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Hey,

IMHO, you need to decide what your plan is BEFORE you do anything.

If you will use the boat by going there in the morning, motoring out of the slip, raising the sails, sailing for a few hours, then lowering the sails and motoring home, you don't need to do anything.

If you plan on spending time aboard in the slip, running a fridge, TV, Computer, and sound system, you will need to some changes.

If you plan on sailing off for a few days or longer, spending nights at anchor, with some electronics to run, you will need some different gear.

Figure out what you want to do with the boat, and THEN decide on what to do.

Barry
 

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Hey,

Like Hugo, my boat is on a mooring. I don't use solar or any other power. I run my engine 5-10 minutes to get out of the harbor and then another 5-10 minutes to get back on the mooring. For day sails where all I use is the chartplotter and instruments, and listen to VHF, the short engine use is enough to keep the batteries charged.

I get 5+ years of life from a set of Costco marine deep cycle batteries.

If I go away on a 3-4 day cruise, I may stay in a marina for 1 or 2 nights. The other nights will be at anchor or on a mooring. When I stay in a marina I might connect to shore power, or maybe not. If I don't , running the engine for an hour or so is enough to keep the batteries up. My electric use is pretty minor - no refrigeration, microwave, blenders, etc. I have a few LED or CFL lights, charge phones and computer, run a radio, etc.

So, assuming you don't have a battery charger but do have shore power, I would sail the boat as is for the first year. Make sure you have a decent meter so you can check battery voltage on a regular basis. As long as the volts don't show a steady decrease you will be fine. If you do see the voltage decreasing on the house bank you will need to run the engine longer to charge them up.

Good luck,
Barry

Hey Barry. It will be option 1 and 2 in the first season. What do you suggest for that?

Option 3 in the following seasons.
 

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Hey,

In May of 2012 I replaced all three batteries on the boat. I paid $95.27 each for 3 Maxx 96 group 27 deep cycle. It is listed a 114AH, 845 MCA. If that lasts me 5 years I will be more than happy. I can afford $300 in batteries every 5 years. Before that, I bought 2 new batteries in 2007 (1 bat was new).

Solar would be OK but then I need to find a place to mount the panel, wire it, keep it clean, keep birds and other crap off it, make sure nothing cracks it, etc.

Since I don't use use a lot of electrical power I'll just stick the alternator.

Barry

Not suggesting a marina - if on a mooring a small investment in solar will save money on batteries over time. 40 or 50 watt panel and a small Genasun MPPT controller costs under $200.
 
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