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Old 06-02-2013
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Need a charger, what do I need to know?

I need to get a charger for my boat, want to make sure I do it right, but not overkill it. How do I figure out what I need? Also may need a new battery soon, but not sure, current battery is an Autocraft automotive about 6 years old I believe.

There is 30 amp shore power available.

Electrical needs:

At present:
4 cabin lights
Running Lights
Deck lights
Stereo

Plan on adding:
Depth finder
Couple of 12v outlets to charge phone, laptop


Uses:
Daysails and weekends, so most usage for a couple nights on the weekend, then at least 2-3 days or more to charge back up. It's a 1980 O'day 23, with everything still original as far as I know, so no LEDs. And anchor light at present is an oil lamp hung on the forestay.
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Old 06-02-2013
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Re: Need a charger, what do I need to know?

I have a 1977 O'Day 22, with the same electricity usage. I bought a ProMarine ProSport 12 and mounted it above the battery on the port lazarette wall. I just plug it in to the outlet on shore, and charge overnight. The model I bought can charge two batteries at once, which I haven't tried yet.
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Old 06-02-2013
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Re: Need a charger, what do I need to know?

Thanks. Does just plug into a regular extension cord?
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Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Need a charger, what do I need to know?

I just went through the same process. I ended up getting the same charger surfnsail got. Haven't installed it yet cus I've been on the road but seems to fit the bill from my research.

So the way I understand it, a good rule of thumb is to have a charger that charges at about 10% of the bank in amp hours. My 2 batteries combined are 160 amp hours so 16 amps would have been ideal. I think 20 amps might have been too much so I aired on the side of caution went with the 12 amp.

PorFin broke down the key questions for me in my post last month:

"1. What is the battery chemistry? (flooded, gel, AGM?)
2. What is the bank capacity in amp hours at the 20 hour rate?
3. Are there any loads on the batteries while you are away from the boat? (i.e., are you leaving a fridge running or something else that will draw juice out of your batteries?)
4. How much money are you looking to spend?"

Battery Charger Recommendations

This tutorial from mainesail helped alot:
Installing A Marine Battery Charger Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

Also Don Casey's book Sailboat Electrics Simplified is helping a lot too.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Need a charger, what do I need to know?

10% of bank size is minimum. A charger cannot be too large as the batteries determine acceptance, not the charger.
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Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Need a charger, what do I need to know?

Is the only downside to going with a smaller charger just that it will take longer to charge? (assuming you don't have a large load on while you are away)
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Re: Need a charger, what do I need to know?

The West Advisor: Battery Charging
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Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Need a charger, what do I need to know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by surfnsail View Post
I have a 1977 O'Day 22, with the same electricity usage. I bought a ProMarine ProSport 12 and mounted it above the battery on the port lazarette wall. I just plug it in to the outlet on shore, and charge overnight. The model I bought can charge two batteries at once, which I haven't tried yet.
Does the Pro Sport 12 work ok hooked up to just one battery? Been looking thru my manual before I head up to install it and it looks like is has to go to 2 batteries or it will fault.
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