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Old 11-02-2015, 04:49   #1
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia
Boat: 2004 Lagoon 410S2
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Upgrades to Sunshine

Hello All,
Since bringing back Sunshine from the Whitsundays to Lake Macquarie here in New South Wales (Aus) in early December its been almost non stop doing upgrades . In short we have replaced all but two lights with LEDS. Installed new lighting to the cockpit. Ordered a new set of sails (hopefully arriving in the next three weeks). Had the fridge and freezer plates totally replaced and updated as well as the compressors. The new system should use less than half the power and be far more efficient. (Ice cream on boat - Yeeha).
I had already installed two 145 Watt solar panels while we were away but have now replaced the old 12 volt lead acid batteries with two by 6 volt 485 AH AGM batteries. The new batts have the footprint of just one of the old 12 volt lead acid batteries.
Our old light system using the old 12 watt halogen globes and the nav lights when all on together were rated in excess of 340 Watts. This equates to a theoretical figure of 28 A/H usage if all were on. A quick calculation has reduced this figure down to approximate use of 4 amps per hour with all lights on which significantly reduces the drain on the battery.
We are in the midst of replacing the old blue velvet curtain material. I have come across what I believe will be an excellent curtain rod replacement for the existing aluminium one. The new one is a plastic type material that bends to conform with the shape of the Lagoon windows. We scored some proper curtain material with UV backing that should lighten up and modernise the interior at the same time.
Sunshine is a 2004 model 410 that was in charter so she was showing some signs of wear around the trim of a few the cabinet doors. I was able to locate an timber veneer that matched the trim and had a heat activated glue on one side. It was a case of sanding off the old trim to timber and then using an iron to activate the glue and placing the new trim around the doors. It was actually a relatively easy process. Time consuming but straight forward. Makes a world of difference to the look of the interior already.
Once I work out how to post some photos I will download a few. While I remember the other thing that we did was replace some water damaged sections of the saloon floor. It was quite daunting when we first undertook this job but with a lot of patience, (bourbon) and encouragement from the first mate we are very pleased with the outcome.


Greg, Sue and the Sea Dog (Bella)
SV Sunshine
Lake Macquarie
NSW Aus
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:44   #2
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Any chance to see some pictures, especially of your woodwork?

Tico
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Old 25-03-2015, 04:42   #3
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Hello all,
well hopefully I have been able to master downloading some photos.

1)


2)

3)


4)


The above pictures show one of my cabinet doors on the 410 that I removed. As seen the trim is stuffed. I was able to source a new timber trim with heat activated glue. Using my bench saw it was a case of doing a very fine cut to remove the old trim, cutting the new trim to size and then using an iron to activate the glue and then gently roll the trim to ensure the glue adhered to the timber cabinet correctly. Trim off the excess timber and then coat to the desired level with varnish. For an amateur I was very happy with the result.

The timber trim is relatively inexpensive and can be done by a fairly average handyman. Not perfect but better then what it was.


If I may suggest a few hints from my mistakes. a) don't let the wife catch you using her best scissors for cutting the timber trim. b) Don't let you wife catch you using her best iron in the workshop to do these type of jobs. c) have good medical insurance should she find out. Don't ask me how I know this


Greg, Sue and the Bella the sea dog.
SV Sunshine
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Old 25-03-2015, 17:24   #4
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Greg & Sue,
Great job. I too need to attend to some of the doors.

It looks like the timber is the same type on Seabreeze. Could you please advise what timber species veneer you used & where you got it from.

We're currently in the throws of sorting through & clearing out a lifetime of business & domestic possessions in preparation to moving aboard Seabreeze. This was the last year of dodging cyclones for us!

Have just installed new curtains & insect screens & am planning a haul out shortly to replace all through hulls & fittings, before we head off.

Keep up the good work.

Dave
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Old 25-03-2015, 21:29   #5
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

HI Dave,
I located the veneer at a mob called Mister Plywood. I don't know if you have a franchise up there near Innisfail. I can send you a sample if you like. I matched it by eye and will have to find the actual name of it.
Been really busy. The new main went on last Monday (Doyle Sails), very happy with it. Also installed a Vitron Battery monitor. Worth its weight in gold. Now I know exactly what power is being consumed, what power is being generated (solar and motor), battery life and hours of use left. Really good piece of kit.



