a description of what I did: https://www.cruisingconsulting.com/post/check-your-bonding-system

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada



--
Sv Quetzal, Supermaramu 2000, 292, cheers Heinz


Bill Kinney
 

I can certainly turn out a few...  

Right now we am in Grenada, where both importing supplies and shipping out are logistically complex, and expensive.  We are planning to head back toward the USA  after hurricane season.  Feel free to get in contact me here or by private email and I'll get in touch when I can put together the parts to make some.  

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada
http://www.cruisingconsulting.com


Mark Erdos
 

What happens if the stray current isn't enough to light the bulb? This is why I think a product such as this offers better protection. https://www.seabis.com/

This is what I use.


With best regards,


Mark
 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us



Bill Kinney
 

Mark,

There are many ways to skin this cat.  

As far as I know, the silver chloride electrode is considered the gold standard for galvanic evaluation and current leakage detection.  However, these lamps generally show visible light at about 50 milliamps, which is normally considered acceptable.  

Certainly more complex and sophisticated systems are available, but for simplicity and ease of use, the "masse light" is hard to beat.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada
http://www.cruisingconsulting.com


Bill Kinney
 

Just another quick thought here.  It is important to remember what the "masse light" is actually testing for.  It in NOT measuring "stray current".  It is looking for connections that COULD allow for stray current to flow in the event of ANOTHER fault in the electrical system.  The current flow we are looking for here is not actual stray current at all, but just a way of telling us there is a connection that is outside the design parameters of the Amel bonding system.

To put this in context, a single low resistance connection from the bonding system back to battery negative will cause the masse light to glow brightly.  Yet, in and of itself this is not a problem. Most boats with bonding systems actually have a connection like this on purpose, and if you were following ABYC guidelines, this connection is actually required.

Amel's logic is that such a connection makes stray current an issue in the event of any OTHER possible failure of the electrical system that would then allow current to flow from the battery, out into the water, and back into the bonding system (or the other way round). By having the bonding system completely isolated from the battery, we prevent any possibility of stray currents affecting the bonded components of the boat.

What we are looking for with the masse light is the integrity of that isolation.  Many of the methods of looking for stay currents on a boat assume that there IS a connection between the bonding system and the battery negative and would not work at all on an Amel with wiring as designed and in good condition .

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada
http://www.cruisingconsulting.com


Patrick McAneny
 

Bill, You may remember that I had a problem with losing my zincs at an accelerated rate . I finally tracked it down with an amp meter. But some time went by before I realized I had a problem ,and I wished I had a masse light .Now that you described it  and how to fabricate one ,I will do so asap. It was fun catching up with you and Karen in the Jumentos .
Keep the tips coming,
Pat
SM Shenanigans


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 19, 2022 1:51 pm
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Adding a "Masse Light" to an older Amel

One of the changes that Amel introduced with the introduction of the SM2k model was the "masse light," a quick and easy way of telling if the isolation of the bonding system had been compromised.

Of course older boats can have bonding isolation problems too.  So I wired up an add-on masse light so us owners of older Amel boats don't have to live in ignorance. Here is a description of what I did: https://www.cruisingconsulting.com/post/check-your-bonding-system

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada