When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-14-2013 Thread Starter
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When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

On an offshore trip we had to charge the battery twice a day for an hour with the alternator on the engine. The captain ran the engine with the gear on neutral.
It was on a leisure sail to Bermuda, not a race. The boat was moving nicely on a broad reach.
Is there any good reason not to charge on a forward drive?
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-14-2013
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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

Simply put no.

In fact the opposite is true - diesels do not like to be run unloaded - and even if he had a whooping huge 200 amp alternator that's not enough load (about 5hp).

Well, there is one reason, captain said so.

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post #3 of 9 Old 01-14-2013
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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

Some need at least 1000 to kick in the charging system. Why not use that rpm for a little additional speed? We run the watermaker at the same time.

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post #4 of 9 Old 01-14-2013
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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

If Im burning the diesel then Im moving the boat--in gear use those horses

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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

I would think the engine would burn less fuel in neutral than in forward. Perhaps the captain was worried about fuel consumption.

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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

Thanks for your respond.
I am sure that saving fuel is on every captain's mind in an offshore voyage.
in that case what would be the difference in fuel consumption in a 50 HP yanmar engine?
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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

Not sure what the engine was on the boat your were on, but if you know the model, you can google the fuel curve. For comparison, here is the fuel curve for my 30 hp.

http://svbreakaway.info/resources/im...jects/Fuel.jpg

of course this does not give you load vs. no-load at the same RPM.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-11-2013
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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

Just to round-out this discussion, at anchor I charge with the transmission in reverse. It keeps a load on the diesel. I keep a good watch during this process.

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-12-2013
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Re: When charging- Engine on Forward or Neutral?

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Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Just to round-out this discussion, at anchor I charge with the transmission in reverse. It keeps a load on the diesel. I keep a good watch during this process.

Regards,
Brad
I set my anchor with at least 1500 rpm in reverse. If my anchor drags while charging, it is not properly set.

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