Kaos after 8 months

It's been about 8 months since Kaos joined our family, and a lot of projects and improvements have happened. I've put a lot of hours on the engines, watermaker, and generator, and had the opportunity to experience her in various conditions.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://seabits.com/kaos-after-8-months/

I enjoy following your projects. Thanks for posting, looking forward to the future posts you referenced.

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Great to have an update from you. The electrical system upgrade looks awesome. I look forward to hearing more about it.

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Some of the upcoming articles on the electrical system, water system, and others are definitely of high interest for me to complete! Thanks for your kind words!

Yes, many folks have been asking about my electrical system and why I chose 24 volt over 48, what happened with the first alternator fire, and more. I hope to have that all in an article here in the next couple of weeks!

I have been finding your articles very interesting, thanks for that! Regarding your electrical installation, would you mind sharing some of your Victron settings especially ones for veconfig? I was just recently up in Desolation Sound and between generator and shore power issues, I’m trying to narrow down what best settings might be. Looking over VRM data I saw shore power dips at one location below 54 hz, causing issues with disconnects etc.

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There’s a decent amount in veconfig for various different products. Are you specifically looking for information for the inverter side of the world? Those settings would also be dependent on which model of inverter, how many, and your battery bank and input side of the world. I could post what I have, but it might not make any sense without all of that background which isn’t just a few paragraphs :slight_smile:

Based on the wake in the 17 kts picture, I’d say that’s definitely on plane. As far as fuel burn, I’d be surprised if you’re doing better than 0.5 nmpg at that speed.

For slow speed, fuel burn and wake would likely be significantly reduced at 8 kts (compared to the 9.5 - 10 mentioned in the writeup). You might need to run the engines up periodically to avoid them loading up at slower speeds like that, however.


It might help to share the issues I am having.
I have a Quattro and 3x Battleborn GC3 with a Lynx shunt, with a few other bits (Phoenix inverter) due to some 230v devices in this boat. In addition, I have a 9kW Koehler generator . Shore power is 50a. Both run through the Quattro.

When connecting to shore power at a dock, the Quattro often disconnects and reconnects a few times in a row - usually when first connecting. Looking this up, it seems it is having problems synchronizing. I found a FAQ from victron that discusses disabling UPS functionality as well as playing with the scale factor, weak ac etc. I don’t think I ever get 50a from shore power at most docks, so I just use 30a or less. Doesn’t help with the initial connection, but that seems to help with losing power at random times. An example- At Toba wilderness all was fine until one evening when the frequency dropped to 54hz at input AC! So was looking for your settings that keep you operating most of the time. Adjusting these values with VEConfig on the fly can be a pain (having to disconnect VeBus controller etc)

Secondly, when on generator- and sometimes shore- I have issues with the induction cooktops (and occasionally other devices) losing power and restarting… I can’t seem to see anything in the vrm that corresponds to this issue. This never happens when inverting without the generator running, and the UPS function didn’t help either on or off.

Since you likely dock at similar moorages with similar issues , I was curious what your settings are!


Yup! I’ve actually done some basic data gathering at 8 knots and it is much more fuel efficient, but it is not as comfortable. The additional burn at hull speed (about 9.7 knots) is worth it to me for the extra speed and comfort. This is similar to the process/burn/data on my previous boat Rendezvous, and other boats I have had in years past.

It sound like something a bit more serious is happening. I’ve been to a number of docks up here both with this boat, and my previous two boats with similar equipment, and never had the types of issues you’re talking about at multiple places.

Without knowing a bit more about your setup including the size/type/AC power of the inverters, how the shore power and generator power wiring is connected and any devices or things in between them, it will be hard to know exactly why this is happening.

There are definitely docks where voltage and frequency sags happen, and in those cases, the inverter will flip into various modes or simply stop using the source AC power. I don’t see it happen constantly except where there are poor overall electrical systems, and then most systems won’t work at all.

But like I said, I’ve been to a number of docks up here over the last 10 years with Victron stuff and not had continual issues over and over.

Many people put in an isolation/boost transformer in place before other devices if they are traveling to places with wildly varying input power, but that isn’t something I’ve seen absolutely required here in BC as much as it used to be.

