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Old 20-01-2016, 08:16   #31
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by zstine View Post
I have a separate deep cycle battery for the windlass.


Another option is putting the windlass charge lines on an echo charger vice to the house bank. Basically making it a separate bank and limits line current to 15A, which would only need like 10awg for 20ft run.
Xantrex Echo-Charge Digital Auxillary Charger
Sir, the eco-charger would be wired to the house bank, or to its charger ?

Many thanks!
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Old 20-01-2016, 08:25   #32
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Say you have a 1200W motor, that's about 100A. You will generally run the windlass for less than 6 minutes so you are looking at pulling less than 10Ah out of battery.
I'd go with a starting or multipurpose battery.

If you are running a separate battery connected to the rest of your system for charging, remember that you generally anchor with your engine running so the alternator will be pushing out lots of Amps towards your battery/windlass. IOW, you need to wire your charging circuit with the same gauge as you would if you were running your windlass directly off your house bank. (Which raises the question - why go through the hassle of a separate battery and another charging circuit )
Concur that either a dedicated starting, dual purpose, or deep cycle type battery can be connected to the windlass.

If a dedicated battery is not used, I don't recommend connecting the windlass to the same battery that starts the engine.

Disagree with last statement. There is absolutely no reason to run large battery cables from the alternator to a dedicated bow windlass battery.

The reason to use a dedicated windlass battery, is if the added location maintenance issues are less hassle than the cost of large gauge cabling to run to the house bank.

I recently wrote an article for GAM on Yachting magazine, "A Tale of Two Windlasses".

It describes the thought process to determine whether to go dedicated or house bank for powering the windlass.

For our personal boat, our house bank was a little light, so we added another house bank battery and ran the windlass to it.

Remember that your house bank is used 100% of the time aboard, and a windlass battery, prolly a lot less than 1%.

Finding a location for a bow windlass battery can be an issue. Unless you have a huge anchor locker, where you can isolate the battery box, so it doesn't get covered in a pile of chain and/or rode, it can't go in there (conveniently). The next closest location in most boats is under the V-berth. Nice! (sarcasm) Sulphuric acid and hydrogen fumes under your mattress. Pretty much requires going to a sealed battery such as gel or AGM, increasing cost over standard lead acid. If you choose to ventilate the area under the V-berth, again Nice! Blow sulphuric acid and hydrogen fumes into the cabin.

If it does turn out that you can find a good location for the windlass battery, you can charge it via a 15 A echo charger off the house bank, (likely 12 AWG wires, depending on cable length). This is where the cost savings come in, $0.50/ft vs $5/ft for cabling. If the house bank is in the main salon (not recommended for fume reasons) it takes a very big boat before the light cable provides cost savings covering the cost of the dedicated battery and echo charger. If the house battery bank is aft of the companionway, its a shorter boat where the break even point occurs. The cable running time/effort/labour charge is a wash with either.

There's also the maintenance convenience factor. Maintaining another battery at the opposite end of the boat, perhaps in a not so convenient location (remember the pile of chain in the anchor locker) can be a PITA.

For all boats, I evaluate the pros and cons and present them to the customer. Most times, powering off the house bank is preferred.

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Old 20-01-2016, 08:31   #33
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
It does raise the question... do you need huge cables running forward to a windlass battery? if it's part of the house system, the aft house bank will fill the forward battery as it's being depleted right? How much current would that be..?
I recommend caution here.

If one uses an Echo Charger from the house bank to the dedicated windlass battery, no worries, just choose cable AWG to suit 15A for (loop) cable length.

If you don't use an echo charger to limit current, you would have to choose cable to suit the max amp draw of the windlass, wich would negate the benefit of the dedicated battery.

Full Disclosure: I sell and install windlasses. This post is offered as free advice and not intended to solicit business.

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Old 20-01-2016, 08:39   #34
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
The advice to run the engine when using the windlass predates LiFePO4 batteries. LiFePO4 batteries obviate any need to run the engine when using the windlass, which is really nice for the other people in the anchorage.

