Alternator charges with too high voltage

Sunday also meant boat work and it was time to move Anne-Mon from the winter location to our ship. During the summer we will have a spot in a marina further out in the archipelago, but that is pretty far away so it is perfect to have her next to the ship for a while.

Since we have connected the service batteries we also wanted to test the alternator on the engine. We haven’t done this before and during our engine renovation we didn’t do any work with the alternator, we had just hoped that it would work. We magnetized the alternator by applying 12V to the D+ pin with the engine running. That was the easiest way to make the alternator charge as we do not have all the electrical system i place. The alternator started to charge fine but as the battery voltage started to reach 14.6V we decided to stop the engine as it felt like the alternator charging regulator was broken.

We removed the charging regulator to test its function separately. We connected a 10W light bulb between the slip ring brushes (acting as field coil) and applied an adjustable voltage to the D+ pin. For a working charing regulator the light bulb will light up until you increase the voltage above the regulating voltage. For an alternator like this that voltage is approx. 14.4V. Our charging regulator regulated at 14.7V, which explains why it increased to 14.6V during our test run.

We decided that the charging regulator probably is not malfunction but rather set at a pretty high regulating voltage. In our case that might not actually be a problem as we have AGM and SMF batteries which can withstand 15.0V and 14.8V absorption voltage respectively.

We reassembled the alternator and did a new test run and as expected the alternator charged our batteries to 14.7V and then regulated the charging.

Moving the boat from its winter location. Beautiful sunny day, but some really cold winds.

Once we arrived to the ship we started to get rid of all the stuff we have inside the boat. We got a lot of things along with the boat, some useful and some trash. Some of the things are also our tools and equipment we have used while working in the boat. 

The navigation table. This is an old picture but it has looked pretty much the same since then. It’s just the things located here that has changed.
All things removed! The wood on the table is pretty dirty and will need some cleaning later.
The cabin in the stern. One of the beds goes in the same direction as the boat and the other one goes across the boat.  This is also an old picture but it has looked pretty much the same since then. It’s just the things located here that has changed.
Halfway through our cleaning.
Finally we can access this area more easily.
Trying out the bed in the stern. When opening the hatches to the bilge here the whole area gets a very distinct “old boat”-smell.
Definitely needs some cleaning and renovation here as well to make it a cosy area!
Time to sort all of the stuff. We threw away some, but kept a lot 🙂

As we have mentioned earlier we noticed that our batteries was too high, so that the insulation (with aluminum) on the hatch door touches the poles on the batteries. We want to keep as much of the insulation as possible, as the batteries are located next to the engine, so we started trying to removed the aluminum on the hatch door.

Trying to remove the aluminum on the insulation on the hatch door towards the batteries,
Now our batteries are safe 🙂

We have also had some leaking problem with the small porthole from the cockpit to the stern bed (The porthole can be seen on the picture above, when Thomas tried the stern bed). But that was not so surprising that it was leaking, as the old sealing inside was almost gone.

The old gasket inside the porthole.
We cut a new sealing from a rubber sheet we had laying around.

It was really hard to get the new sealing in position, but after some fighting…
…it was in position.
The porthole back in position. Hopefully we won’t have any more leakages here. We still have some leakages in the big “window” in the cockpit. Our future plan is either to remove this window completely or add a proper deck hatch here instead.

We had hoped that the weather would continue being warm and sunny, but the forecast shows around 10 degrees ( 50 Fahrenheit) and some rain for the next 10 days. This means that we won’t be able to continue with the plastic right now, so we will continue with the electrical system, cleaning and other things that come up.

Electrical installation for the engine

Weekend and Saturday meant working with the boat, and most of the day we worked with the electrical installation for the engine. Our goal with the electrical system overhaul right now is to get the electrics around the engine to work. The rest of the system will we go over thoroughly later on.

How it looked like before in the electrical cabin.
The electrical installation towards the engine in place and some things in the bottom of the cabin removed. Still pretty messy though…
A closer look at the electrical installation in the electrical cabin.
The electrical installation on the engine. The cables represent start engine, tachometer, oil pressure, temperature etc. We use tin plated wires and connecters here. 
The cables towards the batteries in position.
Connecting the cable to the starter, so that we can try to start it later.

We also worked a little bit with preparing the cockpit. Hopefully it will get warmer soon and we will be able to continue with the plastic repairs.

Picture taken just after we bought Anne-Mon. In the autumn we got rid of the plank close towards the door. It was mounted with a lot of marine sealant which we started removing.
The sealant that the plank was mounted with.

Almost removed. The rest is a pretty thin layer which we will be able to ground later.

Next up will be to continue with the electrical system and move the boat from its winter location. If you are interested in reading more about our electrical systems all posts related to that can be found under the tag Electrical System. All posts related to our renovation can be found under the category Renovation.

Now it is Monday and time to eat dinner and watch the latest Game of Thrones episode! We will add a new post tomorrow about the work we did yesterday, when we moved the boat, had some alternator issue and started to get rid of some stuff. 🙂

Easter tour and boatwork

It is Easter holiday now which means four days off work. The first day we took a tour with our ship Aline to the island Storön in the archipelago together with some other ships.

Aline together with three other ships at  Storön, the fourth ship might be hard to find…

It was definitely summer feelings in Stockholm with 20 degrees (68 Fahrenheit) and we brought our sliding hatch and Thomas worked with it for a while.

Working with the sliding hatch in the sun.

We spent one night out and then drove back in the evening. The following day we went to the sailboat to continue working.

First up was to add our new stop wire we bought. The old one was glitching and we want to have a reliable stop wire.

The stop wire in place in the hatch on starboard side in the cockpit.

