As mentioned in previous blogs we’re doing a bit of catch up on our summer trips and what’s been going on with our wacky year off. Man, I (Rob) still haven’t finished the blog on our trip to Ireland and all the amazing people we met there in April. In some ways I really feel as if I’ve robbed them of telling the world of how awesome people from Ireland are! Except for the one car that drove by me while I was walking near O’Brien’s Tower, they gave me the finger and they weren’t awesome…
Anyways, as mentioned in an earlier blog, we left Montague Harbour on October 4th and headed for, and arrived at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard (CCMB) without incident. The main reason for going to CCMB was to have an electrical audit done on Blue Tale and to determine the funny, strange, odd sounds (technical term) our inverter started making on our trip south. What’s an electrical audit you ask? Good question. I had an idea but was only really guessing at that point until we spoke with Simon and Stan at CCMB. An electrical audit on a boat includes mapping out all the crazy wires in and around your electrical panel, checking that your batteries are healthy and properly sized for the boat, checking your inverter, battery charger, the draw to devices on the boat, and searching for any stray current, including in the water around the boat. During this work our boat was docked at CCMB’s service dock. There may have been other things that were included in the audit, but I’ve mentioned the specific things that they did while we left the boat to wander the planet for the next 4-5 days.
Upon our return we spoke with Simon and Stan and found that our batteries were healthy and properly sized for Blue Tale and our electrical needs were being easily met (as long as we don’t add anything more like a microwave, TV, etc.). Our inverter, a Xantrex Prowatt 1750 inverter, was good and could be upgraded but it was not necessary at this point. Though we knew there had to be a simpler way to turn our inverter on, we actually had to turn three (3) different switches on to get it going. ‘Old Betsy’ is a good inverter, but previous owners either didn’t know, didn’t care, or thought it was necessary to have the redundant switches in place; so we thought the numerous switches had something to do with the funny, strange and odd sounds we heard during the summer?? Nope! The battery charger, we were told, was grossly under-sized for our boat and working too hard in conjunction with the inverter causing the weirds sounds, so we upgraded from a 20 amp to a 60 amp Xantrex – TrueCharge 2 series charger. We also had an auto charging relay (BlueSea Systems SI-ACR) installed along with a voltage regulator installed (Balmar Max Charge MC-614 multi-stage). Further, we had the electrical panel cleaned up with some new switches and updated wiring.
In the end, CCMB did a great job and left us with good peace of mind. Some of this work we could have done ourselves (possibly??), but we would have have struggled and it would have taken loads of time. Our decision to go to CCMB came as a recommendation from Blackline Marine and after we shopped around with other boatyards for prices and scheduling. Many of the boatyards/marinas that we spoke to were all really willing to jump onboard and tackle our problem; one boatyard attempted to do something that resembled an electrical audit earlier this summer but only replaced some plugs. When we spoke to Blackline (they worked on our boat last October and are a bit more expensive compared to other boatyards), they said that they could do the work but recommended that it would be better addressed by CCMB who specializes in electrical work and conveniently located in the same yard as Blackline. We are very happy with their recommendation and the work CCMB has done. Blackline could have taken advantage of us but they were honest about their limitation of their expertise and did not waste our time or our money by doing the job themselves. ~Rob & Sophia