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I am the most knowledgable person on this forum !

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    Posted: 12 Jan 2018 at 10:33pm
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Titanium
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If it holds true that we learn by our mistakes, then on that basis  reckon I must be by far the most knowledgeable person on this forum.
 
Used to fish the inner harbour a fair bit but nowadays seldom do, but as a result of several encouraging reports of how it has been fishing, Vinnie his dad Ish & myself decided to give it a shot yesterday.
 
Arrived at the Island Bay ramp early morning to ensure getting two of the limited parking spaces ie one for the wagon trailer & another for Vinnies wagon. Launched the boat, pushed it out, climbed aboard, motor started ... no probs  apart from hitting something in the half light. Fishing was OK at times albeit tonnes of "tiny Tims" with odd spells of reasonable size fish & between us we lost about 4 beauties.
 
Oops ... forgot to resize pics ... will need to continue in a following post!
 
Why do sleeping pills come with a warning label stating "May cause drowsiness" ?.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bazza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 12:14am
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Titanium
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OK ... had plenty to occupy ourselves with when only small fish biting by trying to fathom out the workings of the new sonar, chartplotter.
 
Shifted a short distance about four times, with the motor firing ok each time, but with about nine fish in the bin finally decided we might as well head for home as the constant wash from the various ferries & large boats etc. was making things a tad uncomfy. Always run the motor when using the anchor winch in what I now know is the mistaken belief that it won't be putting a drain on the battery. However this time when the key was turned the only response was that dreaded sickly sound of insufficient power !!!
 
What to do ... I know from experience attempting a cord start is merely an exercise in futility but without power, cannot start, VHF is dead, cannot use anchor winch or even tilt the motor !
 
Therefore after some deliberation decided we best call the coast guard on Vinnies' mobile which we did only to find his battery was fading fast so had to switch to mine that fortunately this time I had brought along.
 
In due course the CG arrived, attempted unsuccessfully to start the motor so with true CG efficiency set about towing us to the ramp. All good apart from the fact the motor was still fully down therefore needed to be lifted manually which was no easy task, nevertheless managed to do so. Is a really busy time at the moment, with trying to get fit enough to do the Tongariro crossing on Tues followed by having arranged to tow the boat north when attending a family function a couple of days after, so could have well done without any further complications.
 
Anyway once home put the battery on charge, rang around to find a replacement the same so as to suit the fittings & arranged with my service mechanic to have the battery charging function checked over despite the fact he had done so when servicing on Monday but I wanted to know what had caused the battery to flatten when only about 27 mths old with a 24 month warranty.
 
Battery was fine after being on the charger overnight & when installed back in the boat worked fine, started the motor & gave it a good flush. Despite being told by a couple of sources now that it was charged & tested ok that it would probably be fine to continue to use it ... but to my mind if it has failed once is likely to again, so was off to Westhaven this morning to buy a new identical battery so as everything would fit. Was bout 30 mins or so in the store investigating the various options, having original tested ( read OK )
finally opting for one the same.
 
I swear I am NOT making this up but after loading both batteries into the wagon THE BLOODY WAGON WOULD NOT START !!!!!!
To rub salt into the wound these modern cars with so many electronic functions start going haywire with the little power left in the battery by sending messages in all directions for varius functions to grab their share of what is left .... windscreen wipers start working that cannot be switched off, various doors lock then refuse to open, any custom settings are lost & a bloody annoying American  female voice on the GPS kept on telling me to turn every which way
& continues to do so but have no idea where she is trying to take me ... only know cannot turn her off ... a problem I have otherwise seldom encountered with women! About this time remembered I had one of those Cobra battery jump starters in the car as had brought it along to check it would be OK to start the boat motor but of course as had never been out of its' box it had never been charged ... if it had then apparently would have been fine to start the wagon.
 
Nothing left but to ring the AA for assistance & they arrived in a relatively short time with a very obliging technician not only getting it jump started but offered to test the overall condition using a nifty little handheld thing that gave a comprehensive printed copy of the results which found the battery was not in the best of health. Would have gladly have purchased a new one fro him, in fact asked to do so but he advised to take the print report to the Mitsi dealer & see what they say. Was in two minds over this as would use more valuable time & altho still had 6 mths warrantee remaining presumed at best they might give a proportional credit towards a much more expensive OEM. Nevertheless called into Simon Lucas where upon I told of my tale of woe, showed the AA report & to their
they set about installing a new one free of charge whilst I had a much needed complimentary cup of coffee from their machine. At last something was going right apart from it took a fairly long time
but at that stage was past caring. Got the new battery, rushed home
installed new boat battery, went to o/b service mechanic albeit now
about 3 hrs late & received the news I wanted to hear, namely that everything checked out fine. Was then he told me what had been the likely combination of causes, which could have been easily avoided had we known & suspect many others would be aware either so as this post is already far to long will list them in a following post, plus am off to check all the torches & battery operated gizmos to se if they all have flat batteries !!!
 
