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  #11  
Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

Ok, you need to charge your battery ,Best off, the outboard so you need charging and likely you want electric start ! You should plan on two batterys and Led's all around. Running 110 volts aboard you need to be realistic as how much you need. Why a refrigerator? how do you intend to you the boat?...Dale
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

Welcome aboard.
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Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

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Originally Posted by Lake Superior Sailor View Post
Why a refrigerator? how do you intend to you the boat?...Dale
It's an upgrade I plan to add later, mostly because I can get one for next to nothing if not free. I have a connection with a manufacturer. Not really something I require. I suppose it would be nice for week long sailing vacations, right?

My last boat was a daysailer, so this is all new territory for me.
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Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

I think it's a sail boat first, and by the time you put a refridgerator, solar panels/wind generator, and a lot of other stuff, you lose sailablity! Your boat and mine are not that big, You, at best only have a outboard to replace power. The ice box in my boat gets me by well, I freeze up blocks at home. At the expense of solar cells you could get a small generator and would find it would be cheaper,And you could get it out of your way! Shore power will be good and a battery charger. By the time you get the basic safety stuff on the boat you will be full....Dale
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Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

Good points, Dale. I'm certainly at a stage where I want to soak up as much practical knowledge as possible. I tend to look at what's possible rather than practical at times.

My list of things to do are more realistically:
Get an outboard motor
Inventory safetly equipment and fill gaps
Fill the ice box and go sailing
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Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

Welcome aboard Ryan.
I just did a Coronado 25's systems last summer, here's one of my blog posts about it:
Journey in Patience: Electric Spaghetti
The owner was/is on a tight, small budget, if he can do it so can you. The C 25 is a good boat for basic sailing.

Basically you have the right idea, and good priorities.
The space under the aft dinette seat has all the room you need for two batteries.
We ripped out the original 4 switch panel and put in a lit LED panel with 6 switches and a 12 v plug.
There is a ground bus bar on the aft wall of that space, use it or put another one there.
Run your batteries neg to the bus bar, and all your neg 'appliances' (lights etc.) to that bar and all the positive wires to the out side of the switch.
Then run a wire from the battery to a 'Guest' type 1 -2 - off switch conveniently located where you won't kick it. Pick 1 or 2 for the battery and hook it to the in side
From the output side run a wire to the 'in' lug of the panel.
Run all your lights and such to the switch and that's it.
We (he) decided on
Nav lights
cabin lights one (galley)
cabin lights two (dinette)
Cabin lights fwd (v berth/head area)
Electronics (depth/fish finder)
Entertainment/radio

In the process he pulled literally every piece of teak off the boat took it home and revarnished. Painted the forward bulkhead eggshell white and the frame of the galley the same (drawer face teak was refinished). All the original vinyl came out and got replaced - and the cabin ceiling plywood too, then re-covered.
Doing that cost maybe 150 bucks and made the boat look NEW, also gave him insight as to where and how to run the wires.

He put CFL's in for lights (LED was out of his budget) - one over the sink, one over the dinette and one that lit both the vberth and the head.
He also mounted a digital voltmeter right next to the electric panel.

For 110, he just runs an extension cord to his charger, no boat mounted systems at all.
He put a b/w lowrance depth/fish/chart unit on the cockpit bulkhead, stbd side, VHF is under the companion way, and stereo is in the cockpit locker, stbd side aft (it's water tight).
All the deck hardware came off, got the butyl tape treatment and back on with new bolts and washers, backing plates that show in the cabin were done with nicely routed teak squares.

Just fwiw, that 5hp will do in flat water, I'd go with at least a 8hp. It will fit.

I'm available by PM if you need.
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I'm available by PM if you need.
This is incredibly helpful. You'll probably hear from me when I start the project. Thank you!

I close on the purchase in 2 weeks. Can't wait.

I have a lot of questions, and will read your blog before I bug you with them.
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

We have 2 boats and the one we have had the longest and will probably keep the longest is our 26' MacGregor classic. We have been out on her for as long as 2 months and can go over a month with out restocking food, water or fuel or visiting a pump-out. We have a 12 volt fridge and now 200 watts of solar that provides over 90% of our power needs and the remainder comes....



...from a 12 volt gen-set I made.

With that said here is a link to our site where you will find most all of that documented.....

Macgregor 26S Index

...hope it helps some and have a great time with the new boat,

Sum

Our 37 Endeavour --- Our 26 MacGregor --- Trips With Both

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  #19  
Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

I have been using solar power at home and aboard boats for several years now. A solar panel is a great way to charge batteries on board. They are quite and dependable. I have used stern rail mounts and cabin top installations. (Current boat has one over the main hatch, provides a bit of protection from the weather which is nice because I don't have a doger.)
Last year I had an alternator fail and my panel ran the boat electrical system for 2 weeks. I use a 60 watt panel with a charge controller.
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Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Who knows Solar Power?

A few thoughts...

I wouldn't worry much about a fridge unless you are going to be cruising some distance. They are power hogs. A good ice chest and block ice can last five days.

Your list of priorities is pretty simple / not a huge amount of power needed. (except for the fridge and ac) AC is nice in a marina but we find that when we are on the hook, there is usually enough of a breeze to be comfortable. In a marina you could just plug the ac into the marina's outlet. An AC and generator also takes up a lot of space.

What you save on the shorepower / charger etc., you could pay for a lot of those things on you wish list. I would suggest thinking more about solar than shorepower. (I am bias though) There are other things you have to know to really decide on the best option. The type of sailing for example. Cruising a week or more at a time would be different than someone only going out on weekends or sailing once a month.

Don't figure an outboard would actually do you much good as a charging source. The rating on their power output is at full throttle. Realistically you will never be using it that way.

Your "110 v" items would be much better to be run off a 12V adapter. You will be wasting a lot of power in converting your 12vDC to 110vAC and then back to 12vDC. You can find 12 power adapters made for airplanes and cars.

Lots of things to look at and decide on before designing the system.
You may not really know what you need until you get some time on your boat.

Welcome aboard!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWollard View Post
Interested read. Thanks! I have access to shore power, but will need to design my electrical system from the ground up. Right now there is a battery, running lights, and bilge pump. No cabin lights, cockpit lights, or access to power for any other use.

If anyone cares to offer advice on designing an electrical system from scratch, I'm listening.

First priority needs:
running lights
ability to use/charge 110v (ipad, phones, etc) (will use navionics app to chart/plot)
Would love cabin/cockpit LED lighting
Simple Depth Finder

Next Priority:
Convert icebox to refrigerator
Add a/c and portable generator

Great community here. Thanks for everything Sailnet!
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