I've seen 12C discharge loads with LiFePO4 for durations similar to those for a bow thruster, with no obvious ill effects, though I believe cycle life will suffer. Given how often a bow thruster is used, that might be acceptable. So assuming the bow thruster and the windlass probably won't be used at the same time, a 10C discharge load would result from a 530 watt-hour battery, which would be 40AH at 13V or 20AH at 26V. I would go with double that capacity if I had the space.
Hmmmm, I have yet to find a windlass manufacturer who recommends pulling the boat up to the anchor via windlass. Every one I've seen mandates using the vessel engine to move up to the anchor location, and only using the windlass to raise the anchor.

(Of course I know people do all kinds of things they are not supposed to, just sayin'.)

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Old 20-01-2016, 08:55   #35
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Warning Running Cables From House to Windlass Batteries!

It isn't really clear from the posts, but it sounds like some folks have run some light gauge wires from their house bank aft, to their dedicated windlass battery forward.

By light gauge, I mean lighter than the minimum gauge that should be used to power the windlass off the house bank aft.

DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT A FUSE OR BREAKER TO LIMIT CURRENT TO THE MAX THE CABLE RUN CAN HANDLE!

(Yes, I'm yelling this.)

If one does this, without current limiting, it may work fine for some time, possibly years, until the day that:

1. The dedicated windlass battery performance diminishes.

2. A high impedance (loose connection, corrosion, etc) connection between windlass and dedicated battery occurs.

In either case above, the current drawn from the house bank may exceed the current carrying capacity of the light gauge wire chosen, and cause an electrical fire.

If you are going to use a dedicated windlass (or thruster) battery forward, it is much wiser to use a 15A echo charger to charge the dedicated battery forward off the house bank.

Full Disclosure: I sell and install windlasses professionally. This post is offered as free advice, and not intended to solicit business.
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Old 20-01-2016, 08:55   #36
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I cut and pasted this from the trojan site, to answer the original question, why have a starting battery on a boat? Why not all deep cycle?

Can I use my deep-cycle battery as a starting battery?
deep-cycle batteries can be used for engine starting but starting batteries should not be used for deep-cycle applications. A deep-cycle battery may have less cranking amps per pound than a starting battery, but in most cases a deep-cycle battery is still more than adequate for the purpose of starting an engine

Trojan Battery Company
I didn't have a windlass on my boat but our battery set up consisted of 2 deep cycle batteries in parallel connected all the time as Bank 1. I did everything off this bank from house loads to starting the engine. This bank was 2 group 24 "deep cycle" batteries each rated at 550 CCA and 84 amp hours capacity. Because they were paralleled that gave me 1100 CCA to start the motor and 84 amp hours to 50% charge. Even on the occasion when I drew it down to 50% or slightly below it always cranked no problem. I figure I'd have to really kill the bank or have a shorted battery for it not to work.

I then had Bank 2 which consisted of 1 group 24 Starting battery charged via an echo charger. This was my back up emergency bank should Bank 1 die, fall overboard, explode, give me the finger, or what have you. I never needed to use it outside of occasionally testing it to make sure it worked.

On my speed boat I have this exact set up, except Bank One only has 1 Group 24 Deep cycle battery at 550 CCA and that starts my carbureted V8 Chevy 350 small block consistently, even in the cold after not running for a long time when it takes a LONG time to start.

So really long response to simple question. Yes I do support using deep cycle to start engines. But I like to keep a back up starting battery just in case.
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Old 20-01-2016, 09:05   #37
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by Greg4cocokai View Post
I believe my battery combiner limits current to 60amps. I ran #4 wires to charge a large (group 120?) battery. 50' run one way, 2200w windlass, 125 lb anchor, 400'-3/8" chain. Circumnavigated 9 yrs with no problems except one battery changeout.


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CAUTION!

Your belief is probably incorrect.

Most combiners (ACRs, Diode, and even 1/2/Both/Off battery switches) have a max current rating. None that I know of limit current. If the load exceeds their current rating, they will fail or catch fire.

