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Old 01-20-2009
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Jos,

I would buy a charger to meet what you think your needs will be 5 years from now...not just for next year. You should buy one which has multistage charging, and an equilization feature at least, so it helps you batteries last through the many cycle you recharge them. Many people make the mistake of not equalizing their batteries once a month therefore limiting their life.

We bought a Truecharge2 40 amp charger by Xantrex for $280 from sailnet and are very happy with it. It has all the features above plus it is a three bank charger.

Being able to recharge a larger amp hour battery bank in a smaller amount of time is why we went the 40A route as oppposed to 20 or 12 amp charger. The first stage of battery charging will only charge your battery to 80%. usually you do not discharge your batteries under 60%. We have 660 amp house bank. *80% is 528amp, and 60%is 396. So to get from 60% to 80% takes 261 amps or 6.5 hours charging with a 40 amp charger. I am not evebn concerned with the float stage (the next 20% as the charge is dropped down. There will copme times in the next few years you will want to use your boat for longer trips and add refrigeration which will use at least 80 amps a day so you will increase it battery capacity over what you have. You may decide to stay one noght in a marina to charge and need the capacity renewed as quickly as posssible.

Research this well before buying and look ahead to your future uses. It will save you from buying another charger ina couple years.

Dave
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