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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Strange all this back and forth about LI and Lead acid. In my original post I never said anything about having LI house bank, nor do I discount it, it just wasn't in my budget, so I swapped out the current 12 y/o deformed AGM for some nice new shiny happy AGM batteries. For budget constraints, I didn't want to change my entire electrical system and my solar guy said same thing about LI in far off places, because if I've learned anything about my boat, its that even if just removing a bolt it can send you down a rabbit hole of a damn rebuild of stuff I never imagined.

Where I do use LI is in power banks that power other portable devices independent of the boats systems. I'm not a salesman or rep, just showing the items I use and how I keep loads off my house system.

1) gosun.co/products/chill

2) seawaterpro.com/pages/portable ( This is an LI system I'm considering)

Dave
 

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I swapped out the current 12 y/o deformed AGM for some nice new shiny happy AGM batteries.
That makes sense. As much as I wanted more capacity on a prior boat, it was far more simple and extremely less expensive to just replace what the systems had already been designed for. Changing battery chemistry can become a full replacement of charge systems, controllers, possibly alternators, etc, etc. I'm sure I'd have made the same call as you, unless what you have is a problem.

solar guy said same thing about LI in far off places
I was only attempting to distinguish between the one off systems, which seem very common, and the reputable manufactured systems. Not clear which the solar guy was thinking about. If I had to disconnect half my lithium batteries due to issues (which is literally the turn of a switch), I'd still have the capacity of an AGM bank that took up the same space. Just offering as food for thought of those reading. Not trying to change your mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
^^^

Not trying to change your mind.

Not taken as so. Just trying to clarify my original post as I am a fan of LI, but since this is not my 'forever' boat I had to decide where I wanted to put money as to not have a pig with too much makeup, when ultimately she may still be a pig to someone else no matter how beautiful I think she is.

I appreciate everyones input regardless.

I'd actually be pretty interested to bring it back around and get some thoughts on the 2nd. list in my original post.

Particularly:

5) Steering system overhaul ( quadrant, etc..)

8) figure out best system for rigging spinnaker as has no system currently, but do have a nice un-used asym. I do have spinnaker halyard and sheets, but strangely no tack

Dave
 

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5) Steering system overhaul ( quadrant, etc..)
Not sure what you have for steering, but this is a good idea. Inspect it all. Assuming there is cable, run a paper towel over all the wire and see if catches any fishhooks (broken wires). If there are any, a replacement is mandatory. Depending on age and condition, you may want to replace as a preventive measure. If there is a chain, they are often hard to fully see. It's common for them to stretch a bit, so tweaking an adjustment might be in order. Cleaning everything up and using the proper lubricant is important. Check with the manufacturer of whatever you have.

8) figure out best system for rigging spinnaker as has no system currently, but do have a nice un-used asym. I do have spinnaker halyard and sheets, but strangely no tack
If you have an asym, you don't need a pole for it. There are some fancy things you can do with one anyway (including poling out the tack to create a DDW sail, but virtually no one does these. I never have.)

A whisker pole, on the other hand, might come in handy for the headsail either for a dual headsail setup or simply to hold the clew up in lighter deeper downwind.

The tack can take many forms. ATN makes a tacker that wraps around the furled foresail, which many use if they do not have an alternate place to properly tack a sail. Effectively, you're using the foresails chainplate to take the load, I guess.

On smaller boats, folks have gotten away with tacking to the bow roller, but these are not always designed for that. Important to know whether yours is or is not. A fixed tack is fairly simple, if you find the right place to secure it. Might take some trial and error to zero in the legnth. If you prefer a tack you can adjust and want to run it back to the cockpit, you'll need a properly anchored block up there and come fairleads down the deck. Maybe a clutch near the cockpit. Then there are those that fashion a removable bow sprit, which often attaches through the bow roller. Ours works this way and uses the spare side of the roller. As noted, the bow roller on our has been designed to take this load. Tons of way to skin this cat.
 

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I can't remember all that was listed above. Lots of great info. My question is: Have you dropped your rudder and inspected everything? There can be weakness unseen. The whole steering system must be the best that you can make it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Haven't dropped the rudder, but I do agree that at least the steering quadrant should probably be up graded and the stops and cables etc... It's on the list. Thanks
 

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While grossly inferior tech, ironically, SSB has not been wiped of the planet. I think you can still buy them new and, as far as I know, the Oyster Rally leaving in Jan still requires one aboard.
Not only still going, and able to buy new, but brand new models with improved technology have recently been introduced. Certainly, there must be a sizable market somewhere for a company like Icom to not only continue selling the radios, but to put engineering resources into developing new versions.

