Day 3: STT-NYC April 27 @ 12:00 EDT

Blue Note
Marco M.
Fri 27 Apr 2012 16:10
Date: Friday 27/04/11 - Time: 12:00 EDT
Position 25:08.23N  68:00.09W
COG 332M, SOG 7.5 kt, Wind 72M 13 kt, Barometer 1018.8 stable
Temperatures: Air 25.2C, Sea 20.2C
Last 24h Sailed Distance: 174 NM
Sailed distance since departure: 450 NM
Time since departure: 3d 2h 00m
Average Speed since departure: 6.08 kt
Intention: sail to NYC
Distance to End on track: 1052 NM  - Distance to End on rhumb line: 983 NM
ETA: Friday 5/4/12  @ 17::00 EDT
Detailed Track (50 is the maximum number of point, i.e. once the last point reaches 50, the last point always is 50):

We had a beautiful fast sailing day yesterday and last night. All resulted in a "last 24h sailed distance" of 174 nm.
Wind was up to 20 kts with gust to 25 kts and we sailed on a close reached with a rolled jib to 100% and two reefs in the mainsail and still hull speed. The ride was a bit bouncy with 6ft waves washing on the bow, so not much reading or emails yesterday ....
However that did not prevented us from enjoying the mahi-mahi cooked in a pan and served with rice.
Not the sophisticated meal that we know is taking place on Passepartout on her way to the Azores but nevertheless a good meal.
This morning the sun is back and the wind decreased a bit to 12 kts, therefore we shook down all our reefs and even have our staysail out.

We had a bit of unwanted excitement last night when at 4am I decided was time to charge the batteries.
Well, the engine did not wanted to crank at all. At first I thought was a faulty solenoid, but after opening the engine door and inspected that all the rest was ok, we tried again and I could ear the click of the solenoid.
I think that the battery were just a bit too low (discharged to only 55% according to my battery monitor, but the voltage was barely 12V). I have to confess that I am always running all battery, including the starting battery in parallel. Not sure I will do that again, but my  thinking was that the risk of forgetting to switch to "both" during charging and switching back to "house" while not charging was too much to fuss around. I thought that by monitoring the discharge state I was safe.
Yesterday I noticed that the starter battery ground is not connected to the resistor terminal of the battery monitors, however I'm including the starter battery in my battery bank calculation. Therefore the battery monitor is under-estimating my battery bank charge stage.
Eventually the engine started after 1) turning off refrigerator and autopilot. 2) hand cranking few times.  Perhaps the hand cranking had the effect of reducing the peak current required for the starter motor.

So all good is what ends well.
In the worse scenario, we could have hand steer until this morning and let the solar panel charge the battery and then try again
to start the battery.

My lesson learns are:
1) I'm more convinced that before to install a wind generator. With a wind generator the boat will by energy self-sufficient and the battery will hardly be ever depleted.
2) I think it's a good idea to have a small AGM starter battery stored in a locker to be used as emergency jump-start.
3) I'm reconsidering the decision to keep all battery in parallel. It's definitely safer to have separated circuits for starter and house (the boat even has two circuits for house-bank 1 and house-bank 2) but it's very un-convenient plus every battery/bank will be at a different charging stage and will not get the optimum charging conditions from either the solar power MPT or from the engine alternator. I think action 1 and 2 will allows to "safely" keep all battery in parallel. But my final decision on this one is till on hold.