Folks, the energy stored in a starting or house battery can do a lot of damage to property and person if mishandled. If you don't know what you are doing (intimately familiar with ABYC E10 and E11 standards and good battery handling practices), DO NOT PLAY WITH BATTERY CIRCUITS.

Full Disclosure: I sell and install windlasses. This post is offered as free advice and not intended to solicit business.

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Old 20-01-2016, 09:09   #38
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

Start batteries are designed to provide high current draw ( 100+ A) for a short period of time. ( secs)

A true deep cycle battery is designed to supply a relatively steady supply of current ( 1 - 10 A ) for hours.

A windlass load is typically 20 - 200 A for minutes.

Either battery type will work but the life of the battery in terms of duty cycle will often be less than either start or house batteries.

Typically you will have your engine running with the alternator matching the current draw. Wiring sizing is important.

When choosing a windlass battery I look for a start battery with good thickness lead plates.

Why a start battery? Because it will be charged with my start battery not my house batteries.

On our Liberty 458 we have two start batteries which also power our windlass. Our house batteries are charged by a seperate alternator and inverter.

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Old 20-01-2016, 09:54   #39
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
CAUTION!

Your belief is probably incorrect.

Most combiners (ACRs, Diode, and even 1/2/Both/Off battery switches) have a max current rating. None that I know of limit current. If the load exceeds their current rating, they will fail or catch fire.

Folks, the energy stored in a starting or house battery can do a lot of damage to property and person if mishandled. If you don't know what you are doing (intimately familiar with ABYC E10 and E11 standards and good battery handling practices), DO NOT PLAY WITH BATTERY CIRCUITS.
Rod's right.

Thinking that a combiner limits current indicates a complete lack of understanding of just what service this product performs and how it works.

It is simply a relay. The current that the battery at the "other" end "wants" is based on its acceptance at the time. If it could exceed the rating of the combiner, then what Rod says will happen.

That's why they make different ratings of combiners.

When we had a wimpy 55A alternator, I put in a 120 or 130A combiner, because I knew that later on I'd be increasing the size of my alternator.

One could argue that the combiner from the house bank to the start/reserve bank would never see the full current because the s/r bank would almost always be full. Could be, but if you have large banks, and your house bank dies, and you then rely on your s/r bank to run the boat, and then IT needs to be charged when you sort out the mess...???

The messages are: what was said was wrong; be careful out there.

ONLY echo chargers limit current.
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Old 20-01-2016, 10:21   #40
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

The way you use your boat can determine how you wish to power your windlass. I often like to come to anchor while under sail, and leave the anchorage under sail, i.e., without starting the engine.

Years ago I decided to put in a dedicated battery bank for my windlass. I have two Trojan 6V golf-cart batteries in series, total 225AH, located under one of the V-berths in the forward cabin. From there, the run to the windlass is quite short, about 8 feet. I use AWG 1/0 cable for this run. The circuit is fused and a Blue Sea Systems #6006 battery switch on the V-berth bulkhead allows easy turn on or off. The windlass (now a Lewmar V5) is quite happy with this arrangement.

This battery bank is charged in one of three ways using a dedicated battery charger (Iota DLS-55/IQ4):

(1) shorepower, when at dockside; or
(2) onboard diesel generator, providing 120VAC throughout the boat; or
(3) inverter when the main engine is running.

This system has worked pretty well for many years now, and doesn't require any wired connection aft to the main house battery bank, which would be about a 60-ft run roundtrip.

I can raise and lower the anchor multiple times without having to start the engine or generator.

