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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-10-2007
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To charge or not to charge

Hello
I have a Hunter 326 (2002). I have bought new batteries as the original batteries finally died. They would not hold a charge. I have a slip and AC power.

My question, with the 2 new interstate SRM27 (Type 27) batteries I bought, how should I charge them? I have on the AC side of the nav station, a charging selector.

Should I keep the charging/inverter selector enabled whenever I am in the slip (even on the weekdays I am not there)?

Or only flip the charging/inverter selector to on when I am in port. I do understand that whatever I do, I need to check the water levels of the wet cells.

Everything, except the microwave and water heater lives on the DC side of my nav station power controls. So the bilge, lights etc all use DC.

I would think, but I am not certain, that keeping the AC inverter/charger on would allow a trickle charge to keep my batteries topped off so when I go out for the day or sleep over somewhere on anchor I will have full batteries...?

Does this sound like a viable idea or a bad idea...

Ian
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Old 05-10-2007
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Ian,

First, pwning a boat, I strongly suggest you read Nigel Claders Boatowners Guide to Mechanical and Electrical Sytems (I think that is the name). Top notch book, and very detailed. It belongs on every boat that has any systems at all.

To answer your question, you should always leave the charger on. It will keep your batts charged. Get rid of those wets and put in some more wets (if you are a weekender) or agms (if you are more serious).

- CD
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Old 05-10-2007
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Ian...the first thing you need to do is to find out what is connected to that charger/inverter swi
tch! Assuming it is a modern 3 stage charger, you should leave it on all the time while at the dock. You should know how many charging amps it puts out and how to set it for different type batteries...and whether it charges BOTH batteries or just one OR how to accomplish this...(i.e. a 4 position battery choice switch.)
Assuming you will want to keep your engine start battery fully charged...a single group 27 cell is not a whole lot for any extended weekend or week long type trips, especially if you have a fridge. You may want to think about your cruising plans and weather you should expand a bit and wether the charger you have will do THAT job.
Good luck!!
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Old 05-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
especially if you have a fridge.
Do you guys leave the fridge running when not on board?
This is our first season on a slip, we have always been on a mooring can.
We are away from the boat mon through fri.
I asked a dock neighbor, and he said yes, he leaves the fridge running when away from the boat.
I'm afraid of burning out the little 12v compressor.
What do others do?
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To charge or not to charge

I do not have a fridge (cooler type thing).

I have a 4 way GUEST switch.

I do need to crawl in behind the seat to read the label on the charger/inverter and find out what manufacture it is, so I may review what it does (specs)

The cost of the sealed batteries was what steered me away them. The wife runs the checkbook.

I do not have AC, fridge, electric windlass....

All I really have is GPS, Chartplotter, ST 60 gear, and radar. The microwave is only a shorepower thing (or diesel).

Ian

Last edited by lyonsian; 05-10-2007 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortjk1
Do you guys leave the fridge running when not on board?
This is our first season on a slip, we have always been on a mooring can.
We are away from the boat mon through fri.
I asked a dock neighbor, and he said yes, he leaves the fridge running when away from the boat.
I'm afraid of burning out the little 12v compressor.
What do others do?
Simple answer: Do you like Cold Beer I leave ours on low when we leave for the week. I also bring our weekly re-stocking items to the boat in a cooler containing large plastic soda bottles full of frozen water and add those non-leaking blocks of ice to the fridge to help out the poor little compressor for the weekend
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Old 05-10-2007
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If you have a modern marine charger, leave them on as advised above. The reason you do this is to prevent the batteries from "sulfating", I believe is the term, in other words the sulphur in the sulphuric acid sedimentizes to the bottom of the case killing the battery. Sulfated batteries can be revised - best done at a battery shop - by super charging the batteries overnight.
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I'm not sure I agree...

If the owner regularly uses the boat on weekends, and simply leaves it from Monday to Friday, the only reason I can see for leaving the charger on all the time is in case the boat develops a leak requiring the bilge pump--in that case having the charger on may allow the pump to operate longer than otherwise.

If he plugs in the charger for a while on arriving Friday night, it would quickly recharge any amount that the unused batteries would have lost during the week--assuming that the owner is not using any electricity during the week (he said he doesn't have a fridge, etc.).

I personally don't like leaving anything plugged in for longer than necessary, so if it were me and the boat in good condition (ie. good seacocks, hoses checked, etc.) I would not leave the charger/inverter plugged in all week for nothing.

Just my opinion....I would be happy to have someone point out any other reasons for why this might be important.

Frank
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You have a Adlerbarbor refrigerator, right?? I thought that came standard on a 326. That windlass would not make a difference. It would run off of 12v. ANother reason to keep your charger on is that wet cells start losing their charge the second you unplug them (whehter there is a load on them or not). Also, charging takes a while if your batteries are drained. It is not like a car. Deep cycles batts require a 3 stage charge, the final stage taking a good chunk of the time. Otherwise you will sulphate your new batts and be right back where you started (getting new batts). Unless the charger is really putting juice into them, a charger on float/trickle draws very little power.

Just leave it plugged in. It is safer too, should you spring a leak and start running your bilge a lot.

- CD
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Old 05-10-2007
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No, I have a cooler, no fridge. Sniff.
However, it had full electronics so it wasn't a deal breaker. This is my first boat (that I own).
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