Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
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The battery near the windlass is a good idea. The solar panel is a good idea. The not running cables from the stern to the windlass is a bad idea. Having the solar panel and the battery means that you can run smaller cables, but the battery should probably be connected to the house bank as well, to allow it to charge suffciently.
Here's my reasoning.
1) Windlasses are very high current drain devices. If you need to lower/raise the anchor more than once, the solar panel is very unlikely to be able to top the battery off properly, meaning that the battery will likely not be fully charged, and will have a much shorter lifespan due to insufficient charging. The larger the battery, the more likely that a solar panel will not be able to sufficiently charge it.. but the more useful the battery will be.
2) If you don't run cables from the house bank up to the windlass battery and you have to raise the anchor more than once because it didn't set properly, the chance of you having enough power to do so is going to be pretty low, unless you've got a really large battery up near the bow. If that's the case—see my first point.
Sizing the battery to put up at the bow has to be balanced between providing enough power to work the windlass, and keeping the weight down to a practical minimum. The windlass you've mentioned draws 45Amps under use...
I would recommend getting an AGM battery for the bow windlass battery, as it can take a charge faster than wet cells, is less likely to be affected by salt water, and can be mounted in more positions, giving you far more flexibility in mounting it.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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