We still need a final piece on the engine side which we haven’t bought yet, so the installation is not finished. We continued with the electrical installation on the engine, we use pipes around the cables, for protection and to have it nicely organized.

Figuring out how the pipes should be drawn on the engine.

We also tried to add the cover for the generator, looks really nice and clean now! 🙂

The cover on the generator added.

We also use pipes for the other cables routed in the “engine room”.

A pipe added for the cables going between the engine and battery box. Now we just need to route all cables that should go through here.

We had also painted the holders for the diesel filters in the same color as the engine. It is starting to look very nice below the flooring. Still some details left, but we’re getting there.

The newly painted diesel filter holder back in position.

We took a look at the electrical panel in the navigation area in the boat. We also opened some drawers that we haven’t looked in since buying the boat, found some useful stuff; some courtesy flags, a bunch of flares and then a bunch of stuff that we don’t know what it is and what it should be used for, but maybe time will tell.

Trying to figure out a plan for the electrical panel.
Lots of different cables in the electrical cabin.

Now we just got back from a shopping tour to buy a bunch of stuff we need, both for the electrical system and the sliding hatch. Always nice to spend some money…  We just arrived to  the boat and will continue working.

First drive after Volvo Penta renovation

It was time to finalize the installation of the engine so that we could test it after our Volvo Penta renovation. We had lifted it to the correct position and we needed to connect the gearbox to the engine and the propeller shaft and connect diesel, sea water, cooling system to the boiler and some electricity to the engine before we could do a test start inside the boat.

First up was to assemble the gearbox and then connect it to the shaft. The gearbox need to be inserted precisely to its correct position and we used our rig (that we used when lifting the engine into position) to get the gearbox correctly into position. After that we could connect the shaft.

The gearbox connected with the shaft.
Another picture of the connection to the shaft.

Then we connected the diesel, sea water and cooling system so that we could do a test start inside the boat. Here’s a video from the first test start:

Then we decided to take the engine out for a test drive. First we just drove around in the marina. If the engine would break then we would at least wouldn’t be out in the sea. We drove around inside the marina for a while and the engine behaved really good. Before doing our renovation the engine had trouble running on idle and when put it in reverse it died. Now it was no problem running on idle or to put it in the reverse! 🙂 But everything wasn’t smoothly. We had an oil leak in the gearbox and a sea water leak in the oil cooler. We will need to do further investigations of them.

Here’s a little video from our first drive inside the marina:

After driving around in the marina for about half an hour we drove to the islands of Fjäderholmarna and back to run the engine with some more speed. We drove around 3.5 knots, we don’t want to run the engine to hard in the beginning before all parts have run in together.

Another major improvement is the amount of smoke from the exhaust…

Smoke from the exhaust
A picture of how much smoke it was before we lifted the engine out from the boat. This was after we had ran the engine a couple of times, first time we started the engine it was even more smoke.
And this is how much smoke it is right now, almost nothing! 🙂

The reason we had that much smoke before was that the engine had bad compression and all the diesel didn’t incinerate properly.

Now it is time for some before and after pictures!

The engine and generator before we lifted them out of the boat.
After our renovation and cleaning the bilge.
Before lifting the engine and the generator out from the boat seen from the stern.
Seen from the stern after the renovation.
A picture of the generator, engine and the battery box. Next up will be to get all the electricity and all cables in order. It is quite a mess right now and we need to go through it.

Now the engine is classified as done (except for some small leakages). Our future renovation plans will be to:

  • Go over the basic electrical functions
  • Do some cleaning
  • Continue with the plastic repair in the cockpit
  • Go over the plastic on deck
  • Go through the rig

Installing our Volvo Penta engine

It was finally time to lift our Volvo Penta engine to its correct position in the boat and start the installation, after an entire winter of doing a full renovation of the engine (read all our blog posts about the renovation HERE). But before starting the installation we had to fix a small diesel leakage in the connection between our two fuel tanks. We noticed the leakage when lifting the engine into the boat but didn’t have the time to fix it immediately.

A not so nice surprise, finding diesel at the bottom of the bilge. Good thing that the bilge pump wasn’t connected and all this would have gone into the water. Now we could throw it into an environmental station instead.

So the first thing we needed to do was to fix the connection. We had a hard time get the connections in the correct position last time, since it is not very much room in the bilge and that is probably the reason for the leakage. We changed the connection and hopefully we won’t have any more leakages here.

Fixing the leaking connection between the fuel tanks.

As mentioned earlier, we had noticed a mysterious hatch. At first we wanted to open it to see what is inside it. But when we tried to open it we almost broke the plastic in the bilge so we decided to not open it and re-sealed it.

Sealing the mysterious hatch.

Then it was time to lift the generator into its position.

Lifting the generator into its position.
The generator in position.
The generator in position, seen from the cabin on starboard side. It is located under the bed in this cabin. The end of the bed can be removed so it is pretty easy to do maintenance on the generator if needed.

And finally it was time for the engine. First up was to get the external oil sump into its position.

External oil sump in position.

We used the same rig we built when lifting the engine out from the boat. It is made out of wood and we secured it towards the interior in the boat to get it really stable.

Time to get the engine into its position using our beloved chain hoist.
First we lifted it just enough to loosen it from the engine rig it is standing on right now.
Removing the engine brackets from the rig.
Then we moved it step by step, using the chain hoist and a strap to get it above its final position.
It was a precision task to get all of the engine brackets in the correct position. We sent the engine up and down for a while to get everything in position.
Finally in position!

Before it is time to try to start the engine we need to connect the gearbox to the engine and the shaft. We also need to connect the diesel, sea water, cooling system to the boiler and some electricity before we do our first test start inside the boat.