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Old 28 August 2019, 01:50   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Lost all Battery Power to outboard

So that others might learn...…. and those that cant help themselves can have a pop.

Went out yesterday on the little 4.5 m Narwhal and the sea was very calm. Got across to the Mouth of the Orwell and noticed the power tilt and trim was not working. Engine coughed a couple of times. Looked at my chart plotter to see the voltage was down to 12.3 volts meaning battery not charging. I had to decide whether to limp to Levington Marina risking conking out in the very very busy port of Felixstowe or beaching in a reasonably safe place knowing I would not be able to raise the engine so would have to beach some way out as it was quite a fleet beach. I would also have to switch of the engine and a restart would not be possible. I went for the Beach option.

Once beached I investigated the issue and I had a very low voltage to the outboard but had 12.2 volts at that point to the plotter and other equipment.


I managed to contact a friend who was on the water and because of the very calm sea state he towed me back to my home slip in the River Deben.


I usually have a very good set of tools in my old Disco 2 and a spare battery and jump leads etc. Because I had swapped all this to my newer Discovery for a caravan trip at the weekend and had not remembered to put it all back in the older Disco I was not well placed to fix the issue. I called my wife who skipped of work early and brought me the tools etc I needed.


I needed to get my engine up in order to get it on the trailer and be able to safely tow the rig.


Upon inspection and with the right tools and spare battery I was able to diagnose that it was the battery isolation switch that had failed.


So lessons learnt:


1) Add the correct sized spanners to my on board toolkit... an adjustable is no good.

2) If you have an accessible switch at the rear make up a short jumper cable so that you can bypass the switch quickly and easily. I intend to make a loop of thick wire across the terminals of the switch at the back with a plug in its middle so that if the issue arises again I can just lift the seat and plug in the two wire ends.

3) Another option is to make sure all the terminal ends to the switch and battery are the same size and if all things are close you might be able to just swing the switch one over to the other at the switch. This is not always easy and again requires the right spanner often in a confined space. Hence the jumper idea with a plug type break that is easily accessible and quick and easy to plug in.

4) learn how to lift the engine with no battery power to it. You tube is your friend here.



My issue with the tools not being in my car was I was rushed when I went out and it is well worth standing back and asking if you have every thing you need.


Thanks to Orwell Boy for the tow back...… I owe you one


There you go either have a think and maybe learn somthing or have a pop it is up to you

Dennis
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Old 30 August 2019, 10:43   #2
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The replacement switch arrived and it looked better quality than the old one. It is now fitted. I also made up the read bypass lead as noted in the first post and fitted that at the rear of the switch.

I used XT150 connector which claims to be good for 150 - 250 amps. All I know is that with it connected and the switch off it will start the engine.

If this fails now all I have to do is lift my seat and remove the inner shelf (easy to do) and connect the wire with the XT150 Connector.






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Old 30 August 2019, 11:05   #3
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Sh17 happens sometimes.

Have you worked out why the isolator failed?

Not sure I've seen that design before. Mostly I see the entire isolator inside the console / seat not with the switch coming through the console (I think that's what I'm seeing)

Carrying a bypass lead feels like an extreme solution for what so far has been a one off failure? I presume you couldn't just unscrew the input and out our leads of the switch and connect them together. I'd be certain the one day I forgot it, would be the day I needed it!

What size is your engine? Can you manually pull start it?

What would you have done if Orwell boy hadn't been out?
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Old 30 August 2019, 11:18   #4
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Looking at the state of those battery terminals and cables the switch won't be the only failure - there will be more to come!
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Old 30 August 2019, 11:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Sh17 happens sometimes.

Have you worked out why the isolator failed?

Not sure I've seen that design before. Mostly I see the entire isolator inside the console / seat not with the switch coming through the console (I think that's what I'm seeing)

Carrying a bypass lead feels like an extreme solution for what so far has been a one off failure? I presume you couldn't just unscrew the input and out our leads of the switch and connect them together. I'd be certain the one day I forgot it, would be the day I needed it!

What size is your engine? Can you manually pull start it?

What would you have done if Orwell boy hadn't been out?
I need the switch on the outside so I don't have to keep climbing on board when on the trailer and at home etc.

No idea why the isolator failed I think it was just not up to the Job. I will break it open a look when I get time. This new one looks far better quality.

You are not understandING the pics. The Bypass is wired in permanently to each terminal with a plug in the middle All I need to do is plug together if switch fails.


If orwell boy not there I would have radioed another boat for help as there were many about and also I managed to beach so several options open.


Yes you could disconnect and wire direct to battery but this bypass is far quicker and easier.
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Old 30 August 2019, 11:23   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamishken View Post
Looking at the state of those battery terminals and cables the switch won't be the only failure - there will be more to come!
Well done you win the prize for first pop...…… and doom monger. Terminals are fine and have worked well for ages and will for ages more.


Looks like we have an OCD Bilge Polisher in our mist


Oh you don't wanna go on the M25 You wanna go on the M11
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Old 30 August 2019, 11:37   #7
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Old 30 August 2019, 12:15   #8
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Any chance the isolator could get kicked off BP
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Old 30 August 2019, 12:37   #9
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Im sure bp is employed by rib net to liven things up on a damp weekend afternoon
Lol
Your reply is kinda to be expected knowing your maintenance regime is fix it when its f₩£€d the frayed cables & general gotty appearance was predictable.
You dont need to be a bilge polisher to take a little pride in your equipment
A little more time for the corrosion to migrate further up those cables and you'll be ready for another tow home
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Old 30 August 2019, 12:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
Any chance the isolator could get kicked off BP
Interesting point as this did indeed happen on my Fletcher 19 and it was the dog that did that. This isolator requires quite a lot of force to turn and you actually have to pull it a bit so I don't think that will happen.

The main issue with these isolators is that if you only have space for one of the smaller ones as I have it is very difficult to know if you have bought a good one or not. The one I bought looked good but who knows what is inside and you cant open it
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