It almost sounds like your input wiring into the inverter, and potentially the output wiring, might have something going on with it. I’ve always been able to get nearly the max amperage of input power into my Quattros as long as the dock power has reasonable frequency and voltage. The reason I say this is that the fact you have issues with induction while running on generator leads me to believe some of the wiring or devices in line before the inverter are at fault. When you are on dock or generator power, the inverter goes into pass-through mode and won’t get actively involved unless something gets out of spec.

Ultimately it sounds like a diagram and review of how things are connected, including product models and details, would help to troubleshoot the problem.


Thank you for the response! I thought that everyone must have shore power issues up and down here (Lopez, Gabriola, Toba were most recent). On the Generator side, the Victron folks have a faq (link at bottom) about common issues with generators so I thought I just had one of those flaky generators. It’s nice (!?) to hear that my boat wiring might be the problem ! :slight_smile:

I redid the battery DC side when I installed the 3x 270AH Battleborns and found a few issues (shunt for monitoring was set up incorrectly so that not all charge flowed through it, firmware was really out of date on everything, charge profile for batteries were wrong, and batteries were installed so that the closest battery was over used and over charged etc causing earlier failure). I upgraded some things on that side as well and it seems to be working flawlessly off battery power and charging seems to be fine as well.

Your comments and my experience with the DC side have me agreeing that there must be AC side issues as well. I’ll try to dig into that a little more, starting with the shore power and generator connections to the Quattro. After that, it’s going to get complicated really quickly - it’s a used boat and the wiring looms are quite complicated and I don’t have documentation.

One additional data point that this reminds me of - when we installed our water maker, the electrician said it wouldn’t work through the Quattro, and they spoke to Victron and couldn’t resolve it. IIRC, something about the waveform or amperage at startup? At the time I was working at AWS and well…super busy…so I didn’t get details. They direct wired to generator and shore with one of those ‘shore or generator’ marine breakers I have to manually switch. I always felt they didn’t understand the Quattro and like I said earlier, the firmware was super out of date and didn’t include the ‘power assist’ functionality, which IMHO may have resolved it, or points to AC issues. (as an aside, I think that Chris + Cherie of Mobile Internet Resource Center got this feature included)

As for equipment - the main device is a Quattro 12v 5k (ran 2x 4/0 to house bank) with latest firmware. This manages the AC 1 and AC 2 devices and I can adjust input amps via the Digital Multi Control. It is connected to a Color Control GX Panel and I publish to VRM. A Victron Centaur charger (120v) handles charging for the Thruster(s) and Engine(s) battery banks and can run off Quattro inverter.

DC runs to 2* Victron 230hz Inverters (Phoenix) which handle the EU microwave and washer/dryer. They work fine and are off most of the time w/ remote switch. Obviously they do not run off shore power at all - only from inverter.

Boat has solar and has an older Victron MPPT charger which charges house bank. DC house bank goes through Victron Lynx power-in and the corresponding Victron 1000A shunt for all discharge/charge.

Generator is a 9 KW Kohler. Induction grill and stove are both Kenyon.

Victron Faq about generators:



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Sounds like a deeper dive into the whole system might be needed. An electrician can help with this, sometimes, depending on who you can get, and how deep they go. Regardless, it sounds like something funky is going on with the wiring or AC side that could be causing these problems.

Thanks for the update. I also use N2KView and love the configurability. I noted on your N2KView screenshot your 24v house voltage was showing 13.1v. I suspect you have the wrong parameter defined for this element. If accurate you’d want this reading definitely to show in red.

This is a bug with Victron / Maretron in the way one handles instances with the other. Victron is sort of the culprit, but Maretron also has some really broken ways of dealing with system versus device instances, which means if you have multiple battery banks, Maretron randomly chooses a different one :slight_smile:

I have a Victron Cerbo GX and I was able to get the instances working properly in maretron. I have my house bank as instance 0 and my start battery as instance 1 and N2KView has been consistently reporting the correct values. I did initially have conflicts when my Yacht Devices J1939 device was reporting conflicting instances so turned off battery reporting for this device and all is working fine.

Yup, if you have one device it is pretty easy. I have a Cerbo GX, several shunts, two BMS’s, and a couple of distribution busses, plus 2x Inverter/Chargers, each which report battery instances. Some communicate across NMEA 2000, so turning that off breaks the integration. A lot of other folks have had similar issues with Victron to Maretron, and there are some hacks that help, but ultimately there are some bugs that we need to have them fix before it will work right in Maretron.