Oh Dear, all is not well down below, we've had a lucky escape from a wee conflagration. Got there t'other day, major proper work getting started now, thought I'd give the henjin a run, ignition, contact... and... nowt, nada, in fact, bugger all. Open the hatch down into the hole to be greeted by a distinctly burny sort of smell of catching fire type nature and no mistake. Been having a few problems of late when we've tried to fire her up, everything a bit sluggish, batteries perhaps a bit tired... ahh thos e silent warning bells that didn't ring in out ears!
now on the 12V side of things, which is basically the engine, everything else on board runs from a separate 24V system, we have a bank of 4 150Ah batteries, so 600Ah of juice to get her going, the wiring from these we inherited, along with lots of other wierdness both discovered and as yet undiscovered. There's a sneaky switch, hidden under the helm, that when operated, throws a relay in the engine room, which powers the 12v system up. All fine and dandy with a couple of tiny little problems. the relay is (was)! sat in the negative side of the batteries, so even though it may be off, there's still a 12v (and 600Ah remember) supply on all the wiring.
So whats the worst that could happen?? I know, one day when no-ones around, its going to go more tits up than the American economy and short circuit 600Ah of batteries!
A quick bit of O level physics says that 600A at 12V = 7,200W or 7.2Kw for an hour, thats some electric fire we had going there...... directly under neath 400 gallons of diesel..... in an oily engine room.....in a wooden boat, still don't know how it didn't all go up. so every engine room fire has a silver lining. least we now know it was a bitt 'iffy' and have embarked on a rewire, so if anything goes amiss in the future we'll know where to start looking. Slightly sadder though is the fact it melted the starter motor solenoid, so a new starter motor needed
The thought has occurred to me though that the reason it didn't go up is that the Panser actually has a primitive fire prevention system built in - she leaks! and may well have just put the fire out herself to save us the bother!!
More soon, including the cleaning of the bilges which needed the use of an SDS/Kango among other things - No 2 has finally dirtied his new overalls
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