Not for everyone, of course, but it works for me :-)

Bill

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Old 20-01-2016, 14:53   #41
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
Hmmmm, I have yet to find a windlass manufacturer who recommends pulling the boat up to the anchor via windlass. Every one I've seen mandates using the vessel engine to move up to the anchor location, and only using the windlass to raise the anchor.
+1. Doesn't matter what sort of battery you are using, it's not good for the windlass to pull up to the anchor.
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Old 20-01-2016, 15:13   #42
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
+1. Doesn't matter what sort of battery you are using, it's not good for the windlass to pull up to the anchor.
My ancient Simpson Lawrence windlass states in the user manual something along the lines that it's fine to haul the boat to the anchor, but one should desist if the winch motor stalls. It's got a tiny, by today's standards, 200 watt motor and is as slow as a wet weekend!
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Old 20-01-2016, 15:33   #43
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
The way you use your boat can determine how you wish to power your windlass. I often like to come to anchor while under sail, and leave the anchorage under sail, i.e., without starting the engine.

Years ago I decided to put in a dedicated battery bank for my windlass. I have two Trojan 6V golf-cart batteries in series, total 225AH, located under one of the V-berths in the forward cabin. From there, the run to the windlass is quite short, about 8 feet. I use AWG 1/0 cable for this run. The circuit is fused and a Blue Sea Systems #6006 battery switch on the V-berth bulkhead allows easy turn on or off. The windlass (now a Lewmar V5) is quite happy with this arrangement.

This battery bank is charged in one of three ways using a dedicated battery charger (Iota DLS-55/IQ4):

(1) shorepower, when at dockside; or
(2) onboard diesel generator, providing 120VAC throughout the boat; or
(3) inverter when the main engine is running.

This system has worked pretty well for many years now, and doesn't require any wired connection aft to the main house battery bank, which would be about a 60-ft run roundtrip.

I can raise and lower the anchor multiple times without having to start the engine or generator.

Not for everyone, of course, but it works for me :-)

Bill

Attachment 117122
Attachment 117123
That's exactly how I plan to install mine when I get it. I just installed my lithium battery ban for the house and is in the aft stateroom so it would be an easy 40' round trip if not more to the bow. No good, I needed 1/0 just to the panel at about 30'. I'm switching the starter to the lithium house bank and I'll use the sealed Ultima battery I have now for the starter in the v-berth powered with the 20a Sterling ProCharge Ultra that I bought before I decided to go to lithium to charge the windlass battery via shore power or inverter when the engine is running. The Procharge will use much smaller 110v wire than the huge 12v wire needed for the windlass.

I just makes sense with a 47' boat to me. Glad you had years of good service with this route.

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Old 20-01-2016, 16:59   #44
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
+1. Doesn't matter what sort of battery you are using, it's not good for the windlass to pull up to the anchor.
Hmm…not sure if this is a universal truth .

Sure it is a good rule of thumb and one that is stated in most windlass manuals but we must remember manuals are written for the lowest common intelligence denominator.

Last time I checked, my electric motor couldn't tell if I was hauling up some chain or hauling the boat towards the anchor but it could tell f I was allowing too much current to flow through it . If I did, it would get hot and complain, if I didn't listen, it send out some horrid smells and smoke etc.

The take away is that to "use the manufacturers recommended circuit breaker" which is not only for the wiring protection but also for motor protection.

Couple this with intelligent use and bob's your uncle WRT trouble free anchor retrieval. Put another away, most (perhaps not all) winches will put a boat forward to nice flat calm water but not so much into 20+ kts its and a heavy chop.

YMMV
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Old 20-01-2016, 17:55   #45
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Re: Windlass Battery - deep cycle or starting?

One little side but related issue comes with my new Rocna anchor. After a good blow the bow on Cbreeze will dip almost a ft pulling that bugger out of the bottom. We have tripped the 70 amp breaker a couple of times. The old SL Anchorman would never even grunt pulling the old Delta out of the bottom. Using the boat to break her out once the chain is vertical is becoming a common recovery technique. The Rocna brings up a good chunk of the bottom but she tows very stable and 60 seconds of 2 or 3 knots will wipe her clean.

Bottom line is get a good windlass and a stiff power supply if you are starting from scratch. There is no free lunch in this new class of "high holding power" anchors.

If we are expecting a quiet night I no longer pull very hard setting that thing. Just enough to make sure the chain is not fouled and let her be. Life is easier the next morning.
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