Light problem on Cal-22
Hello All, I am the new owner of an '86 Cal 22 and hope to get some advice on a problem with my lights. The boat has a single marine deep cycle battery (2-years old) that runs all the lights (running, cabin, mast, etc.). The problem is that the nav lights go dim very quickly, after 20-minutes or less, even with a fully charged battery. I assume the 8-hp Mercury outboard is re-charging the battery, but I don't know for sure. When I'm sailing at dusk or after hours I have to run the engine in neutral to keep the lights charged.
Any ideas??? I don't think it's the battery, but will get it checked. I have a solar panel to recharge, but I'm not sure thats working either. Where do I start? Any advice to a new owner is appreciated.
When you get it working, consider installing a second battery (a deep-cycle one) to act as your "house" bank. To do the job properly you should probably get yourself a book on small boat electric systems (The 12-volt Bible for Boats is a good cheap place to start). It isn't all that difficult, but having a reference will help you to avoid most of the major pitfalls. And, whether you add a second battery or not, you will almost certainly do yourself a favor by straightening up the wiring (which always seems to be a mess on older boats) and (as much as possible) cleaning any corrosion you find associated with the electrical system.
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