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Old 06-12-2009
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Need Battery and Charger suggestions

I am in the process of purchasing a Ranger 23. Eventually looking to do some week long cruises in it. Currently the electrical system now is non existant. So I am starting from scratch. There is a basic panel and a stereo and VHF installed now, but there is no battery installed and the charger looks all rusted out.

Many years ago I wired a similar boat with a two batteries and charger, but I have forgotten about the details. Eventually I want a two battery bank or maybe a solar panel but for now I just want to set up a basic system
  • Shore power (already have a plugin receptacle installed in cockpit and a wire that dead ends near the distribution panel.
  • Maybe a couple of cigarette lighter type outlets
  • Single battery
  • Charger
So my question are
  • Would a pair of golf cart batteries be a good fit for this setup?
  • Which ones, where to get them, how to house them, in a case?
  • Would a cheap trickle charger work for this setup just to keep the batteries topped off for short daysail use? If not what charger should I look at for this setup?
Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 06-14-2009
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Jordan, although your question is well known for many of us, the answer is just too long, as you're looking for a complete boat electrical system. I sugest you take a look at westadvisor West Marine: Home Page for free, general and basic electrical considerations. You could also visit similar boats on your area and take a look on how they did it, or even ask your yard for advice. In any case, if you don't have any good proficience on electrical basics, leave it to a professional.
Nave Rara
Beneteau Oceanis 43
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Old 06-14-2009
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On a boat that size two batteries are going to be awfuly heavy and take up alot of room. Golf cart batteries will make it even worse. I run a group 31 optima in my 20 footer and while large, it runs everything I would ever use. I bolted in a waterproof model of the "Battery tender" that puts out 800ma, and it keeps my battery topped up when I'm plugged in. The optima recovers fast, so when under power, my honda 7.5 outboard charges it also.
This works for me.

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Old 06-15-2009
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As a former owner of a 1978 Ranger 23, hull #749 out of 750 built, I can tell you what worked aboard "Blue Skies". I had a single, group 31 regular deepcycle Marine battery installed in a battery box inside the cockpit locker, on centerline, just aft of the companinway-agaist the bulkhead.THere should be a mounting platform there for the battery. You could squeeze in a second there, but probaly not needed. There is not alot of electrical demand in a boat like that. I charged mine with a small solar panel and also off a chrging coil from the 15 hp evinrude mounted on the stern bracket. If you want dockside powered chargeing, a small trickle charger like the Guest smart chrger should do fine. My boats system supported a small electric tiller autopilot, stereo, running and cabin lights, vhf and an electric faucet for the "galley" sink. I cruised extensively with this boat arounf the northeast and this boat never let me down. She is a great boat and definately one of my favorites among all the boats I have had over the years. You should also try contacting the R-23 association (hopefully they are still active) They used to publish a newsletter, and there were lots of people with plenty of knowledge about this Gary Mull design. Also, I agree with the prvious poster that if you are not familiar with electrical systems you should get professional assistance with this especially if you are going to mess with dockside current. Best of luck with your boat, Rick
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Old 06-15-2009
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Thanks for the suggestions and comments. No problem with my wiring skills, just sailboat specific knowledge is rusty. My first wiring project was my house which I did from scratch using a textbook, no fires yet and it met inspections.

Not sure if that R-23 is still in the running, there are so many boats for sale here and no one is even making offers so its definetly a buyers market. Most everything I am looking at is in need of electrical work. I have been throwing out questions to see if I need to budget 500, 1000 or $2000 for each project needed on the potential boats. Figure $600 for an electrical make over for a boat in the 20-25 foot range.

Turns out there is only one dock with shore power here so solar will be the route I am looking at and I a group 31 optima.

The R-23 is on my short list just trying to find one with a trailer that is equipped as I'd like. Fiance wants a spinnaker and who am I to argue with such a reasonable request. One thing I was concerned about the R-23 was the height of the v-birth, seems possibly clostraphobic with two people.

Thanks for the input.

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