The Winters Work and Coronavirus Interrupts Play

My 2019 sailing season finished with a voyage on the Ocean Youth Trust South's vessel Prolific and I was looking forward to spending some time working on Aphrodite as there were a couple of major projects to do, specifically improve the electrical system as much of the wiring was over 35 years old and beginning to corrode, the telltale black copper showing at the joints that needed to be replaced with more modern tinned copper, and give the inside a lick of varnish as Aphrodite needed a lift inside.

I was fortunate to get early retirement in January at the age of 58 which allowed me to bring forward my plans by two years. Little did we know then that Coronavirus would sweep the world and the UK would go into "lockdown", a word I dislike, for three months setting my plans back a bit.

The Batteries

I had always felt that the batteries were on the light side for what the boat was being expected to do. Two led acid batteries: the 80Ah starter battery was not holding its charge; the house battery was only 100Ah and with just the engine or shore power charging was not keeping up on multiple day trips without using the engine more that I wanted.

With much research I decided to replace the current batteries with Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) ones as they have better resistance to vibration, can't leak acid if they crack, can be discharged to a lower voltage and the existing charger was able to cope with them.

After much searching on the internet I found a company that could supply low profile batteries that would fit the existing locations and worked out that I could fit extra batteries under the rear bunk thus increase my house capacity to 390Ah an increase of 390%.

That should keep me happy for a few days, especially as I'm reducing as much of the power usage as I can, LED bulbs and the like.

The Switch Panel

The original switch panel while working was of its time, the voltage and amperage instruments could not accurately display the boats actual usage as we were using far less power as over the years equipment got more and more efficient. Thus began the search for something up to date that would deal with modern power requirements and simplify things for single handed passages.

After much searching of the internet I found KDD Power in Cornwall that were producing exactly what I wanted and it got even better when they said that they could custom make a panel. Being pretty local I popped down to discuss my requirements and commission a new switch panel and VSR charger.