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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Do I need a battery charger?
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Thread: Do I need a battery charger? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-22-2013 10:37 AM
asdf38
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnuzzolo View Post
Any recommendations, I have already looked @ the ;
Morningstar SG4...
Genasun makes a nice line of smaller ones. This is what I have.

Genasun GV-4-Pb-12V, 4A MPPT controller for 12V Lead Acid Batteries
10-22-2013 10:03 AM
chucklesR
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

Wet cell batteries can loose 2% a month with self discharge, 2-3 weeks of sitting on a ball will be meaningless provided you charge the batteries on the way in and they are always at least 80-90 percent full.

If winter is a non-sailing time where you are then you will need to be SURE they are topped off prior to lock up - and you better be sure your bilge is normally dry or you have the amp hours to keep it dry.

Simple, low watt and low cost solar is the way to go - no sense having a couple hundred bucks in batteries die out because you wanted to scrimp a buck on a charger.
10-22-2013 09:45 AM
rnuzzolo
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

I have just completed my first season (new to sailing) with the boat and have not had an issue with the batteries. I do go a week or two sometimes not using the boat, but not being able to crank the engine when I need to is one of my concerns.

I have owned power boats for 25 years but they were always docked with charger running.

Thank you for the feedback.

Rich
10-21-2013 10:11 PM
BarryL
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

Hey,

Before you buy anything why not use the boat for a month or two and see how it goes? if you run your engine to get in / out of the harbor, that may provide enough power. My boat has been on a mooring forever and my batteries stay charged. I use my boat 1-2 times a week, motoring in and out of the harbor for 10-15 minutes each way. My electrical use is pretty minimal: I run a 5' chart plotter, VHF radio, depth, wind, speed instruments and an autopilot, that's about it. My batteries get charged enough from my alternator.

Barry
10-21-2013 04:19 PM
rnuzzolo
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

Any recommendations, I have already looked @ the ;
Morningstar SG4...
10-21-2013 03:31 PM
asdf38
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnuzzolo View Post
How about this panel, low cost, low wattage....??

1.5 Watt Solar Battery Charger
Brand Thunderbolt Magnum Solar
Maximum Output 24 V, 1.5 Watt
Wattage (watts) 1.5
Accessories Included Cigarette lighter adapter and battery terminal clamps

Rich
1.5W?

That's nothing. For ~$100 you can get a 20W panel and a "real" MPPT controller.

1.5W is not worth the effort. If you really want a lighter plug controllerless solution you can go to ~5W but it's still barely worth the effort (I know because I did it and then replaced it the very next year.)
10-21-2013 03:01 PM
rnuzzolo
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

How about this panel, low cost, low wattage....??

1.5 Watt Solar Battery Charger
Brand Thunderbolt Magnum Solar
Maximum Output 24 V, 1.5 Watt
Wattage (watts) 1.5
Accessories Included Cigarette lighter adapter and battery terminal clamps

Rich
09-11-2013 10:54 PM
asdf38
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

Yep solar.

A mooring boat really benefits from solar or wind.

The key thing to understand is that as batteries approach a full charge they start charging more slowly. No matter how powerful your alternator is a lead acid battery needs several (perhaps many) hours of charging to hit 100%. The bottom line is that a boat with only the alternator rarely runs the engine long enough to make this happen.

The second thing to understand is that battery lifetime is heavily related to the state of charge. So a battery that spends most of it's life at 100% is going to last a lot longer than one sitting at 80%.

So solar is an excellent complement to the alternator on a mooring boat. The alternator can provide bulk charging and bring the battery to 80-85%, then the solar can top it off over a couple days.
09-09-2013 01:25 AM
mdbee
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

Even a relatively small panel should work for you, depending on your electrical load of course.
09-08-2013 08:53 PM
armandolio
Re: Do I need a battery charger?

definitely a daysailer with an ocassional overnight weekend cruise on Biscayne bay or upper Florida Keys.
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