 
AARRGH ... could well do without all this drama !
Why do sleeping pills come with a warning label stating "May cause drowsiness" ?.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 8:40am
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Titanium
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Always run the motor when using the anchor winch in what I now know is the MISTAKEN belief that it won't be putting a drain on the battery.

Anchor winches/ capstans  can pull a lot of current/ power.. hence why they get wired thru a relay.
 Pull a lot of power out of a battery that may be little too small or not in good condition, no power left to fire engine..
 Also having motor run, you can pull up on the anchor, and keep the bow into the waves

but to my mind if it has failed once is likely to again,
Funny the boat battery had been checked.. I assume load checked also that holds a charge..Which when you put on charge.. fired  flushed.. yep ok, but the voltage re checked that it is still fully charged?
 Then ok at ramp, but dead on the water..??

 If the above checks out.. or even some of it, Im tending to go the alternator is not charging... not the battery at fault.
 A very common issue that causes this in modern engines (electronic regulators) is disconnecting a battery while the engine is running.. even for a couple seconds.

 I have been caught out .. after a shop service.. young  guy supposedly experienced (no longer works there now) cleaned battery terminals while engine running .. multi tasking to save time...
 Also why I always carry a spare jumper battery in the boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MacSkipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 8:43am
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That's amazing and dare I say very entertaining!  Unbelievable bad luck with car battery dying but is often the way Bazza.
Glad you all got home safely in the end.
Good fishing trip nothing breaks, great trip catch fish.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 9:05am
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The other fishing style that can get you into the same trouble is doing a lot of short drifts. Battery never gets any significant charge as you run back to the top of your drift and eventually it won't start the engine. Personally I think every boat should either have a spare battery or jump pack onboard or we able to be pull started. Running with just one battery is just a lottery that you will eventually loose unless perhaps you replace the battery every 2nd year.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 9:26am
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Titanium
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My spare battery is an super cheap old style yellow lead acid pack.. had for many yrs
With the boat battery flat, alternator not charging... johnson 115hp
 Can do a good 3 or 4  more drifts, then the trim starts to sound a little different... head home about 14/ 15 miles.. set trim once for the trip. and have enough to raise the engine back at the ramp.
Oh and gps etc still all working.

1st thing/ sign that usually happens is the gps will turn off when fire the engine. (this can also be if the gps voltage limit is set too high in the gps settings on some units.)
Next , the trim sounds as if straining a little.

Quick check when firing engine at home before going out.
 Dont turn anything on, check battery voltage.
 Turn over engine for 3 to 5 seconds, dont fire it up...check voltage should be very close to the 1st check.
 If so battery holds a charge..
 Fire up engine, should have higher voltage 12.8/ 13.2
 Alternator is charging


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote muchalls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 10:12am
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My now sold Stabi had a twin battery setup with voltage regulator installed along with the electric winch.
I opted to use an identical high CCA battery as it was more of a backup than one to run boat electrics.

Before my car battery died I was getting air bag warning light intermittently....also from a dead alternator
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 10:24am
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Always a good idea to have a jumpstarter pack with you. Less than $100. You can actually use the battery out of the box. It might not be ideal practice, but lead acid batteries are never stored fully discharged. 

I bought a jumpstarter from the Warehouse and used it immediately to start a car with a flat battery. No issues.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 11:31am
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I have a little power pack a Powerall brand. It's tiny but it will charge your phone and jump start your boat. Put one on your boat Bazza but learn how to use it first. I have used mine to start my boat once when I left the isolator on and 3 or 4 other boats and a few cars. You would be surprised how compact and effective they are.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bazza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 1:43pm
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Yep ... I actually have one Smudge, a compact little unit ( Cobra ) that I had in the wagon having taken it to check it would be ok to use to start the outboard. No doubt it would have started the Mitsi as well but like most things I buy off the net was still in its' unopened box therefore had never been charged.
 
Am going to charge it then carry in the wagon & boat as after all that is what is meant to happen.
 
However on the positive side was just one more mistake that will increase my knowledge even further !
Why do sleeping pills come with a warning label stating "May cause drowsiness" ?.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote letsgetem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 2:24pm
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Hilarious, good to hear you see the funny side Bazza. But, I am sympathetic for the anxiety it must have caused you. I hate worry out on the sea.
it is certainly a wake up call. One day, my battery wont start the motor. What will I do? One possibility is call CG, that's what I am a member for. But I would still rather it not happen, or at least be able to overcome it.
 