Greg, Sue and the Sea Dog
SV Sunshine
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Old 25-03-2015, 21:35   #6
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

The veneer can also be unstuck with an iron instead of cutting
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Old 27-03-2015, 02:50   #7
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Hello all,
as part of the upgrades we had installed a solar system with a MPPT regulator. Part of the information that the regulator gave us was the amount of current being fed into the batteries and the state of the charge. I became concerned that this was not an accurate reflection on what state the charge of the batteries were in when after one day the regulator display advised that we were down to 45% of our battery capacity.
We have two six volt batteries in series which in total supplies 410 Amp hours storage capacity. The voltmeter indicated we never went below 12.3 volts and in rough terms this is equivalent to 70% capacity.
I was pulling my hair out trying to determine how much power we were using per day. My current usage based on the theoretical load was substantially lower then that was being displayed. A few checks revealed that the meter being used on the regulator was not reading the current being fed into the batteries via the motor and in fact not taking into account the actual charge rate of the batteries.
In the end I decided to install a dedicated electrical instrument that would accurately read, immediate current drain, current being fed into the batteries via any feed IE solar, engine or wind, real time power consumption, not only in amp hours but also in Watts, hour of battery usage based on present power consumption, voltage and percentage of battery capacity left IE 90%.
What a revelation to find an instrument that can accurately advise of the current charge status of your batteries. . After much research I installed a Victron system that utilises a current shunt connected to the negative side of your house batteries to determine the charge state. There are many other comparable systems out there but I chose Victron due to their reviews and price here in Australia.
It is an absolute pleasure to check one instrument and see what is exactly happening with your power usage. I can now see the current input from our solar panels and motor alternators and also what power is being used by the boat at the same time. Brilliant . It is indeed a relief and comfort to know the exact state of charge of your batteries. This is of great importance to us cruising the east coast of Australia. If the sun is not inputting enough or if we are using to much power we can adjust the method of supplying more power very quickly by supplementing with the motor or generator.
I would be most interested in hearing what other peoples views and experiences on this topic based on what we have found out over the last few days since installing the power meter.


Greg, Sue and Bella the Sea Dog
SV Sunshine
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Old 27-03-2015, 03:32   #8
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Greg,
We installed a Enerdrive E-lite BM (Battery Monitor via a shunt) a couple of years ago. Don't know the Victron but assume similar setup. Has been awesome for us to keep an eye on everything you are talking about.

The other thing we have is our Morningstar Tristar MPPT solar controller hooked up to our Sunpower E20 327 Watt Solar Panel. The Sunpower is mounted on a tilting frame on our davits. The Morningstar is awesome as it has the facility to hook up to routers. I have it hooked into our wifi router/4G modem so can see everything the panel is doing & even has a last 100 days data logger. Can view via wifi on laptop, iPhone & iPad. Quite amazing how much extra power is generated early morning or afternoon when we rotate the panel towards the sun. Double the amps when rotated e.g. 20 amps by 8am on good days in the tropics.

Have read though that BM's need to be calibrated correctly allowing for changes in Peukert to keep them accurate for amp/hours remaining etc. as the batteries age. Also good to manually synchronise them occassionally. Though keeping an eye on amps in & amps out is what's important to me. We never get below 12.6v on our 480a/h AGM's. We use a maximum of 80a/h overnight running fridge/freezer/TV/instruments/computers/lights/pumps/toilets etc. So only have to recoup that plus daylight loads to stay on top.

Since installing all this have never had a problem & we know when to break out the Honda genie after a few bad/rainy days to keep the batteries healthy & lasting longer.

Dave
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Old 27-03-2015, 03:54   #9
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Greg,
Forgot to mention that I have also replaced the dumb relay/solenoid switches that originally combined the house bank to the engine start batteries when the motors/alternators were running. With a couple of Yandina 160 Combiners. This means that no matter what charging sources are operating (alternators, shore charger, solar) ALL batteries are being charged. When no charging present, the different banks are isolated!

