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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 05-02-2013
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Options for Charging batteries while away from the boat OR away from shore power

I'm asking for guidance on how to keep the batteries charged.

Background
We are preparing ourselves to own and maintain our first sailboat (26-28'). I've been researching batteries and battery charging but haven't been able to find an answer to my most basic question: how do we charge our batteries while we are away from shore power OR when we've left the boat in its slip for the week?

Charging While Away From the Boat
I THINK I understand that, if we have shore power at our slip, we can simply plug in a "smart" 3-stage charger and leave it to charge and condition the batteries. If we select a marina that has shore power, that is what we would do during the week while we're gone. BUT, if we don't have have shore power at our slip, we would need to take the batteries home with us. (We used to do that when we owned a tiny travel trailer, using a PulseTech Xtreme XC100 charger at home) We'd rather not do that, as we hope to have two house batteries.

What do you do when you leave the boat for a few weeks at a time during sailing season?

Charging While Away Cruising
Can we bring our Honda eu2000i generator on board with us when we're away long enough to need to recharge the batteries?

Where would you suggest/recommend we store it while we're sailing?

If you would discourage us from doing that, what are our other options? I understand the need for a 3-stage smart charger to ensure the batteries are kept in good condition, but what power source would we use to power the charger itself?

I expect that this is a really, really basic set of questions --- so basic that I haven't found an answer yet! Thanks for any help you can offer.

Regards,
Northwest Sailor
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Options for Charging batteries while away from the boat OR away from shore power

Solar - Works at the dock or when off cruising. Quiet and extremely reliable but requires "real estate" or space to mount the panels.

Alternator -
Puts the most capacity back in when away from the dock

Wind - Can work when at or away from the dock but you may get death threats if you use a cheap noisy one in a quiet anchorage or at the dock...

Generator -
Works to charge via a 120V shore charger when away from the dock (see death threats comment above) If using a portable genset you run a risk of CO poisoning so a CO detector is a must have safety item..
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 05-02-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Options for Charging batteries while away from the boat OR away from shore power

Mainsail outlines the options.

A small-medium solar system can keep your batteries topped of while you're gone. In addition to keeping them charged it also extends their life (batteries like be 100% charged).

While cruising you'll generally be motoring periodically which should be able to keep the batteries from draining.

Basically that covers it unless you're using a ton of power on something like refrigeration. I'm guessing you won't be in a 26-28' boat.
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Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Options for Charging batteries while away from the boat OR away from shore power

there is a new option too: Fuel cells

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