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Tom and Bex

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About Tom and Bex

  • Birthday 31/10/75

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  • Occupation
    Emergency Care Assistant
  • Boat Name
    Diesel & Dust
  • Boat Location

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7,447 profile views
  1. Charging of domestic batteries

    Merlin definitely know about my Smartgauge that was 0.5v out as they agreed I could return it direct to them not back to cactus navigation where I bought it from. They also denied knowledge of any others that were out but replaced mine with a brand new one (that was correctly calibrated). Mine was returned in spring, and I only thought to check it after reading of problems on here. Tom
  2. New batteries - problem

    We bought some cheapo sealed batteries in May, badged as 135ah but sceptical of that as exactly same size, style and weight as every other 110ah sealed battery. Labelled and marketed as "sealed calcium" batteries. Started having problems with them after 2-3 month's despite good solar charging through the summer. Guess they were down to significantly less than 50% original capacity (whatever that actually was). Solar controller and charger both set to sealed batteries charging at 14.4v as advised by supplier, alternator charging at approx 14.2v. Have since installed alternator controller, and changed solar settings so both now charge at 14.8v, and they now get at least weekly charge at 15.1v via generator and sterling charger. This had made a very significant difference and now getting much better performance from them. As mentioned by someone earlier, I think the added calcium in newer batteries mean they need a higher charging voltage that is not being recommended by suppliers who still stick with 14.4v max. Even when charging at 15.1v, I can still get to a tail current of 3A or less. Tom
  3. Boat stretch

    I think your prices are very reasonable even including crane prices. If we needed any major work doing on our boat you would definitely be at the top of or list. Tom
  4. Batteries not holding charge.

    I'm getting around 10A+ from our solar at the moment, but only in full sun. I do find they almost switch off completely come early November though. That's with 2 x 250w panels from eBay - solar farm seconds for £100 ea wired in series to tracer mppt controller. Panels mounted flat on the roof. Certainly kept up with fridge/freezer use over this weekend and we came back to batteries on 99% late Sunday night having left with them on 64% early Saturday. Tom
  5. Park Head, Dudley Tunnel end- ok to moor?

    We've moored there overnight a couple of times with no problems. Often see other boats moored there as well so would appear to be safe enough. Tom
  6. Incident at Fenny Marina

    I find I'm wearing my lifejacket more lately. Tend to wear it boating at night, single handing, or doing locks in the rain or icy weather. Need to start setting good example to our daughter!
  7. Deck drains - height above water

    It passed the survey so that's all they were concerned about.
  8. Deck drains - height above water

    Our previous boat passed its survey with deck drains only an inch waterline (with full water tank), and only 2" threshold at the front doors. Surveyor gave verbal recommendation to increase threshold if it caused us a problem! Caused us slight concern at first going up in locks to see water flooding the well deck when opening paddles, and coming within an inch of coming over the threshold, but not once did we ever get any water in the boat - even in very leaky locks going up. Caused us no problems in 6 years of intensive boating, but we didn't tackle any tidal waters. Tom
  9. Smartgauge Questions

    I'm sure I came back to the previous thread and said that Merlin confirmed my Smartgauge was reading 0.5v high but apologies if i forgot. They replaced it with a brand new one that had been checked by them for accuracy despite me not purchasing it through them. They also denied any knowledge of any others being out of calibration. I suspect the one on my previous boat was also wrong - I always thought it read 0.15v low but never really bothered about it. I would strongly advise that anyone purchasing a new one checks the accuracy against a digital multimeter and complains if they differ. As to accuracy when charging, both of mine have been remarkably good. The last one read 100% when the tail current had dropped to about 1.5% which I considered fairly fully charged with those batteries. This one reads 100% when the tail current has dropped to less than 0.5%, which is quite a sharp cut off with the cheapo sealed batteries I'm currently using. No real problems with solar other than if it's been a dull day and only low charging voltages via solar. In theses circumstances my Smartgauge tends to under read the SOC by up to 10% but better that way than over reading. Tom
  10. Out of water boat storage

    Debdale was a fair bit cheaper on hard standing when we were there, but yes, need to factor in cost of moving to and from hard standing, and (compulsory) pressure wash charge. Also worth bearing in mind a boat is much colder to live on in winter when out of the water. Tom
  11. Out of water boat storage

    Another vote for Debdale Wharf. Full access, shore power available, and able to stay on board if required (have to provide own steps though). All prices were on their website last time I looked. No connection, just a happy customer. Tom
  12. Traveling on a canal at night?

    As did we when wet hired in February one year. I asked what their definition of night was (they knew my previous experience), and they said as long as we had tunnel light on after dusk and could see where we were going it was fine! I suspect it's very much a hire company restriction as opposed to an insurance restriction but might be wrong on that. Tom
  13. Painting Bridges

    How are you meant to secure your boat under these motorway bridges? All the ones I've seen have concrete edges both sides with nothing to secure to at all.
  14. Mooring overnight on GU into Birmingham

    If you're at black boy I'd carry on the way you are. Personally find it a more interesting route that way. Either carry on into Birmingham (plenty of moorings) or we've moored at top of Ashtead locks overnight. Bit of a building site at the moment but sale enough. Alternatively carry on to Salford Junction and moor at Star City (secure pontoon mooring). Easy reverse back to the junction from Star City.
  15. Antifreeze

    Fully agree - be that car or boat! Also ditto central heating!