[C38] Electrical System Troubleshooting

Don Strong drstrong at ucdavis.edu
Tue Jan 22 12:07:04 EST 2019

Jay: Weird but not surprising. Wiring on a 30 year old boat in salt 
water is bound to be weird. I could tell tales. Corrosion in wires and 
connectors that is not readily visible was be a cause in many of my 
challenges. I will be interested in hearing the cause of your distress.
Don Strong
C38 San Francisco Bay

On 1/22/19 8:47 AM, Jay Sorensen wrote:
> G'Day All,
> We've owned Broad Reach, a 1985 C38 with a fairly standard electrical 
> system for about 6 years.  I've diagnosed several electrical issues to 
> date but this one is something a little different.  I replaced our 
> aging starting battery with an AGM group 24 battery on Saturday.  
> During our outing on Sunday our engine started fine with Battery #1 
> (AGM starting battery), but when attempting to turn on any system via 
> the panel there was no power.  Try battery #2, no power.  Try "Both", 
> no power.  Check the battery voltage using the panel voltmeter, no 
> power shown at the voltmeter while the engine was running. Come back 
> to the dock, stop the engine, voltmeter shows 12+ volts power at the 
> panel from both batteries at the voltmeter.  With shore power on the 
> panel will power up when jumping to the battery charger cables running 
> to the battery switch.  Panel will not power up when powered directly 
> to either main battery cable.  Battery cables showing 0.1-0.2 Ohms of 
> resistance but I'm not sure if that is normal.  Turned off shore 
> power, started motor again with switch to #1, started fine, alternator 
> is charging fine.  Weird.  Next I'll try jumping directly to the 
> batteries and bypass the cables but it seems odd that both cables are 
> having issues when they show good voltage.  Frustrating!  Any 
> suggestions??  Maybe something where the engine electrical system 
> interacts with the system power panel inputs??  Many 
> Thanks!...............Jay
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Donald R. Strong
Department of Evolution and Ecology
The Bodega Marine Laboratory,
University of California, Davis,
Davis CA
530 752 7886

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