Functional & comfortable but minimizing outfitting expenses... that is a paradox, I am afraid. Now stand back boys, pull out the check book, and let's talk turkey!!:
1) Daily power usage: About 140 AH/day conservative with no watermaker, 160 - 180 with. I think Cam (and my boat, a Catalina 400 with two kids, wife and worthless old dog) use the later pretty religously.
Offshore you will use the high end of that scale (or beyond) and will likely run the Genny a lot (if you do not have one). Otherwise, you will be running the main a whole lot. I think the radar
pulls about 5ah, and chart 4-5. Autopilot
, assuming you are in calm seas, about the same. If you get in a storm, a whole lot more. Check you books for more info on that.
2) Battery type, size, etc: THis is a very debated subject on this forum. No one is alltogether wrong or alltogether right (well, except me of course, I am perfect). So, here is my philosophy: Bloody batteries are your lifeline (no pun intended). DOn't skimp. With that large of a boat, I would have close to 1000 AH and a seperate start battery. 4-4D's or 8'D's would give you about 500 AH useable. That is about 2-2 1/2 days between recharging, assuming no outside power sources and everyone remembers to turn off the lights
. Not all batteries are created equal... especially (ESPECIALLY) AGM's and gells. I have had outstanding service with Lifeline AGM's. There are some advantages to buying wet cells, but I really don't care to name them because I think an AGM far outweighs them (the exception maybe being a really high end wet... maybe like a ROlls or other commercial batt... but if you don't like the prices of AGMS, you really won't like the prices of those). SO, buy your batteries once, and buy the good ones. Go Lifeline AGM.
3) Refrigeration. Do you need it? I sure do. But you know what, the sailors of old traveled the seas with salted meat and ate month old apples. Didn't use toilet paper either. So ask yourself, do you fall into the "No-toilet paper" category or do you fall into the "I think I will have some level of civilization and comfort on my boat" category. I have two boys and a wife I love. I want to keep them. Thus, I chose the later.
As far as draw, about 50ah/day. That was included in the budget I gave you earlier.
4) Best means of recharging? All of them have a place on a boat with the budget. I am NOOOO fan of the portable gas generators. Used one once. Then realized I would prefer to have it as an anchor
versus litening to that piece of crap all night (not to mention having to fill it up with gas, hauling it up on the boat, looking like a camping trailor on the water, etc). I bought a good diesel genny. I have used Matervolt and Fisher Panda. They are both good, but the Master seems the best at this point.
AH/Day - How much diesel do you have?
Solar. I use 4-Kyocera 130's and a Outback MPPT Charge Controller. THere are others. I wont regurgetate everything that has been said on many other threads (including one that is active right now on Gear and Maintenance), but don't skimp and buy cheap ones. You will hate them and they won't work right. If you go solar, do it right. ICP and Kyocera seem to have the market.
AH/Day. With 4 Kyoceras and the Outback, over 100, less than 200. Depends on the clouds, temperature, etc.
Wind. I bought a Air-X. Some people love them, some hate them. It is without a doubt the cheapest source for power, but it obviously is going to be worthless on light air days.
AH/Day - Who knows... depends on the wind. ABout 7-10 Kts minimum. If it blew all day, over 100 but less than 200.
A high-output Alternator (100-120 minimum with 4-D's) with a multicharge controller. Balmar seems to have this market. If you have a cheap alternator, pull it off and stick it in the hold (as a back-up) and go buy a good one with a Multistep Charge Controller.
5) Book reccomendations. Ahh, you want details? Let me point you to Nigel Calder's book on Mechanical and Electrical Systems. It will give you more details than your brain can absorb. That book has a place on every boat, along with a DVD of Captain Ron and a little Marley/Buffet.
1) Diesel Genreator: About $15,000. This probably does not include install. DO it yourself.
2) Solar: You can get out for less than $4500-$5000 if you already have the arch. No arch? Tack on another 3-4 grand.
3) Wind: About $1,000.
4) High Output Alternator and Charge Controller. ABout $1,000.
5) Nigel Calder's book. About $30.
6) The hospital bill after you read this thread: Priceless.