Friday, 10 July 2015

Last minute charging problems.

Typical... with two days to go before the big trip the solar regulator on Ciao Bella had packed up. 
I went over on Weds evening to grab the battery and give it a full charge.   I wasn't sure why the regulator screen had failed, possible causes were a short, dead battery or some other super annoying gitty gremlin in the system.
Back in the garage and the battery was showing 12v.. not good but certainly not dead, I put it on charge over night and by the morning it was reading 13.6v, dropping to 13.1v after 30mins.  That'll do.  Thoughts now turned to the regulator.

The regulator on Ciao Bella is no cheap piece of kit and I didn't have the spare cash to replace it.   I took the battery back out yesterday evening and connected it up, still no display, I did bring a Volt meter with me this time, so checked the connection at the meter;   No reading?  
I had a hunt around the electrical panel, expecting to find a lose or broken wire but actually found an inline fuse hidden within the isolator switch.. I had completely forgotten this was here.  I didn't have a 20mm fuse to hand so I disassembled a 1.25" fuse and wrap the wire onto the old blown fuse.  The panel came to life showing 95% Battery, and then when the solar panel was reconnected the little sun symbol appeared, showing that the panel was feeding the battery.. hooray.   Just need to keep an eye on it to understand what made it blow in the first place.
Before heading back I dragged the radar reflector out.. tried several locations and eventually settled for hoisting it on the spinnaker pole up haul, which never gets used,  and strung out to the big cleat on the foredeck.  Looks to be correctly orientated and shouldn't interfere with anything else.
Back ashore, replacement fuses and spares were sourced and then John and I did a quick planning session before traipsing of to the shops to victual the boat. 

Clearly we have the important items onboard and stowed, there is also 2 litres of Meths but I promise to only use that for the Origo stove :)  We just need to load ourselves, our luggage and food for tonight and tomorrow.   The forecast is looking great for a quick crossing.. I can't wait, I'll  Speak from the other side :)


  1. Hi I was wondering if you made it across and back again in one piece and did you have a great time.


  2. Yes, arrived home yesterday... Had a brilliant time. Poole, Swanage, Cherbourg, Barfleur, Shanklin then back to Poole. I will update the blog soon, but for now I just need to sleep :)