The above has nothing to do with the appropriateness of SSB for the OP, or anyone, just an observation that it isn't a dying breed, but is a continually developing and advancing one.

Mark
 

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The above has nothing to do with the appropriateness of SSB for the OP, or anyone, just an observation that it isn't a dying breed, but is a continually developing and advancing one.
I've always wished someone would create an Ipad app, where you connected the ipad to the radio and it did the rest. Tuning, email modem decoding, etc. Sort of like an automated Pactor. I figure the market is too small for that to be viable, but if Icom is still developing, then maybe. While I wouldn't have one otherwise, one of these days I would like to tag along on a rally that requires them.
 

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We stay away from lithium anything, expensive to replace when they go bad (and they do) and difficult or impossible to find in remote locations. We stick with tried and true flooded lead acid which can be had for short money at any next stop anywhere in the world. Just replace and keep going. With proper care, lead acid will last ten years.

People always love lithium batteries just after they spend a small fortune on them, then the enthusiasm drops off quickly when things go south with them. Just try to get something like that fixed in Baja or any remote location. Impossible at best. Lead acid flooded on the other hand, any local mechanic anywhere in the world will have you moving again within a couple of hours.
How much experience do you have with lithium batteries? Is it enough that you feel comfortable advising someone on them? We have been out longer than you and have several year's experience with lithium batteries, and find everything about them opposite of your opinion.

A couple of comments: Batteries and electrical systems are something that everyone should have basic knowledge about before cruising away. If one needs a "mechanic" to change their batteries, or even work on them, then they probably shouldn't be out there. We have bought FLA's in far flung places. They are always available. However, they are not always good. Many times one cannot get good quality FLA's, and if they can, they may have been sitting on the floor for a year or more, making them permanently sulfated and lost capacity. I don't know of a single full-time cruiser who has gotten 10yrs out of FLA using standard EOL criteria. Particularly in tropical regions. Perhaps there is the odd one who is far over-provisioned and uses almost no daily power who can eek that out simply on over-capacity and little usage, but the batteries themselves would be considered dead by then.

FWIW, lithium batteries and supporting systems are available in La Paz Baja.

Mark
 

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I've always wished someone would create an Ipad app, where you connected the ipad to the radio and it did the rest. Tuning, email modem decoding, etc. Sort of like an automated Pactor. I figure the market is too small for that to be viable, but if Icom is still developing, then maybe. While I wouldn't have one otherwise, one of these days I would like to tag along on a rally that requires them.
The new Icom 803 does email decoding and has a very user friendly interface for the first time using a large color screen. Tuning for much is automatic because the channels are programmed, but this isn't any different from the past. I'm not sure what other automated tuning would be helpful. There are iPad apps that automatically get weather fax and some other stuff through microphone port. Pactor itself is pretty much automatic. There is the basic setup, but then it just connects and runs automatically - type an email and hit send.

One aspect of a SSB that can't be replicated on a satphone is the DSC emergency function. If in distress, hitting the DSC button puts out a distress call with type of emergency and position out on HF and VHF frequencies. These are picked up by all commercial traffic and anyone else with DSC capabilities - on VHF if in short range, and HF for longer range. I'm not clear on how having a satphone in the middle of the Atlantic can be helpful for a ship-endangered emergency, or can be used to contact that ship 30nm away. An EPIRB sends out a clear message, but not one picked up by potential help in the more immediate area.

There are still active radio nets throughout the US, Bahamas, and Western Caribe, at least. Whether those are interesting or useful to one is a personal thing. For sure, the young Youtubers are not on them - doesn't fit their business model - but it isn't all old farts on the nets. I do agree that the past couple of years have seen cell towers proliferate in even the most far flung areas, so keeping in touch with other cruisers by email is much easier now.

Mark
 

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For water maker I'm looking at seawaterpro.com, they are coming out with a portable Litium Ion powered unit. I talked with the owner/ designer, seems interesting and more compact than the Rainmaker system, no gas to boot. With Lithium technology creeping into everything I like the idea of not having systems on my house bank if possible. I have a cooler that operates on Lithium battery and its really nice, can even make ice cubes...
Not sure why you would want a watermaker with a separate lithium battery. You still have to charge it, the charging is taken away from that charging your house bank, and you don't get the use of that battery capacity for any other purpose. Why not just add capacity to your house bank instead?

