Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bridges and Batteries

This post is out of sequence and should have been posted on 4/15/2016...not sure why it didn't post (actually, I thought it had..but don't see it or the pictures now).

Sorry it has been a while, but Internet has been spotty and we have been quite busy trying to keep Rover moving. The good news is we made it to Key Largo. The bad news is the repair plagued trip continues.

After fixing the issue with the port prop shaft slip and spending two nights in Ft. Pierce, the weather wasn't cooperating for an outside passage. The wind had picked up off shore and was stirring up the sea a bit. We decided to take the ICW south so we could keep moving. Most of this leg of the trip is a pretty straight section of the ditch down the middle of lakes and rivers just inside the coast. It wasn't until we were near Jupiter that we ran into a bunch of bridges we need to have opened in order to pass. The first three open on demand, the next were on half hour schedules.

The first three were uneventful and the tenders timed the openings so we wouldn't have to slow down. The only trouble we had was dealing with all the little weekend warrior power boaters around the Jupiter inlet that don't seem to understand the right of way rules or that boats with deeper draft than a few inches and tall masts sticking up have a limited ability to maneuver in a canal.

The boat decided to start acting up when we reached the first bridge with a schedule. We tried to time it so we would be just a few minutes early for the opening. As we approached, the port engine stalled. When I tried to restart it, I found that the battery was dead and wouldn't crank the engine.

Maneuvering or keeping a catamaran in a fixed location in a current is easy when both engines are running. It is much trickier on one engine when that motor sits out on one pontoon. We managed to circle and make it through the bridge. I fired up the generator and turned on the battery charger and was eventually able to bring the engine back to life.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We anchored in North Lake Worth, just outside of West Palm Beach. I did a little more investigation and found that the starting battery had reached the end of its life. We found a marina near a boaters warehouse and picked up two new starting batteries (figuring the other would likely go soon) and had the one replaced within a couple hours.  The weather was improving so as soon as the battery was installed, we departed. More on that in the next post.


  1. Glad you made it to Key Largo! Boats sure do like to keep you on your toes, don't they. Enjoy your time in the Keys.

    Cheers - Ellen

    1. Yes they do. Thought I had built up a few karma points with the boat given all the work we have done...but I guess not.