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Old 14-04-2016, 13:47   #1
rom
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Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

Hello there, I just signed for a L440 ! :-) I have already sailed quite a lot on a 440 so there should be no surprise. While waiting for the survey to complete the transaction I am thinking about some modifications I could/should do. First comes the electrical system and I am leaning toward full solar with about 1300W of sunpower panels. The boat doesn't have a generator which is cool as I don't want one. And this leaves quite some space in the big cockpit locker where I feel I should put everything that is heavy for weight distribution reasons, and batts obviously come to mind.

For those of you using big LA house battery you probably realized that your port stern sits much lower in the water that at starboard... I don't like that. The other reason is that I don't like to sleep above 1000Ah of batts (sitting right next to 325l of diesel btw). It seems to me the modification is not so hard and I could do that myself.

Anyone done that modification ? any opinion ?
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Old 20-04-2016, 05:40   #2
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

Can't see and issue with putting them there.
We have a big genny and starter bat in that locker and it is happy as larry. Build a cover over the bats and you will still have useful storage.

It is a very dry locker.

The previous owner to us added extra bats (750 amp hrs) and our Port side sits about 3 inches lower that stb. So on the list is moving half of them to the other side to balance the boat. Just have not got round to it yet, two years on...
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Old 20-04-2016, 12:31   #3
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

Hi Two Drifters and thanks for your answer !

You might well have the right solution ... I know you can fit 3x 165Ah, maybe more, under the cabin floor (as opposed to under the bed) which brings the weight forward, same position as cockpit locker actually. Now we could easily put 3 batts under the floor on each side and use the 70mm cables (+&-) that are already there to connect them together. You would loose the coupling function, port starter batt and startboard starter batt, but no big deal to me as I was going for "house batt for everything" and one small safety batt separted with a 1/2/both/off switch. That additional safety batt would be under the port bed and make good balance with the water heater that sits at starboard ! And I could use the empty cockpit locket to sleep two more guest !

Sounds good but I am afraid that having the house bank split in two with this long cable (maybe 8 meters ?) might not be work so well...
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Old 21-04-2016, 22:38   #4
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

We have 6x140 Ah batteries under the port berth. I guess the weight is around 150 kg for 840Ah. That's nowhere near enough to offset the weight balance, let alone sink the transoms inches more. The weight is offset by the water heater in the starboard hull which I guess is around 40kg full. And probably the additional weight of the cockpit table and lockers. There's no way 1000Ah of batteries will offset the balance. Put an extra 100l of diesel in the starboard tank if your concerned , or tell the crew to sit on the starboard side, or sail on a port tack...
Really 150kg on a 15 tonne displacement boat shouldn't be noticed at all.
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Old 22-04-2016, 01:37   #5
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
We have 6x140 Ah batteries under the port berth. I guess the weight is around 150 kg for 840Ah. That's nowhere near enough to offset the weight balance, let alone sink the transoms inches more. The weight is offset by the water heater in the starboard hull which I guess is around 40kg full. And probably the additional weight of the cockpit table and lockers. There's no way 1000Ah of batteries will offset the balance. Put an extra 100l of diesel in the starboard tank if your concerned , or tell the crew to sit on the starboard side, or sail on a port tack...
Really 150kg on a 15 tonne displacement boat shouldn't be noticed at all.
Hi Monte and thanks for your input !

I believe your weight numbers are not correct though. 840Ah of victron gel or AGM weights about 240 Kg. I am currently looking after 4x Ultracell 275Ah for a total of 1100Ah and 304 kg ! Also I have sailed a L440 with 6x 165Ah under the port bed and I can tell you (and two drifters confirms) that the port side sits much lower than starboard. Last but not least the L440 is 12T (as compared to 15T for the L450) and has those integrated swimming ladders that are constantly under water if you put too much weight back there and would quickly get full of green algae.
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Old 22-04-2016, 07:39   #6
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

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Hi Monte and thanks for your input !

I believe your weight numbers are not correct though. 840Ah of victron gel or AGM weights about 240 Kg. I am currently looking after 4x Ultracell 275Ah for a total of 1100Ah and 304 kg ! Also I have sailed a L440 with 6x 165Ah under the port bed and I can tell you (and two drifters confirms) that the port side sits much lower than starboard. Last but not least the L440 is 12T (as compared to 15T for the L450) and has those integrated swimming ladders that are constantly under water if you put too much weight back there and would quickly get full of green algae.
I also think that with the boat being an owners version we have a lot less weight in the Stb hull due to only having one berth, thus less wood, one less heads, etc etc etc...

Port Hull is definitely lower in the water. Additionally the Genny runs off the Stb fuel tank, so that has a tendency to be emptier which makes a difference.

But then I am not that fussed, lets face it, if I was worried about weight management then I would not have 110 meters of 12mm chain up the front on a 30kg Spade
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Old 22-04-2016, 13:51   #7
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

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Originally Posted by Two Drifters View Post
But then I am not that fussed, lets face it, if I was worried about weight management then I would not have 110 meters of 12mm chain up the front on a 30kg Spade
Holly cow ! I was actually thinking that chain&windlass were way too far forward and that I should reduce the 10mm chain length ... Don't you feel the bows go too deep in heavy sees ? That's really a lot of weight ! Especially when water tanks are full !
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Old 24-04-2016, 07:15   #8
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

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Holly cow ! I was actually thinking that chain&windlass were way too far forward and that I should reduce the 10mm chain length ... Don't you feel the bows go too deep in heavy sees ? That's really a lot of weight ! Especially when water tanks are full !
Yes to be honest it is to much. It came with the boat and so far it has been fine Med sailing. And on occasion it has been very very good having the ability to anchor safely in 30m of water.