One thing - suggest getting in the habit of reading the battery voltage on the sonar screen. I presume you show the battery voltage on the sonar screen (its an option). If its not what it usually is, somethings wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Raging Bull Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 7:45am
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What Tagit said! 2 x Batteries, one start and one for everything else and the ability to switch them to parallel. Been running that system for years and have never not been able to start the engine.
Funny story though!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote muchalls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 10:09am
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I reckon my first boat taught me heaps.
12' ply, homebuild trailer with an ancient 25hp engine.
Like what a proper anchor setup should be-ie not a short length of chain that would look better holding the plug in a bathtub.
If you need to pull the anchor (eg it's not holding and you're drifting) start the engine first.
The correct function of the bung.
Invest in a good engine, the boat is a secondary condition- worn out old dog clutch that slipped whenever you got on the plane, causing the split pin to shear with loss off propulsion, not a good option.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bazza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 1:58pm
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OK ... now for the revelation as to why the battery went flat !!!
 
My previous motors had alternators, therefore assumed all larger HP motors would. Not so it would seem as many, my current 90hp Merc included have a far less efficient system ... forgotten what it is called.
 
If you are 100% sure your motor has an alternator then read no further as you are not affected.
 
What is the main difference between the two systems ?
 
Alternator :- starts charging the moment the motor is running & provides a healthy amount of charge power.
 
Other system :- is far less efficient with not only a relatively low output
but motor has to reach 2500 rpm before it even starts to do so.
 
I have always started the motor & left it idling whilst using the anchor winch in the false belief battery power being used would be balanced by the charge being used ... but not so it would seem, also same applies to hydraulic tilt.
 
OK on this trip as well as a couple previous we have been trying to come to grips with the newly installed GPS/Chartplotter/Sonar, therefore mostly puddling along, also leaving it on when anchored. 
 
As a result but unknown to us, the battery was probably in a very healthy condition when we launched on Thursday, nevertheless performed all the required functions at that stage.
 
From there on we were moving much slower than normal & shifted
position a short distance about 4 or 5 times using the anchor winch each time.
 
So basically using the winch, key start, bilge pump, sonar, hydraulic tilt, vhf etc. was draining current with little or any input until it reached a point where there was insufficient power to start the motor.
 
In retrospect, altho I was peed off at the sequence of events at the time have come to realise it was maybe rather fortuitous inasmuch as am about to do a couple of long trips oblivious to the fact that both the wagon & boat batteries were likely to cause significant problems if either or both would not start ... whereas ... I now have a new battery for the wagon, a new one for the boat plus a fully charged jump start for either & a fully charged spare battery, so peace of mind has been restored. Have also purchased a hand held VHF as a backup & will probably install a voltmeter so as can keep an eye on the state of the batteries. Plus I now know what to do to avoid excess battery drain, so am even more knowledgeable than I was when starting this thread !!
 
I think it was Rex ( AKA Letsgetem ) that mentioned battery power can be viewed on the sonar/plotter/gps unit .... is this so? 
 
Best of all, called into Simon Lucas yesterday & an obliging salesperson managed to subdue the female gps scourge who was constantly nagging me to take every off ramp, perform U turns or anywhere contrary to my intended destination. The salesman said she was trying to get me to go to New Plymouth where no doubt she had some sort of tryst planned however my mother warned me about women like that!
 
 
Why do sleeping pills come with a warning label stating "May cause drowsiness" ?.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JustAnotherSpearo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 2:04pm
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Hey Bazza! That flash as sounder can show voltage. Saved us some bucks on our rigs because the sounder dies last at 10.2volts? (could be 10.8 cant exactly remember) and if that happens for us in theory switch both battery to parallel and should be getting the donkeys bucking. 

Annnnd I just read your question about Rex so yep mate! 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JustAnotherSpearo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 2:06pm
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Also I might add to the last topic, my job is a software developer and for the life of me before dawn idling out of the ramp. I couldn't figure out how to change the sounder to night mode so it just went off and I went off the stars (channel marks and local knowledge I have of the area). I side with you Bazza on the fact that those sounders require homework and or a circus team to be able to work them LOLLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote muchalls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 2:27pm
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When my car battery failed it was a slow death! As it hadn't been charging, I was driving from Paihia to Kerikeri and it started playing up on Bulls Gorge.
It has happened to me before, so rather like Apollo 13 I cut back on all electrical drains on the battery- lights, stereo, fingers crossed.....but it died on me several km from home.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote cirrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 2:34pm
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Talking of batteries what is a good reliable long lasting starter battery brand. Are some better than others.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bazza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 3:58pm
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Originally posted by cirrus cirrus wrote:

Talking of batteries what is a good reliable long lasting starter battery brand. Are some better than others.
 
Are you asking me John ?????
 
Surely given my aforementioned experience I would be the last person to ask !!!
Why do sleeping pills come with a warning label stating "May cause drowsiness" ?.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MacSkipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 5:51pm
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Titanium
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Originally posted by cirrus cirrus wrote:

Talking of batteries what is a good reliable long lasting starter battery brand. Are some better than others.
Don't know about brands but you only get what you pay for and the car batteries with calcium added last longer - apparently 4-5 years compared to 3 year average for lead acid car battery.
Good fishing trip nothing breaks, great trip catch fish.
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