Pulau Tulai near P.Tioman

We have just arrived at the small village called Juara on the East coast of Tioman. this is after spending a very relaxing few days over in a lovely cove on Pula Tulai, just a few miles NW of Tioman.

You can see we went round to the NW of the island and snook into a small cove where we found a few other boats and a free mooring, usually used by dive boats, the mooring was a mass of ropes heading down 20 metres to┬ácoral rocks we couldn’t quite see. We tied up to this and chilled for a few days, it’s very safe there as long as the wind doesn’t blow from the NW, where it can get dangerous. Internet was very flakey there, in fact most of the time there wasn’t even a mobile signal. The signal isn’t much better now we have moved over to the main island of Tioman. So I can’t upload too many pictures, but I did take some great shots, and the underwater footage around the fringing reefs in the bay are great.

Telok Juara, where we are now anchored in sand in 8 metres looks lovely. We will dinghy ashore later to see if we can find any shops and somewhere to eat tonight, failing on that, it’s back to the boat for cheese butties (again).

Below is a local fishing boat that came in Tekek just before we left on Friday, it arrived with a lot of other fishing boats, just as the wind started to pipe up from the north. The wind is normally from the south here, so I wondered if they had knowledge of a storm coming in from the north. I postponed leaving for a bit to see what the wind did, however after lunch, the fishermen were all washing themselves down before donning their Sunday best, or in this case, Friday best, then a dinghy came and took them all ashore. I’m sure this was for Friday prayers, as they all arrived back in a few hours, changed into t-shirts and shorts and headed out back to sea.

Some coral from our anchorage in Tekek

Below, our anchorage in Pulau Tulai, The mooring you can see was just behind us, and three dive boats arrived and all rafted up on this mooring.

The boat nearest to me comprised of about 20 young Chinese women learning scuba dive,


Kathy seemed to like it here and came swimming on the lovely calm beach

Technically I am struggling with the boat, we don’t have enough power and we are reaching the end of the day with our batteries getting quite low on voltage. Consequently we have had to run the engine in the morning to get some power back. Especially if the day has a few overcast hours. I don’t know the history of the batteries, and as they are sealed I can’t test their electrolyte state, I think they were bought in Malaysia a few years ago, so will be of suspect quality. Then the Solar panels are very old, and one has a cracked glass panel and only produces 50% of its rated output, the solar regulator is quite old too, not the modern MPCC type. On top of that the LINK battery monitor, that tells me the state of charge, current in and out , and voltage, is flakey. It might be better when calibrated, but I thought I did that. Also I fitted the new blade to the wind turbine and it was way out of balance, not sure why, but I really should have bought two, so I could balance it better. So now I’m running with 4 blades, not six, and the wind gen doesn’t have a regulator as it was designed to, so I don’t really know what it’s contributing. Finally, the most I can get from the engine alternator is 20A, given that the invoice the PO had for the engine included a 60A alternator upgrade, I’m a bit confused. I think that may not have been fitted and has since grown legs.
Basically I need to review whole power system, replace the solar panels, controller, and maybe the batteries. I will also see about getting an alternator upgrade.
We are also getting low on water, and the only way to get any out here is to lug it in jerry cans, which we only have one of. We are currently going to a tap on the town and filling 5ltr bottles.

We will have a couple of nights here, then back to Tekek to check out of Malaysia and sail over to the Anambas Islands in Indonesia. We will be there for a few weeks I expect, and probably have very poor internet, so don’t be surprised if you don’t here from us for several days on end.

Paul Collister




3 thoughts on “Pulau Tulai near P.Tioman”

  1. Hi Paul, I’d recommend an Arduino. Aliexpress has cheap ones if you can wait that long. The Arduino has a range (six if I remember correctly) A->D ports, with a maximum voltage of 2.5v so you can divide down the battery voltage and monitor it, with all of the various systems. You could also stick an A/D port on the input to the solar regulator and also from the windgen. I’d also recommend putting a current meter across each of the switches on the main PDU and measure the actual consumption of each system. It’s useful to know, for power budgeting. Make sure you don’t do that on anything which takes 10A or more or it’ll blow the fuse in the multimeter. My preferred method is to switch the thing on and let it warm up (if appropriate). Connect the meter across the spades on the back of the switch, and then switch it off and measure the current (without the annoying surge current). You can switch the unit back on again and remove the current meter. You can program up the Arduino to record voltages over a few days, and then look at the consumption/usage and also how well the solar panels are contributing. Ideally you would measure solar/wind current as well, but without a shunt, that’s tricky.

    1. Hi Dermot,
      Yes, was thinking along the same lines. I brought out a little SBC we designed for our last project, it’s main feature is it draws less than 100uA in standby mode, even waking up every second to do checks and watchdog stuff. It has a few A/D and D/A ports, along with switches etc. I have a few hundred of these that never left the lab, so it seemed ideal, however, being on a boat is not so conducive to getting this project going. It all takes so long, and the more you work on it the more complicated it gets. Right now, I think I can do the sums in my head that says the batteries are stuffed and the solar panel is too light (no pun intended).
      The other thing I discovered today is that the Alternator gets stinking hot, and I suspect the temperature is a factor in why the output is quite low, max 25A, and I believe it’s a 60A Unit.

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