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Old 21-04-2009, 00:41   #16
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Gord;


I think your calculations look good

Chris
I think your idea looks good. The batteries you are looking at have a very flat discharge curve (both with load and state of discharge). This together with the fact that they can be discharged down much further than a lead acid battery and still have a long cycle life means you can get away with a much smaller battery than the lead acid alternative. I think 20AHrs is on the small side, but 30 to 40 would give a reserve and would still be light weight.
The other advantage is 24V anchor winches or bow thrusters could be used with this system.
Have you found a source for these batteries? If so what is the cost?
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Old 21-04-2009, 02:10   #17
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One thing that I don't think has been mentioned --Gord may have touched on it-- is what I've read is the falacy of a dedicated battery in the bow; that with a depleted battery in the bow and a high output alternator at stern, you will still have to have rather large cables to handle the amps...
Exactly!
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Old 21-04-2009, 03:31   #18
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I just have the engine on when we use the windlass.
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Old 21-04-2009, 04:44   #19
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Same here. Why pull the hook without pumping amps into the system? Feeding 70 or 80 amps into the main bank when you are pulling out 100 makes the delta pretty small. I don't get the battery in the bow logic either.

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I just have the engine on when we use the windlass.
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Old 21-04-2009, 07:20   #20
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That always made me wonder as well. The only way I can think of to get around this is to have a dedicated AC charger in the bow as well, with AC sized cables running to it from an inverter, with the losses in efficiency this would produce. Not suggesting this is a good idea, just the only way I know you could get large amps to the bow without large DC cables.


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that with a depleted battery in the bow and a high output alternator at stern, you will still have to have rather large cables to handle the amps.
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Old 21-04-2009, 07:23   #21
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How many out there have had to use their windlass to set and retrieve three times in an eight hour period?

Chris
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Old 21-04-2009, 09:14   #22
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I have, more than once. OF course anchoring conditions in the NW are tougher usually. ...sand, mud, mixed with rocks cause issues. Or the anchor just wont hold when backing down on it sometimes wherever you are. Scenarios in the caribe are that the wind shifts after anchoring, or you just misjudge it and you are uncomfortably close to another boat as well as less prevalent anchor holding problems. 3 times is a little untypical but two times is a common event.
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Old 21-04-2009, 09:16   #23
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Old 22-04-2009, 13:15   #24
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That always made me wonder as well. The only way I can think of to get around this is to have a dedicated AC charger in the bow as well, with AC sized cables running to it from an inverter, with the losses in efficiency this would produce. Not suggesting this is a good idea, just the only way I know you could get large amps to the bow without large DC cables.
That's exactly what we did - place a charger close to the windlass battery. While it may have been ultimately cheaper to just run 2/0 or 4/0 cables the 70+ round trip to the windlass up forward, I figured the extra charger (run off our genset) gave us some charging redundancy for the house bank or engine start battery. I ran 2 AWG cables for the ~30' round trip back to the house bank, using a Blue Seas ACR, and tweaked up the charger voltage to make up for the losses. I figure what I lost in economics I gained in redundancy. The battery forward contributes a whole lot less to hobby-horsing than does the old 45lb CQR and 250' of old 5/16" chain I have stored in the bow. Anyone need both?

Everything's a compromise.
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Old 22-04-2009, 15:18   #25
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4 AM

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it's 4am, you're awakened by the boat starting to pitch up and down, by the time you get outside with your skivvies on it's blowing 35 with 4 ft chop and your 200 feet of anchor chain is snubbing up bar tight with each plunge of the bow. Last night you arrived tired and had to make several attempts at anchoring due to the anchor not digging in with the rocks etc. When you try to retrieve the anchor this am you realize that you used up most of your "special" windlass battery last night. Now you are faced with trying to pull in 200 ft of chain by hand while the chain snubs up tight every 7 seconds......
What's the advantage of not wiring in your windlass with cable from the main bank?
Have no opinion on the batteries, however I loved the real life 4AM situation.
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Old 22-04-2009, 17:17   #26
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I have used dedicated windlass batteries in the bow for the past 12 years, and wouldn't want to change the setup.

First, the extra weight question. My setup consists of two Trojan T-105 batteries (total weight 128lbs) in a Blue Seas battery box (maybe 8lbs) located under one of the V-berths in the forward cabin. From these batteries, I run 1/0 cable 7' (14' round-trip) to the Lewmar Ocean vertical windlass in the forepeak.

