JSW...if you don't already have an onboard charger...perhaps now would be a good time to start planning your complete electrical system so you don't make piecemeal mistakes...i.e. getting a small charger then upgrading to batteries that need a bigger one. Some questions to start the process of thinking about it:
1. How do you plan to use the boat...mostly at the dock, lots of weekend anchorages, extended cruising with lots of anchoring?
2. Do you already have A/C inlets on the boat for shore power?
3. Do you have a refrigerator/freezer that you'll want to run when at anchor and do you know how much current it draws?
4. Do you want to be able to watch TV, charge cell phones, use microwave, hair dryer etc. when at anchor.
5. What size and type batteries do you have now? What is their condition? Do you have room for more of the same size batteries or larger ones? Are they on a 1/2/Both/Off battery switch.
6. What output is your alternator and does it have a "smart" 3 stage regulator? Do you have an on-board generator? Thinking of wind or solar power additions?
Thinking about and getting the answers to these questions and others will help us better define your needs and how complicated things need to be. Never fear however...most of this work is easily accomplished step by step. As always with boats...the real pain is in the wallet!
Maybe the "Design my Electrical System" topic deserves a new thread once you can better define your needs as per the above. Should be a fun one!
Last edited by camaraderie; 09-15-2006 at 08:28 PM.