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Singapore to Port Dickson Malaysia

Well, all the repairs were completed in Singapore OK by my electrician who flew out from New Zealand to carry it out.  We had to replace both electic motors and a number of the cells in the batteries.

The problem with the motors were not related to the motors themselves but rather the failure of some of the cells in the batteries which forced us to run the motors directly off the genset.  That would have been OK if it had a 'buffer' in the line to prevent any voltage spikes which are inevitable with variable loads.

Anyway, they were fixed OK and we left for Malaysia.  Because of the delay in completing the repairs I decided to only go as far as Port Dickson in Malaysia which was only about 140NM north.  We had a good run with most of it motor sailing due to very light winds.

Got settled in at Admiral Marina at Port Dickson which is a nice marina with nice people...oh, I should mention something about Raffles Marina in Singapore.  In a word...terrific.  The people were fantastic, the service was great, the prices were reasonable...I would highly recommend it to any visiting yachts.

After we arrived at Port Dickson I did some more testing on recycling the batteries...and guess what?  Some cells in some batteries failed again.  My electrician had only just arrived back in NZ so I had to get him on a plane again and bring him back to Malaysia.  We are not very confident what the underlying problem is...heat...  The ambiant air temperature was around 38 degrees C and it would have been higher in the marina.  The batteries were getting incredibly hot.

We have now replaced the faulty cells, spaced the batteries out and put in some fans so hopefully that will solve the problem in the meantime.  There are some design errors that we made and underestimated the heat issues in the tropics.  I will have some major changes made to them after the boat is safely in Thailand.  In the meantime we have put a battery buffer in between the genset and the electric motors just in case I have another battery failure and have to run off the genset again.

The next leg to Langkawi will start the first week in Jan.

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Reader Comments (2)

Warren your patience with your electric motors is admirable. I think I would have tossed them after all the hassle. My little Yamaha 8s motored my Maine Cat all the way from the Panama canal to San Diego without a hiccup. Glad to hear you are having happy voyages. Good sailing.

January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRod Jones

Thanks Rod...I will be doing a number of updates next week. Actually it turns out that the heart of the problems ended up being the lithium batteries and the battery management system. I have now tossed them out and replaced them with AGM's. A full report shortly.

February 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterWarren Matthews

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