Planning on taking it down to 70m of chain and 50m of rope rode at some stage.
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Old 28-04-2016, 08:10   #9
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

Only potential issue is weight of batteries up higher will mean higher center or gravity and more movement variation to batteries and connectors in big short seas. Having all that lead at the waterline or below would be a positive, but not sure if it would make that much diference in a 12T+ boat.
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Old 28-04-2016, 08:38   #10
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pirate Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bean Counter View Post
Only potential issue is weight of batteries up higher will mean higher center or gravity and more movement variation to batteries and connectors in big short seas. Having all that lead at the waterline or below would be a positive, but not sure if it would make that much diference in a 12T+ boat.
Should have zero effect on a catamaran.. its not like they heel 20-30 degrees under way.. and being more centrally placed overall in the boat it can only be beneficial.
Lets face it.. those big ole gennies are not light and if you could move all your batteries up there from the hulls and possible flooding can only be a positive..
But.. that's just my uninformed view..
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:11   #11
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

Hi i have almost completed this mod. to my 440 i have added 4-8d agm for the house and re-located the engine start gp24 's in the engine lockers aft.
i have re-wired all main dc cables with 2/0 .
The difference is major in the voltage drops to winches and starter motors etc.
During this re-wire i found a major factory error in the size of the original ground buss supply wire that dropped the voltage to the entire system..
here is the schematic for my system.
hope this helps.
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File Type: pdf 12vdc ever after.pdf (231.2 KB, 68 views)
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Old 07-05-2016, 00:34   #12
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

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Originally Posted by RONDO View Post
Hi i have almost completed this mod. to my 440 i have added 4-8d agm for the house and re-located the engine start gp24 's in the engine lockers aft.
i have re-wired all main dc cables with 2/0 .
The difference is major in the voltage drops to winches and starter motors etc.
During this re-wire i found a major factory error in the size of the original ground buss supply wire that dropped the voltage to the entire system..
here is the schematic for my system.
hope this helps.
Cool ! many thanks Rondo for sharing this !! Would you show us a picture of the installation in the cockpit locker ? I wonder how much space it uses and how much is left free for other stuff...

Did you reroute the electrical cables from the engines to the house batt ? I wonder if it's possible to go straight in between the hulls where the engine control cable are already running ? Same idea, could you run the windlass cable straight under the saloon floor ?

I am leaning toward a "maine sail" solution with one house batt and one safety batt, no engine dedicated batts. Clean simple and efficient.

Time to share my diagrams I guess... here they are ! Comments are welcome.

cheers !
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:03   #13
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

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Originally Posted by rom View Post
Cool ! many thanks Rondo for sharing this !! Would you show us a picture of the installation in the cockpit locker ? I wonder how much space it uses and how much is left free for other stuff...

Did you reroute the electrical cables from the engines to the house batt ? I wonder if it's possible to go straight in between the hulls where the engine control cable are already running ? Same idea, could you run the windlass cable straight under the saloon floor ?

I am leaning toward a "maine sail" solution with one house batt and one safety batt, no engine dedicated batts. Clean simple and efficient.

Time to share my diagrams I guess... here they are ! Comments are welcome.

cheers !
I will try to take some photos on Sunday of my installation.
I did not rerun the crappy existing non tinned neoprene sheathed cables to the engines.
I did pull new 2/0 marine cable from the ex gen. locker to both engines via the harness run next to the steering cables shared by the engine harnesses.
I have not pulled new windlass cables yet but will definitely pull them through the pipe to under salon floor.

comments on your wiring are..
battery bank wiring is not correct according to deka see attachment for what they recommend.
i understand the spare battery concept but prefer my batteries to earn their keep not just be sitting around.
I like my engine start batteries to have really short runs to the starters and with the batteries on the shelf above the engines this is so.
In my schematic you can see that i have a simple two bank system that via the blue seas combiner uses all batteries for house or start when the voltage on either battery bank is above 13.2 or so [via -solar,wind,alternators,and or charger] and separates the battery banks when both banks are lower than the set point.
Also do not see the point of wiring the alternators back to the battery busses and would prefer the alternator output cables go to the larger starter cables.
cheers ..
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Old 07-05-2016, 17:44   #14
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

Hey Rondo, many thanks, very useful information about running the electrical wires under the cockpit & saloon floor ! Can't wait to see the pictures of your cockpit locker ! Looking forward to do the same !

You might be right about sharing a single cable for the alt & starter. What I had in mind is that with so much solar power I would totally shut down the alts most of the time from the cockpit locker. My diagram is missing a on/off switch for the alternators.
But then I would need to control the field at the same time which is not easy with stock hitachi alts. Well, I am not totally sold on that part for now. I expect to move to 24V some day and control the alts with on/off switch on the field cable... So yeah maybe sharing a single cable would be fine for now.

I am totally sold on the safety+house system with 1/2/B switch though, and it's been discussed a thousand times so I won't add anything. To each their own.

As for the battery connection diagram, I added some notes to your own diagram hopefully showing the superiority of "my" diagram. I took it from here: SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank
Very clever and pretty simple with my battery setup !

edit: a bit late, my diagram actually has the on/off switch for the alts
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Old 08-05-2016, 20:20   #15
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Re: Would you put the batteries into the cockpit locker ?

here you go Rom some photos of my install as you can see only 2 batteries so far but cleats are in position for 2 more.
Also i plan to install 2-2x4 hold down beams between side bulk heads across the top of the battery bank and then a shelf on top.
Check the table below to determine your fuse sizes correctly..
cheers Rondo
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