Mark
 

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thank you, Mark, for your recent lines on the use of SSB.
Last week I lost my patience with inaccurate shall we say (trying my best to be socially acceptable) posting.
Spent some time gathering views and opinions online, if I get enough motivation may re-install my old 710.
The main difference between my 710 and a new unit seems to be DSC on the emergency issue, that is a biggie because been able to put out a distress call to a potential ship nearby could be a life-saving fact and a faster response than to an EPIRB.
However, found out the USCG monitors the 4 emergency channels 24 Hours a day. and since the channels are pre-programmed, broadcasting is a push of the frequency number.
On the cost is true, a $4000 plus install etc. is a deterrent, on the other end a 710 as a used unit complete with autotune box can be had for about $600.
The choice to have it or not remains personal and should be made on personal preferences, areas of sailing etc.

On the rudder item, it may be worthwhile to spend a little time inspecting it for water intrusion?it is not unheard because the presence of the shaft to be a point of entry for water to leak in and water collection, much like a spongy core damaged deck, waterlogged.
At least that was my finding on my old Tartan.

I might have inhabited a different planet because in my roughly 50 years of sailing and association with boating cannot recall "hundreds" of people giving up the joy of sailing because of maintenance, quite the contrary, maintenance and "messing about boats"seems to be an added benefit.
Develop and learn new skills, be imaginative, improved dexterity and stimulate the "little gray cells" as Poirot will say.
Sayonara
 

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The main difference between my 710 and a new unit seems to be DSC on the emergency issue, that is a biggie because been able to put out a distress call to a potential ship nearby could be a life-saving fact and a faster response than to an EPIRB.
However, found out the USCG monitors the 4 emergency channels 24 Hours a day. and since the channels are pre-programmed, broadcasting is a push of the frequency number.
I've owned both the 710 and 802, and have a friend with an 803. The DSC is one difference from the 710, but the 802 is also different in a much easier and understandable user interface. The 803 takes that even further - it is a more common type of interface that is immediately familiar to most people.

While the CG does monitor distress frequencies, that is a different thing than a nearby ship getting a DSC distress call. The CG could be out of transmission/atmospheric range or your individual rig's ability to get out to them, they are almost certainly out of range of immediately being able to help, and they would need to take time to find a nearby ship and redirect it. The two are complimentary, not duplicates.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Not sure why you would want a watermaker with a separate lithium battery. You still have to charge it, the charging is taken away from that charging your house bank, and you don't get the use of that battery capacity for any other purpose. Why not just add capacity to your house bank instead?

seawaterpro.com/pages/portable

The LI battery is integrated into the unit, I won't need to haul around a single separate battery. It can run on AC, DC plug directly into a solar panel to charge etc. I like the idea because I don't want to use my available storage for installing a system. I love my boat and it will be great for my planned voyage but it is not my 'forever' boat. I'm trying to use systems that can come with me in the future or be sold off for more than the value they may add to my old boat. For example that water maker could come with me in my van on a Baja surf trip where I don't take the boat and basically extend my off grid situation there as well.
 

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Sure, I understand the portable part. My question was why not increase your house bank capacity and buy the portable version without a battery and run it off your house bank? That way, you don't need a dedicated charging system that can't be used for the house, and can use the extra battery capacity for other things.

They are taking a lot of liberties with their marketing that you should be aware of. There is nothing magical about watermakers and power usage, and 10gph will require ~28A at 12V. 3.5hrs of running will consume 98Ah that will need to be recharged. The two small solar panels they show with the unit will never, ever be able to charge it even in weeks of sunlight. That is a pure marketing lie. If you have a 400W panel to dedicate to it, it will take ~4hrs of sun to charge. 400W is a large panel, but it is your only hope of recharging it in a day. This is all power that is not being sent to your main house bank. Charging it by AC will require a generator, which negates the need for a battery-powered unit.

The same calculus applies taking this off-road to Baja. You can run it once, but need to recharge it somehow.

Mark
 

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That link you sent had two versions - one with and one without integrated battery. Rainman also makes a portable unit, albeit a larger one.

The few people I know with portable units (Rainman) end up mounting them at least semi-permanently. Portable sounds good, but they still take up the same amount of space to store as to mount, and lugging them out and setting them up gets old quickly. Very little about a watermaker needs to be mounted in ideal spaces/conditions. They can be in engine rooms, broken up and scattered around into otherwise unusable spaces, etc. Many people find spaces for them that aren't usable for much else. That SeawaterPro one is smaller and lighter than the Rainman, though. The tradeoff is 1/3 the output.

Mark
 
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