I simply don't believe that the 136lbs near the aft end of the forward cabin makes any difference whatsoever on a 28,000lb displacement/9500lb ballast keel cruising sailboat. At the very most, it's like having a SMALL crew member sleeping in the V-berth.

The Wire Alternative. My present wire run to the windlass from the windlass batteries in the forecabin is 14' round-trip. If I were instead to wire the windlass directly to the house batteries, the total run would be about 50' more, or 64' total. That's a long way for heavy cable, and a very long way if you contemplate minimal voltage drop for "silent anchoring" which I like to do.

Next, the rationale. I like to sail. I like to sail up to the anchorage spot, drop the anchor, and spend the night. When conditions are right, I like to sail off the anchor. All without starting the engine. The T-105's give me ample power to lower and raise the 200' 3/8 HT chain and 45lb CQR or Fortress FX-37 several times without need to start the engine or the generator. How many times? That depends heavily on anchoring conditions: how deep, how much wind, etc. But, suffice it to say I can go off for several days at a time without need to run the engine or generator.

Re-charging. I installed an Iota DLS-55/IQ4 charger in the forward cabin. This charger remains on all the time when at dockside. Underway or at anchor, if I need to recharge the windlass batteries, I can do so by powering the Iota with either the generator or, sometimes, with the inverter while the main engine is running. The Iota provides a fast and full charge.

The Downside. Two extra batteries to watch and, occasionally, top off with distilled water (they have WaterMiser caps, so only rarely need watering). Need to pay attention to turn the charger on when AC power source is available.

The Bottom Line. Dedicated windlass batteries and an AC charger located in the forward cabin have worked very well for me for twelve years.

A dedicated windlass battery bank in the bow isn't for everyone or every situation. But, it works very well for me.

Bill
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Old 22-04-2009, 19:05   #27
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I suppose the dedicated windlass batts in the bow can work for certain sized boats with space for the gear. I wonder what the cost benefit actually is however. I suspect that running the large cables is much cheaper in the end.

In Bill's case he added a second charger and so forth, additional batts and a battery case, and uses a generator to charge his windlass batts or shore power and has more maintenance.

I would think that running those heavy cables the extra distance and NOT having a second charger, batteries or box and so forth would be less money and less complexity. Usually the house bank is large enough to handle the windlass load and usually we run our engine to set and to weigh anchor.

I consider having my engine on when in an anchorage as prudent since I single hand and having to deal with anchoring and sail trim and worrying about the topsides of the boats anchored makes sense. My engine can hardly be heard from 20 feet away. But on board it's too noisy in my opinion. I perfer to deal with sails away from other boats and give all my attantion to anchoring and maneuvering in the anchorage.

But if I were anchored all by myself with no boats around that would be another story and I could forgo the engine. It just is a rare occurrence in my experience. Also for someone who likes silent anchoring I would add that I like silent anchorages and that means no generators. I find them excessively noisy, and disturbing and those who use them in anchorages quite inconsiderate of their neighbors. The noise is offensive.
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Old 23-04-2009, 05:11   #28
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While on anchor chains and electric windlasses...
I have installed a new one on my recently acquired, 25-yo, 38' sailing boat.
I use it with engine running.
There is no rope, only chain which twists upon itself while being lifted from the anchor well and then stops the winch.
Chain is fed via a vertical s/s pipe trough the deck to the windlass.
I release a little, shake, it comes up for another metre or so until it twists again and stios the windlass.
Anybody experiences similar problem?

Thank you for any advice.

Paolo
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Old 23-04-2009, 05:51   #29
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I'll take our genset noise over many windturbines, our genset is below deck, heavily insulated, and very quite. The nice thing about a genset is it can be run at times that most people are up and about and busy with boat chores. We like to run it for a couple hours per day, ussually mid morning, charging batteries and pulling down the cold plates.

Are there inconsiderate folks that run noisy on deck chargers at all hours? Sure, there are jerks everywhere, such is life.

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Also for someone who likes silent anchoring I would add that I like silent anchorages and that means no generators. I find them excessively noisy, and disturbing and those who use them in anchorages quite inconsiderate of their neighbors. The noise is offensive.
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Old 23-04-2009, 06:11   #30
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My point was the noise not the gear itself. Below decks well insulated gensets are da bomb! And quiet wind turbines as well.

Anchoring with chain and a windlass is not particlarly noisy except when the anchor slams onto the bow roller. But even this is only a few minutes of noise. I've listen to gensets on decks run for 2 hrs. I wanted to pull my hair out because one of the pleasures of sailing is escaping the noise of streetsm cars, horns, trains, boom boxes, construction and especially rubbish removal.
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