Travel Power swap out for a 200 Amp Bosch Alternator + Mastervolt kit. Barrus Shire engine.

***I have a kit with a 6PK poly-v crank pulley conversion so this alternator to be fitted to some other Barrus Shire.***

Narrowboat Funky Fish at Sherborne Wharf. Remove faulty obsolete Dometic 230V Travel Power replacing with a 12V 200 amp Bosch alternator, along with the full Mastervolt kit.

Modify the Bosch alternator adding a tacho feed and adapting the regulator to work with a Mastervolt Alpha Pro. Mastervolt modify the bolt-through Mercedes Sprinter version of this Bosch alternator and sell it for ~£1800- The version I fit has pivot type mounting/tensioning which is much more suited to all the engines I work on.

Setup really is awesome delivering over 250 amps under load. With the full Mastervolt setup alternator temperature is monitored and output backed off if necessary giving unstressed & reliable power. And there’s a small engine feature which limits alternator load below a preset rpm.

Fit 6* Leoch AGM 12V batteries and perfectly balance. Overall I’m really impressed with the Mastervolt system.

Obsolete 3.5 Travel Power Swap Out.

Winter work ’20/’21 on shared narrowboat ‘The Pride of York’ at Kings Bromley Marina. Boat had numerous recent repairs to the Dometic 3.5 Travel Power’s Powerbox by another company and it’s failed again. Syndicate have lost faith and decided to look at different options. Equipment on the boat is: 2.5KW Electric kettle; Washer/Dryer; Toaster; Microwave; Hoover.

I fit a 3000VA Victron Inverter. It’s permanently left switched on but setup to only work while the engine is running. All cable sizes are upgraded and a Mega Fuse and Blue Sea isolator switch installed for it.

I fit a 175A Mahle/Iskra alternator with freewheeling pulley to charge the domestic batteries/run the Victron inverter, and remove the domestic 95A Iskra. There’s a weakness in the Beta 43’s crank/front pulley setup and it’s important to limit alternator/Travel Power loads particularly at tickover. It was possible to upgrade the 95A alternator to a 175A alternator but in this setup we felt it best to use the Travel Power position which is closer to the crank.

No 12V alternator can compete with the performance of the 3.5 Travel Power so for reliability and to look after the batteries (particularly since it’s a well used share boat) some changes have to be made: 230V Kettle is removed as the boat has gas hob anyway. I fit a 1300W heater element to the Indesit Washer/Dryer & disable the dryer element.

All the other appliances can be used while engine is running but it’s important that they’re only used on their own. All new Victron equipment has a 5 year warranty which gives good piece of mind.


Engines Plus Canaline 42 Belt Issues

Engine had been recently serviced with a new alternator belt but it still squeals under high load. Problem is the 175 Amp Iskra/Mahle alternator with it’s solid pulley is too much for the 6PK belt running.

The alternator manufacturer fitted an 8PK solid pulley but engine mariniser runs it with a 6PK belt without the wrap achievable in other applications where idler pulleys/tensioners are used. Symptoms are chirping belt, need to frequently retension/replace and black belt dust. The 6PK freewheeling pulley I fit solves the issue.

Alternator bracket on the engine has to be modified to get correct alignment and everything shimmed to suit.

Customer can’t believe the difference and says it’s like a different engine.