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4788 Windless/Battery problem-gctid799763

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    4788 Windless/Battery problem-gctid799763

    I working on my list of things to fix when the boat hits the water this spring.

    I had a problem last summer that I was not able to resolve. When I ran the Windless in either direction, with the engines running, the voltage on the house battery drops so low that all my instruments shut off. I am running two quality 6 Volt golf cart batteries in series as my house battery. They appear to function normally on the rest of the boat systems, ie lights, fridge over night, etc, I put them on a separate slow charge to bring them up to full charge out of the boat. They seem to be holding a good charge. I tried to get a load test done on them but the battery shops I went to would not test them if they didn't sell them!

    There are so many possibilities of things that could be wrong, that I thought I would shout out to the members and see if anyone else has ran into this and figured out what caused the problem.

    I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Thanks

    Carlo

    #2
    I think your windlass should be connected to your starting batteries. It draws a lot of power.
    CapMartin, Montr├®al
    "Belle de Dalhousie"
    1986 3270
    Volvo BB225B

    Comment


      #3
      Was you battery cross-connect on or off? It sounds like you either have bad batteries or the windlass motor has a short in it causing the low voltage condition, similar to putting a screwdriver across your terminals... Don't do this.. If you have no other problems, take your Windlass apart and look for corrosion. Maybe see what happens when you hook it up to and independent battery?

      Comment


        #4
        first get yourself a battery tester for the boat , secondly as CapMartin said, the windlass draws a lot of power. Like most of us, we start both engines and then go right for the windlass. big drain after the starters and the windlass. could be your battery is starting to fail or maybe your alternator isnt putting out?
        Dan
        Frostbite Falls, Minnesota
        Claudia V. III
        1988 - 3218
        Gas Drives

        Comment


          #5
          Two 6 volts isn't much power especially after being anchored out a while. You need to know their state of charge before adding the windlass' draw. It appears they cannot cushion the spike the windlass creates at start-up. I prefer to wire the windlass to the starting battery but I suppose you want to live with the factory wiring. Try the windlass with electronics on after fully charging at the dock. See if it spikes when fully charged.
          1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

          Comment


            #6
            exactly and a fully charged battery is how many volts for a 6 volt battery? I know a 12 volt battery is 13 volts or better.
            Dan
            Frostbite Falls, Minnesota
            Claudia V. III
            1988 - 3218
            Gas Drives

            Comment


              #7
              +1 to #2 and #3 posts.

              Regardless of the battery state, if running the windlass affects the voltage on the house battery, one of the following 3 conditions must be true. In order of most likely cause,

              1 - Your battery switch is set to combine the house and start batteries. If you do not have a battery isolator your alternator may be connected to the COMMON post of the MBSS so whichever battery is selected by the MBSS that battery will be charged by the alternator. In this case, to charge both requires setting the MBSS to combine the two batteries. Re-configure your system and/or switch the MBSS to select the START battery when you use the windlass.

              2 - Your windlass may be wired directly to the house battery. Change this so it is connected to the start battery.

              3 - There is yet another (undiscovered) connection from your windlass and/or the battery that feeds it to your house battery. Discover and remove that connection.

              Good luck.
              Retired, computer expert / executive
              Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
              Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
              D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
              bdervisoglu8@gmail.com
              bulent@pacbell.net

              Comment


                #8
                One more thought. I have two 8D batteries. I never have a problem pulling the anchor 50 feet of chain. My engines are running and my two 8D's are cross connected on before I do this.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have had a similar issue with the voltage dropping when using the bow thruster, windless and sometimes the winch. We have four new 6v batteries and all three of these pieces of equipment are wired to the house. One thing I have found is to run the generator, especially when pulling the anchor. The alternators at idle just don't put out much charge, especially if you have Cummings with grid heaters.
                  Partner in a 1999 4788

                  Seattle, WA

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Two golf cart batteries in a 4788 isn't much of a house bank. I have eight Trojan golf cart batteries and I can draw them down in a couple of days at anchor. I like the suggestion of running the generator when you're operating the windlass with just two golf cart batteries for the house bank. The alternators on the engine are recharging the starting batteries and the Cummins engines cycle the pre-heaters on and off as long as you're below 1300 rpms, which you are when you're idling.

                    In my 4788 I have a separate start battery for each engine and the generator plus a house bank of eight 6-volt golf cart batteries. I've never had an issue with the windlass needing more power. I watch the consumption on the house batteries and charge them back up regularly before they get close to 50%. My charging system brings them up to full charge whenever I'm connected to shore power.

                    Hope this helps.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      "CapMartin" post=799776 wrote:
                      I think your windlass should be connected to your starting batteries. It draws a lot of power.
                      +1. Your alternator will keep the charge and voltage up while using the windlass this way.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Guys

                        Thanks for all your suggestions. When I get the shrink wrap off I will start an in depth look at what powers what. I really have to determine the connections of the high amperage wires to see what is being power and charged by which alternators and 110 volt chargers. This may clear up some issues. I have been toying with the idea of having only one start battery for both engines and having that battery charged solely by one engine alternator. I would take the output from the second engine alternator and charge the house battery. In addition, have the genset alternator strictly charge the genset start battery. I will have to reconfigure the 110 volt charging system for the 3 engines. I am still running the original 110 volt charger and inverter.

                        We do a number of short runs between anchorages and really never get a good charge on the house battery, so we end up running the genset a lot.

                        I do run both engines when using the windless. No problem when using the davit.

                        Thoughts and suggestions!

                        Carlo

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The Muir Cougar is a 1000W motor. At 12V that is 83.3A draw. That is a huge amount a current. No Generator or alternator could supply this current on its own. The requirements from the vendor is that at a minimum you use 3AWG cable for no more than 23' otherwise 1AWG all the way through for lengths >25'. http://www.imtra.com/COLLATERAL/DOCU...600_COUGAR.PDF.

                          Imagine that someone ran power through the same smaller wire that powers components on the house. It is okay to use the House Batteries, but that low resistance cable that moves 83A must all be passing through 1AWG cable. Otherwise, you will have your situation every time you use your windlass regardless if you are using house or starting batteries and regardless if generator or engined are running.

                          You either have a failed motor that is drawing more than 83 A causing a significant voltage drop, or you don't have the correct size cable to pass that amount of current creating a high resistance situation causing a low voltage condition. Assuming that everything was once working and that the windlass if not broken, the most likely scenario is that you have a cable connection to LUG that has come loose or is frayed. I would start tracing all your connections in your anchor locker and at the electrical panel where the windlass switch is. It could also be the wiring on the battery to put two 6v in series is not big enough...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I don't know if I am right or wrong. I have my anchor windless hooked up to its own 12v battery. The battery is located in the forward part of the boat to cut down on length of cable needed to connect from battery to windless. It has its own charger that is powered by the generator at least 4 hours a day while on the hook. It works very well. I have all chain rod.
                            Just love being on my 3870............Bill
                            1985 3870
                            Twin 130 Mits. not turbo charged
                            Name of boat is "Plenty Of Fish"
                            Live on board full time.
                            North Myrtle Beach, SC

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Lots of opinions about foward batteries near or under bunks since they have been known to explode, create flammable gasses etc. Yeah some will tell you AGM don't vent or build up pressure and that's almost true if they are not overcharged or don't have a weakness somewhere. http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/archi...-avoid-it-3930

                              is just one of many articles.
                              1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

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