The day is only half over, but I'm absolutely beat. Andy from Five Star Yachting and I did the battery replacement on Zanshin. The dead battery bank consisted of 8 120Ah Exide/Sonnenschein batteries, the killed batteries have been removed and replaced with 4 220Ah Vetus batteries. The old ones were AGM while the new ones are sealed maintenance-free ones (but not AGM ones) but with the solar panels aboard I can sacrifice a bit of charging capacity and end up paying significantly less. We picked up the new batteries at Budget Marine in the morning and then spent some quality time lifting lead around. The 8D type new batteries are very heavy indeed, and the old ones got heavier during the time I had to move them around. Luckily both Andy's and my backs stayed in place during all this shifting about. The new batteries are now safely installed in the two banks and I am running the generator right now to give them their first charge to 100%. The generator has been running an hour or so and pumping 80A into the 24V bank, the bulk load is now finished and the charge is in absorption mode but still charging with 50A, so I think I still have a bit of generator time left before the bank is fully charged and my Xantrex battery monitor can synchronize. I've now started up the washing machine to keep the generator under some load and unfortunately the electric part of the water heater trips the circuit breaker, which means I need to head off to the French side home supply store to get the heating element (which I hope is standardized).
It is 17:00 and the generator is still running the first battery charge. I need to complete charging to 100% and the charge amperage is now down to 10A, but I believe it still needs another half hour of running before the monitor finally tells me that synchronization is complete. I've reprogrammed the Xantrex with the new battery details, insofar as I know them. The washing machine and drier are running so that my generator has a bit of load.
The 2015 Heineken Regatta Volunteer Party began at 19:00 at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and I dinghied over early. I was met at the door to be recognized and receive a yellow band which entitled me to free drinks at the bar (limited to products made by the main sponsor). There was an Optimist outside filled with cans of beer and if one guessed the number of cans correctly one could take the beer home. I put in a wild guess with 325 but later learned that some of the display was bulked up with some empty cartons of beer underneath the thin veneer of Heineken. And soon after the door I met Neil, who was selling raffle tickets where the proceeds were going to the local SAR agency so I decided to splurge with a $5 ticket. I didn't have the right note so ended up doing a 5 tickets for $20 deal and promptly forgot about it, since I've never won anything in a raffle or lottery in my life.
There was a series of speeches from various functionaries detailing all the hard work involved in organizing and putting together the Regatta which went on for a bit longer than necessary, but since the liquid refreshments remained free the crowd did not disperse. Once that formal part of the evening ended they proceeded to the prize giving and the first announcement was that someone had not only come close to guessing the contents of the beer Opti but had hit the number on the nose - 325! By this time I was already feeling the effects of the free drinks at the bar and was at a loss as to what I was going to do with all that beer (and how I was going to get it aboard and cool/store it). In shock, I stumbled to the front, mumbled a few words of thanks, and stumbled back out of the light. Then I was hit with the second surprise of the evening when my raffle ticket number was called and I became the proud owner of an inflatable paddleboard! Several people approached me regarding purchasing the paddleboard, but since I've been intrigued about them and heard that they are good exercise I wasn't tempted to part with my new possession. But the beer was a different matter, mainly because I don't like the taste of that particular brand. One lady approached me regarding selling the beer and I just thought that I'd be willing to pay someone to get this off my hands so my initial price of $10 was a mite low and she didn't try to negotiate me downwards at all... I reserved a couple of cases for Mark, took a six-pack for myself and the deal was done. She had organized a pickup truck within minutes and soon the Opti was empty and the liquid beverage gone.

Battery Bank 2 before change Bank 2 has 4 Exide 120A batteries installed, 2 each paralleled and then put in series to make a 24V bank.
(2015-03-11 09:59:13 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 200)
Battery Bank 2 before change
Battery Bank 2 after removal The 4 batteries from Bank 2 have been removed and the area is ready for the 2 new batteries.
(2015-03-11 10:53:53 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 200)
Battery Bank 2 after removal
Moving the heavy new batteries These 4 220Ah cells are extremely heavy and getting the trolley down to the docks took quite some doing.
(2015-03-11 09:28:48 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/200s] ISO 200)
Moving the heavy new batteries
Old Exide batteries removed These are 2 of a total of 8 120Ah batteries that were removed this day.
(2015-03-11 10:53:45 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 200)
Old Exide batteries removed
4 New batteries being transported These batteries weigh close to 60Kg apiece and were a lot of work to transport and install! Luckily I had Andy from Five Star Yachting to share the carrying work!
(2015-03-11 09:30:31 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/200s] ISO 200)
4 New batteries being transported
Battery Bank 1 before changing batteries Bank 1 has 4 Exide 120A batteries installed, 2 each paralleled and then put in series to make a 24V bank.
(2015-03-11 08:55:11 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 200)
Battery Bank 1 before changing batteries
2 new 220Ah batteries in bank 1 The two new batteries which replaced 4 smaller ones in Bank 1 and chocked in place. The plastic bag in the middle contains all of the unused cabling in case I go back to 4 batteries at some time in the future.
(2015-03-13 09:55:02 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 160)
2 new 220Ah batteries in bank 1
Battery Bank 2 - new 8Ds These 2 220Ah batteries have replaced the 4 Exide 120Ah ones, they are a bit taller and take up less space and I still need to chock them.
(2015-03-12 07:08:51 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 1000)
Battery Bank 2 - new 8Ds
Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party The volunteer party after the 2015 Heineken Regatta was well visited and there was a surprisingly large number of volunteers present. Perhaps the free beer attracted them all.
(2015-03-11 19:12:30 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 1000)
Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party
Neil at the Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party The volunteer party after the 2015 Heineken Regatta was well visited and there was a surprisingly large number of volunteers present. Perhaps the free beer attracted them all.
(2015-03-11 19:12:27 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 1000)
Neil at the Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party
Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party The volunteer party after the 2015 Heineken Regatta was well visited and there was a surprisingly large number of volunteers present. Perhaps the free beer attracted them all.
(2015-03-11 19:08:40 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 1000)
Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party
Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party The volunteer party after the 2015 Heineken Regatta was well visited and there was a surprisingly large number of volunteers present. Perhaps the free beer attracted them all.
(2015-03-11 19:08:31 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 1000)
Heineken 2015 Volunteer Party
Opti full of beer - the real winners I was fortunate enough to correctly guess the number of beers in this Opti (325 cans to be exact) but since I don't drink Heineken I sold the lot for $10 to the lucky lady in the picture.
(2015-03-11 21:22:55 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 1000)
Opti full of beer - the real winners
Opti full of free beer I was fortunate enough to correctly guess the number of beers in this Opti (325 cans to be exact) but since I don't drink Heineken I sold the lot for $10 to the lucky lady in the picture.
(2015-03-11 21:22:49 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/60s] ISO 1000)
Opti full of free beer
   
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