Adding a battery charger
So it just dawned on me, while re-reading my survey, that the boat we just bought does not have an AC battery charger. It never occured to me that the boat (1984 Sabre 34) would not have one. Here's what it does have:
2 relatively recent deep cycle house batteries, each in a separate bank, standard 1/2/BOTH/OFF Switch, and upgraded Balmar alternator with regulator.
The boat also has a shore power hookup and panel, but it appears this is currently just set up to power the AC outlets on board. No battery charger.
I would like to add a charger. I would also like to avoid going nuts in the process with a ton of new equipment (we have other priorities). However, I would like to do this the smart way--at least make the best of the situation of not having a charger, and add one properly. Any recommendations on how to go about this?
FYI, we're weekend and summer cruisers on the Chesapeake Bay, so the boat will spend most of the week at the marina hooked up to power, but when we're crusing we don't go to marinas much. Also, currently the power demands are relatively low on board--we don't even have refrigeration. Eventually we'll add refrigeration, but we'll also be moving to LED lights, etc. I'm trying to keep power demands reasonable. We don't have a microwave, TV, or coffee maker or any of that stuff and don't plan to.
Please let me know if you have any recommendation on configuration, or if there is a resource I should read myself. Happy to do that of course.
1984 Sabre 34 Mk I