Our old diode battery isolator was wheezing its last breaths and really wasn’t sending much of its measly 30% charge from the alternator to our batteries. That much was confirmed by the electrician who came aboard when we were in D-Marin marina in Didim at the beginning of August.
If you remember, on our way down to Kaş marina we stopped at Bodrum and Baz bought a lot of boat bits from the very large chandlery that’s located on the town’s outskirts. One of his purchases was a Victron Argo FET battery isolator. This beauty far outstrips the diode battery isolator in terms of transferring the power from the alternator to the battery bank. Where the diode isolator provides 30%, this FET isolator has an incredible efficiency and distributes a whopping 99.9% amongst the battery banks.
Whether or not it fixes the fizzing anode on the prop shaft is another issue though. So Baz spent some time doing boat yoga in the engine compartment and replaced the old with the new. To do that, he tested each battery connection and labelled it ready to be reconnected to the FET isolator. The only major problem he encountered (which was more of an aesthetic than a problem) was that in order for the alternator wire to connect with the new terminal, Baz had to install the FET upside down. He did label all of the terminals though so most of the writing that’s upside down on the FET is fairly well hidden from Barry’s OCD mind’s eye!
Banditos hit Kaş town
On Wednesday we walked into Kas town to get a few supplies and while we were there we checked out how many people were wearing masks. Covid precautions in Turkey include wearing face masks but up until last week (as I write this, when mask wearing in public has become obligatory) only about 40% of people actually wore masks on their faces. Some sported them on wrists, chins or arms but others didn’t have any in evidence at all. Due to the fact that there’s technically a fine for not wearing a face mask in public places which Baz and I don’t want to pay, and the obvious fact that we don’t want to transmit or receive said covid virus, we have been doing the right thing.
It’s bloody hot wearing them in humid temperatures of 30+ degrees Celcius though! I did find an upside to it however: I never expected to be able to go to town dressed as a masked Bandito!! Cue corny Mexican music, whoops and hollers!
Mike’s big stick does the job
We have never been able to release our anchor chain manually because the aluminium bar that goes into the windless to do the job just bent under the strain. Being able to release the anchor manually is important especially if we’re anchoring in high winds that could catch the bow. Dropping the anchor by using the electronic windlass buttons (as we usually do) means the anchor only drops at the slow pace dictated by the rotation of the gypsy. Anchoring in strong winds could mean A B Sea is blown off course before the anchor has time to reach the seabed.
Our friend Mike brought his strong stainless steel bar over and within seconds he’d released the gypsy! He advised we get Aydin the mechanic to make us a similar bar, which we’ve already done. We’re now ready to test the manual release for ourselves one day when we’re anchoring.
While Baz was at the gypsy, he took it apart and gave it a good clean, added some thick lubricating grease with an old toothbrush (not mine as he said in the video lol) and put it back together, happy it is now in good working order.
I splice some eyes
Our heavy duty stern lines have metal springs attaching them to the pontoon. These have been known to break under extreme circumstances and we didn’t want to find ourselves unattached to the dock in high winds due to a spring failure.
I took an old line that we don’t use, cut it into two pieces and spliced eyes in each end. This allowed Baz to attach them to the pontoon and also the line ends of each spring so if a spring fails, there’s a short amount of rope (line) keeping the boat secured to the dock.
This was a fun little project for me, and it’s good to know that my handiwork might keep A B Sea safe in the event of a spring suddenly failing during a storm.