Best bang for your bucks ever!

Dave
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Old 27-03-2015, 04:37   #10
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
The veneer can also be unstuck with an iron instead of cutting
Yep, or else use a hot air gun. That way the wife won't get upset with glue on her iron.

We have had trouble on our 400 with edges in a few places. Have come to the conclusion that if the edge strips, veneered (or, in our case plastic or laminate) come unstuck, we remove by melting glue with gentle heat from the gun, use turpentine to remove glue and then restick using 5 minute epoxy. This holds much better than hot melt glue provided the surfaces are clean and lightly abraded.

Don't spread this to other parts of the forum, but IMHO internal edges are the most disappointing part of Lagoon catamarans. Glued edges need refixing and ply edges need sealing with (?) epoxy. If they did all the edges on the boats the way I'd like however, they would probably be much more expensive.

BTW Greg, I've fitted a Victron BMS 700 for the same reasons as you. A big improvement over the standard battery meter.
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Old 27-03-2015, 06:18   #11
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Just a quick note to those using battery monitors that will be obvious to some more experienced sailors but oblivious to others (like myself)
When I installed my battery monitor I expected the percentage to show the actual percentage of battery remaining, and decided this is the simplest way for me to monitor the state of my batteries.
However, as the percentage is a calculated guesstimate of amps used/amps charged it can become out by up to 20% over time. It is in fact fairly close within a few days after the batteries are fully charged but after a couple of weeks of not plugging in it could be well out because amps out are actually higher than those read by the monitor (due to Pookets law or whatever his name is). Sure the monitor applies an adjustable value for this, but its not always accurate. So after a couple of weeks of saing and anchoring, relying on solar and wind to charge the batteries, the monitor might say batteries are at 65%, but, the voltage is at 12.2V. The voltage indicates the batteries are actually at 50%. This reading will be most accurate after the batteries have rested for a while (probably first thing in the morning)

These are approximate voltages/% of charge
12v - 40%
12.2v-50%
12.4v-65%
12.6v-80%
12.8v-100%

Hopefully this will help someone (and their batteries) as it has taken me a while to figure it out!

The monitor is a good piece of equipment, it will tell the amps out, and amps in, which can be really useful, and the % state of charge is fine to use if you fully charge regularly, just don't rely on it if its weeks between fully charging your batteries.
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Old 27-03-2015, 06:45   #12
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Just to add a bit of information from what I researched. Battery voltage is not as accurate as what I first believed. From the information I gleaned, to get an accurate battery voltage reading the battery must be disconnected from the load and then left for a few hours. Then you test the battery voltage and this will give you a more accurate voltage.


Greg H
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Old 27-03-2015, 06:55   #13
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Upgrades to Sunshine

Exactly Greg, which is why the BM is so handy to keep an eye on daily use. When the solar is charging a 70% full battery is likely to read 13V, sun goes down, same SOC might read 12.5, batteries under load with autopilot, same SOC might read 12V. The closest you will come to seeing actual voltage will probably be first thing in the morning before the solar kicks in, but even then it will be a little off due to fridges drawing overnight. The BM will definitely help you keep an eye on things and get a feel for how much power systems use.
A great article by mainsail here
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/p...attery_monitor
In fact they're all great. Read them all when you have a chance
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Old 28-03-2015, 03:11   #14
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Re: Upgrades to Sunshine

Thanks Monte, great article for us who still have BMS "Learners" plates.

You are correct in pointing out that the BMS will become progressively more inaccurate when the bank is not completely recharged. The advise I have received from friends with more experience and expertise is to adjust the Peukerts value to suit the battery bank and to do that when it is possible to recharge to 100%. This might mean adjusting the BMS when at a marina or running a generator. The BMS reading can be adjusted to 100% when you are sure that the bank is completely recharged.

It's good for battery life to do a complete recharge every now and then, it also allows a 100% re calibrate on the BMS.
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