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Old 09-15-2006
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Electrical System Upgrade...

Moving this from another thread where we got off topic!

Question from camaraderie was to examine my needs so that we can design an electrical system to meet our needs.

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?


What I do know...
1. At first we'll use the boats for weekends, as the rest of the family learns to sail and I refresh with some ASA courses. We would like to do a week or two along the ICW, but, owning a business...who knows if we can do that next spring/summer/fall or not. My dream of a trip all the way south and then a couple of months in the Bahamas...probably awhile off (sadly).
2. There is an inlet for shore power. Just one that I know of, in the cockpit.
3. No fridge, although I'd really like to get one. I don't know that converting the icebox is do-able since the Newport 33 forums seem to indicate both a significant lack of insulation AND a very hard time getting to the outside of the box to improve that. And it's in a very stupid spot (my basic method for removing things from it is to kneel on the stovetop and dive in headfirst...and I'm 5'7"!). I'm looking at more "portable" ones, but haven't given that full attention as it's a spring/summer issue (except, I guess, if I'm redoing the electrical system!).
4. Microwave...maybe. Cell phones...definitely, as long as we own a business and have a full time working but live-at-home child. Hair dryer...heaven forbid! Coffee maker...ABSOLUTELY.
5. 2 brand new batteries. From the invoice: Trojan Deep Cycle Marine Grade Battery 24SM-850. (That tells me so much...) They are on a 1/2/Both/Off switch. They are under the seat, and there's a built in space for them, but it's compartmentalized with wood so it can be redone and there's plenty of storage area here.
6. New alternator, too. Westerbeke 39139. No idea on the other questions about it. Wouldn't mind a generator or alternate power, but none onboard right now.
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Last edited by jswwrites; 09-15-2006 at 08:46 PM.
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