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Chris444 02-10-2011 10:01 PM

Living aboard in FL
My name is Chris and i'm new to this forum and thread stuff. Anyway, i'm a converted power boater 38' Chris Craft, to a 35' John Allmand tri-cabin with a 4'2" shoal draft and a 29hp Yanmar. I had lived off and on, on the Chris Craft for 3 years. The last about 5 months full time. Stayed in a hotel for 3 weeks after I sold the Chris Craft and semi- out fitted the John Allmand. (new floors, heat and air, Cleaned it up a bit) I've been onboard now since July, (about 8 months) and enjoy it. I have a lot of questions about how to continue to out fit it, and many more about cruzing.
I've boated for 20+ years, i'm 39 years old. Sailed my young adult life, small boats (sunfish, lazers, Etc.) nothing over '24. I was a member of the Coast Gaurd Aux. (coxswain, vessal inspector, VFC, Etc.)
I try to sail most weekends, weather permitting, and i'm always tinkering about. I'd like to sail the FL Keys, Bahamas, and beyond. I thought the John Allmand was a great start. The beyond part I might need a different boat.
Well, that's me in a nut shell. I guess it's time for a question.
I'm have a hard time making up my mind on what type of electrical system to go with. Currently I have a 120v panel and a 12v panel. Two battery banks, one is 2-125ah deep cycles (250ah new), the other is 2 750cca starting batteries. I have a 120v 10amp charger 5/5 and a 50amp alt. on the yanmar. I'm just day sailing now but when it warms up I want to extend that to 2-3 day trips and maybe 2-4 weeks before hurricane season.
Do I increase my alt. to 80amps, put a wind gen. or solar panels? How about a 3 or 4 kw gen.. should I add more bat. to my 250ah bank or set up 3 bat. banks. I would like to put a small inverter on for TV and music, etc..
Just the first of many questions. I guess it's multiple questions. I was spoiled on the Chris Craft, 7.5kw gen., 10-6v bat. to power a 2500w inverter, three chargers, 20gh watermaker, holding tank and eletrasan, a heafty fuel bill, on and on. Now I have a fresh start. I want to do it right for what i'm going to do. Weekend and 2-4 week cruzing.
I apprecate any and all input.
Thanks in advance,
(please excuse the spelling and grammer mistakes!! Can't find spell check!)

CaptainForce 02-11-2011 06:25 AM

By far, your greatest power need while cruising and living on the hook will be refrg/freezer. Unless you are stoic enough to do without, great care and effort should be put to the best insulation for the box and a low power use cold plate. Many, like me, use one of the 12VDC systems with the small fan for heat exchange on a Danfloss compressor. My choice was a Technautics "cool blue", but it's served me well for about 15 years. There may be a newer technology now. Of course, whatever you find that works at 12VDC can be supported by your shore power when at the dock. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

Chris444 02-11-2011 07:44 AM

cold blue
Does your system make ice as well as refrigerate?

CaptainForce 02-13-2011 06:15 PM

I do not have a dedicated "ice maker", but the containers of water that I place on the freezer side of my box do freeze. The "cool blue" system, as many other cold plate systems, is set with a cold plate on the freezer side of the box with a dividing wall with an air flow exchange to the warmer refrigeration side of the box. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

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