Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Working on the Charging Circuit

I went on the boat yesterday and checked her over. The battery was at 13 volts even in the overcast, which is good. It means that the battery won't stagnate on the boat. I can now say the solar panel is well worth buying.

I also had a look at the connector for the engine charging on the stern of the boat. With a bit of contortion I got into the locker and could just about unscrew the mounting screws. The connector was a bit of a mess.

Even with a liberal coating of silicone sealant, salt water had managed to turn the wire into a turquoise mess. I brought the connector home yesterday and gave it a liberal coating of WD40 overnight. WD40 is like Duct Tape: you should always have some handy!

Anyway after its overnight bath, the sealant came away relatively easily exposing the corroded wires. Another bath in WD40 for a couple of hours meant I could undo the screws on the terminals to release the wires.

Eventually it all cleaned up with a bit of wire wool.

Here's the newly refurbished connector:

You wouldn't believe that such a small thing could involve such an investment in time, but all in all I think I spent about three hours scraping sealant off it, bathing it in WD40 and trying to free off the corroded cable and releasing the screws.

But have you seen the price of these things at Chandlers? It'd rather invest 3 hours than pay stupid prices for something that is salvageable with a bit of TLC.

Now I just have to pick a time to refit it as the tides are a bit late this week. Saying that sunset now coincides with my leaving time from work, so in the next few weeks I'll start to have time after work to work on the boat, tides permitting.

I'd like to fit the connector with new mounting screws so I'll have to get some stainless jobs from the DIY store I know which sells them cheaper than chandlers.

Its not been a slow day though. As well as on-shore boat stuff, in between WD40 sessions I've been cleaning my tropical fish tank.

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