Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid. - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 18 Old 11-11-2014
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Re: Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid.

I have rarely seen an outboard you would use on a 20 ft sailboat that was electric start a small solar panel would be great I use a ten watt one that plugs into CIG lighter older but works good

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post #12 of 18 Old 11-11-2014
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Re: Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid.

I second the idea of a small solar panel. There's nothing like going to your slip after a week's absence and finding your battery is fully charged.

On my Victory 21, I had a big flexible panel on the coach roof, tied to the grab rails on either side. Back then I didn't have a charge controller, but here on Sailnet the consensus is that you need one to protect your battery, even with a smallish panel.

Solar will keep everything topped up. Your motor will help when you are actually making a trip. (Let's face it, we all motor more than we initially expected to.) Between the two, you'll be in good shape.

LED lights when possible. (We've swapped out over a dozen incandescent bulbs on our boat over the last few years.) You could even use the puck-type dinghy navigation lights that have a magnetic attachment and run off AA cells.

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post #13 of 18 Old 11-12-2014
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Re: Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid.

I would echo all the LED comments. I switched all the lighting on my Balboa 27 over to LED, and can run every light on the boat every evening (5-6 hours a night) for a week before even starting to dent my single Optima deep cycle.
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post #14 of 18 Old 11-12-2014
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Re: Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid.

50w panels, at your latitude, should provide roughly 15 ah a day of charge on average.

That's what you need to get your daily usage down to. LED's are the way to do it. No need to go expensive on it, your single largest draw is going to be your anchor light. Replace it with a simple hanging LED on your forestay, sold by Defender for under 30 bucks. They draw .2 amps or less, your 'normal' old anchor light is pulling up to 3 ah.
Figure any most of the interior lights are pulling 1 ah, on a 20 footer you don't need more than one or two lights. You can swap most light bulbs of the G4 type with a realitivly in-expensive LED make to fit in the same socket. Again, those will take you from 1 amp per hour to one tenth.
Keep your radio/stereo/vhf and what not use to a minimum and you should be fine.

Once a month or so you should take the battery home and fully charge it, and find yourself and inexpensive battery monitor as well.

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post #15 of 18 Old 11-13-2014
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Re: Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid.

Here's an idea for cabin lighting while out 0 power draw off your house battery Walmart

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post #16 of 18 Old 11-13-2014
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I agree about the LED lights. You'll save a lot of amps. Get them on E bay or Amazon, not a marine supply place. I just got a 10 pack of bulbs for my cabin lights for $29 shipping included as opposed to $42 EACH at Defender! Even if they don't last as long, which still should be a really long time, how can you turn that deal down?
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-13-2014
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Re: Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
50w panels, at your latitude, should provide roughly 15 ah a day of charge on average.

That's what you need to get your daily usage down to. LED's are the way to do it. No need to go expensive on it, your single largest draw is going to be your anchor light. Replace it with a simple hanging LED on your forestay, sold by Defender for under 30 bucks. They draw .2 amps or less, your 'normal' old anchor light is pulling up to 3 ah.
Figure any most of the interior lights are pulling 1 ah, on a 20 footer you don't need more than one or two lights. You can swap most light bulbs of the G4 type with a realitivly in-expensive LED make to fit in the same socket. Again, those will take you from 1 amp per hour to one tenth.
Keep your radio/stereo/vhf and what not use to a minimum and you should be fine.

Once a month or so you should take the battery home and fully charge it, and find yourself and inexpensive battery monitor as well.
I'm going to be my usual pain about units. Rewriting Chuck's post with the proper units, with my comments in curly braces:

Quote:
50w panels, at your latitude, should provide roughly 15 Ah a day of charge on average.

That's what you need to get your daily usage down to. LED's are the way to do it. No need to go expensive on it, {N.B. be careful in going to cheap on LEDs - decent quality current-regulated units will pay for themselves in reliability.} your single largest draw is going to be your anchor light. Replace it with a simple hanging LED on your forestay, sold by Defender for under 30 bucks. They draw .2 amps or less, your 'normal' old anchor light is pulling up to 3 amps. {N.B. I like direct replacement LED anchor lights with built-in light sensors like those from MarineBeam; my old incandescent anchor light drew a little over 1 amp. I run the masthead LED and a cockpit level Davis MegaLight LED.}

Figure most of the interior lights are pulling 1 amp each, on a 20 footer you don't need more than one or two lights. You can swap most light bulbs of the G4 type with a relatively in-expensive LED made to fit in the same socket. Again, those will take you from 1 amp to one tenth amp.
Keep your radio/stereo/vhf and what not use to a minimum and you should be fine. {N.B. multiply current draw in amps by the number of hours the device is on and you'll get the energy consumption in ampĚhours (Ah)}
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post #18 of 18 Old 11-14-2014
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Re: Setting up for a couple of day off of the grid.

Hi Morgan,

My electrical set up, complete, has cost over $10,000 and I can go off the grid for as long as I like. Obviously its crazy to invest anything like that for a weekend cruise. But if you look beyond some of the advice here that suggests you buy this and that, you might be able to come up with a creative solution that costs very, very little.

A bucket of water in the freezer at home on Monday, start just 1/4 full and each day add a bit, by Friday will be a block of ice that will last till Monday on the boat.
Instead of LED lighting have a look int he hardware store for an LED lantern. I buy them for $6 each, they have a torch at one end and a lantern in the handle. 3 AA batteries last 300 hours!
With your boat battery, instead of buying a whopper like I need you might be able to buy one that you can carry home and put of a $30 trickle charger. But will you need much of a battery at all? The depth sounder wont take much power, hand held VHF can be charged at home during the week and wont use much on standby... As for the AM/FM radio they acually dont draw much either (you could sing to yourself) but on the water and at night on anchor I prefer the silence and the sounds of nature. FM music can be butt shoved with glory!

Perhaps try some of the ideas like that, and creative ones you think up, for a few weekends and see what works and what doesn't and which ones you really, really, need to spend money on.

By the way, a fuel Hurricane Lantern puts out a warm glow, smells like a boat should and can really make a nautical experience...

Sea Life
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 11-14-2014 at 09:24 AM.
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