Join Date: Nov 2006
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That battery thing
I've been out of sailing a while, but now I'm upgrading a Nicholson 32 for my cruising purposes and am pondering the battery situation. On my previous boat, I had a dual-output alternator and was quite satisfied, but now I'm trying to save money by basically going with what I have, which--I'm happy to say--includes a Freedom 12-25 inverter/charger and an Arco M65 solar panel.
After reacquainting myself with the basics and following a lot of threads here, this is, simply put, what I'm thinking of doing: installing a large "house" battery bank into which both the AC charger and the solar panel connect. It would, in practice, be the only battery bank on the boat and serve for starting as well as house power. But not really. I'd also connect, via the old 1,2,Off switch, to a designated starting battery. I would never bring this batter online, however, except in an emergency. I could charge it occasionally with the engine, and, as a failsafe, I'd hook it to a solar trickle-charger.
I know there are a lot of fine engineering minds out there who will want more specifics, but suffice to say, the house bank will be about 200 amp hours. Off the grid, it will serve mostly lights, boat electronics, one inverter outlet for charging a laptop and one inverter outlet for the very occasional hair dryer and curling iron to entice distaff crew members aboard.
Am I on the right track? Thanks.