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Old 31-05-2019, 13:15   #1
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3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

My 25 year old Charles charger may or may not be performing the way it should. There are no indicator lights showing battery condition or charging activity. In any case, I'm considering switching to one of the new generation 3 bank chargers which are usually found on fishing boats with house and trolling motors. My 3 750 ah AGM batteries serve as starting for the 2 engines and Westerbekie genset.AND also serve as house batteries on my yacht and are of course subject to deep cycles.

Does anyone have an opinion as to the conversion to a say Dual Pro 15 3 bank charger or any of the other high tech fishing boat multiple battery charging systems which are more compact and have more features than the older Charles type system for yachts?

Thanks for any replies..
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Old 31-05-2019, 14:13   #2
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

My 18 year old Charles Charger went bad 4 months ago. I installed one of these:
ProNautic 1260P | ProMariner

Worked great as a backup. In general you can size a charger for 25% of the battery amp hours so its small for your bank and very small for my 1000 ah bank.

https://shop.pkys.com/How-do-you-siz...4aAnCBEALw_wcB
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Old 31-05-2019, 18:58   #3
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

how big is the current charger? 15a is way to tiny for a new one.

I also think you are mistaken in having three 750ah batteries. (that would weight about 500lbs each)

do you know the actual bank sizes?
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:13   #4
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

The batteries are group D 12V wet cell batteries, exactly like you will find under the hood of your 2000 Chevy Silverado truck. The 2 engines are Crusader 7.4 350s with alternators (when running of course). The charger is needed for dock operation with 30a 120v shore power connected. If I happen to be using my 12.5kw Westerbeke when running I of course turn off my battery charger so that the batteries will be charged by only the engine alternators. So actually, I only need a charger to charge the two engine batteries (which also furnish my house power) and my genset starting battery.


I have considered the Dual Pro 15 Amp/Bank Professional Series 3 Bank Charger which comes highly rated..comments?
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Old 01-06-2019, 19:36   #5
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

I removed the old Charles 40 A charger and Got a 100A 3 bank charger . Why go low and wait for power ?
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Old 01-06-2019, 19:50   #6
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

Sounds like you have 3 group d starting batteries rated at 750 cca not 750 ah each.
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Old 01-06-2019, 20:28   #7
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcheairs View Post
The batteries are group D 12V wet cell batteries, exactly like you will find under the hood of your 2000 Chevy Silverado truck. The 2 engines are Crusader 7.4 350s with alternators (when running of course). The charger is needed for dock operation with 30a 120v shore power connected. If I happen to be using my 12.5kw Westerbeke when running I of course turn off my battery charger so that the batteries will be charged by only the engine alternators. So actually, I only need a charger to charge the two engine batteries (which also furnish my house power) and my genset starting battery.


I have considered the Dual Pro 15 Amp/Bank Professional Series 3 Bank Charger which comes highly rated..comments?

Perhaps we can examine this from an engineering analytical approach. Or not. Take your pick.

Two big engines (which usually don't have to start at the same time)

One BIG bank of batteries, all tied together as ONE, serving starter, generator start and house (What could go wrong here?)

Runs 12.5kw Westerbeke [I think he means his generator] when running I of course turn off my battery charger so that the batteries will be charged by only the engine alternators (Why depends on the output of the generator, DC use directly, AC use charger???)

Tcheairs, it doesn't matter how big your boat is or, at least for now, how you use it.

Figure out how "little" a battery needs to be to start your engine(s). You might be surprised at how much less than a 4D will actually work for you.

Generator output - is it AC or DC?

Consider, if you don't have already but didn't mention, switching to separate your house and starting loads.

The "two engine batteries (which also furnish my house power) and my genset starting battery" rarely need much, if any recharging, so I begin to understand why you only need a small charger.

You may also have a simpler option of just using your alternators to recharge the starter & genset batteries, because their engines are always running when they do, so the batteries, if dedicated to those functions, should always be topped off unless you layover for long periods or don't use the genset often. That's easy to fix with either a switch or an ACR/BVSR. And from a single output charger, which may, just may be less expensive. PtroNautic seems to be a very good choice from Maine Sail's recommendations.

4Ds are usually not true deep cycles and often deliver poorly for both starting and house use. Real Deep cycles can easily tolerate starting loads unless you run a motorboat that restarts endless times a day. You might want to re-evaluate your battery mix.

Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2019, 20:57   #8
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcheairs View Post
If I happen to be using my 12.5kw Westerbeke when running I of course turn off my battery charger so that the batteries will be charged by only the engine alternators. So actually, I only need a charger to charge the two engine batteries (which also furnish my house power) and my genset starting battery.


I have considered the Dual Pro 15 Amp/Bank Professional Series 3 Bank Charger which comes highly rated..comments?

if you are running your gen. you need the battery charger on. the gen produces AC power, just like the dock does. which runs your battery charger.

15a is too small. also the small sealed ones are no good for running loads which you are doing while on the boat with the gen running. how many amps is the existing one? it will say on it. I would be looking in the 50a range for 3 standard size agm batteries

there is no such thing as a group d battery. if they are the same as a truck they are probably 27 or 31
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:04   #9
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

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Originally Posted by rbk View Post
Sounds like you have 3 group d starting batteries rated at 750 cca not 750 ah each.
I agree. Probably between 70 and 100 AH each.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:39   #10
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

I recently bought a Pronautic 1250P and really love it. My charger was about 20 years old.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:33   #11
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

I know my original post was a bit confusing, so I'll try to explain my needs more clearly. I have 3 Optima Blue Top model 34s. Two of them are starting batteries for my main 7.4 Crusader gas engines and these two batteries also do the house power duty, DC lights, onboard water pump, shower pump and most importantly bilge pumps. The 3rd battery is for starting the genset only, but I have "tapped" it for a couple of additional low draw DC duties. The genset also has an alternator which charges it's battery when "online".

The old Charles charger gets it's 120v power from shore power or my genset when it is operating.The 2 engine starting/house batteries are charged by the Charles charger when on shore power or genset power as is the genset starting battery. The 2 engine starting/house batteries are charged by the engine alternators when underway and if I happen to be using the genset, I TURN OFF the Charles onboard charger and allow the engines to charge the batteries. I'm not sure whether or not this is necessary, so I turn off the Charles to be on the safe side to prevent double charging. So, overall there is not really much deep cycling of my batteries unless I'm anchored out and not running the genset. This is seldom the case because I'm not comfortable with operating a gas genset at anchor.

My main concern is OVERCHARGING my batteries by the 33 year old Charles as there is no monitoring system on the Charles and I am not able to monitor the condition of each battery individually while charging. I'm also not sure whether or not the engine batteries are on totally different busses and if one is lower than the other, the higher charged battery might become overcharged. The new modern charging systems such as the Pronautic 1250 or Minnkota 210 D are highly rated and described as "smart" in that they discriminate among the batteries they are charging and also indicate what is going on. So, I'm asking for recommendations for a replacement of the old Charles with a more modern system which can be monitored (at a reasonable cost of course).
I realize that separating starting from house duties is the best of all solutions but that's beyond my electrical pay grade at age 73.

Thanks for all of the responses
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Old 02-06-2019, 14:02   #12
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

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Originally Posted by Tcheairs View Post
......and if one is lower than the other, the higher charged battery might become overcharged. The new modern charging systems such as the Pronautic 1250 or the Minn Kota 210D are highly rated and described as "smart" in that they discriminate among the batteries they are charging and also indicate what is going on.
The Pronautic is highly rated - it is a very good 50 amp charger. But it and virtually all other chargers available do not discriminate between batteries or banks of batteries. They are basically a single charger with diodes so one battery on one output will not feed another battery on another output.

The Minn Kota while an ok charger is only 5 amps. https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/minn...harger-mk-210d

Your batteries are 55 AH each. https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-u...-starting/d34m

As long as the voltages of the charger is correct for your batteries they will not be overcharged. The battery determines the current it will accept, all the charger does is supply a voltage. With a charger having multiple outputs to different batteries each accept current until it reaches 80 to 85% state of charge and the current then declines. This allows the charger to output more current to the other batteries if they are in need. When all batteries are accepting less current (or when the charger's timed bulk/absorption stage is over) it goes into a float stage with a lower voltage - typically 13.5 volts. In float batteries accept very little current and can stay this way indefinitely.
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Old 02-06-2019, 14:49   #13
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcheairs View Post
I know my original post was a bit confusing, so I'll try to explain my needs more clearly. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My main concern is OVERCHARGING my batteries by the 33 year old Charles as there is no monitoring system on the Charles and I am not able to monitor the condition of each battery individually while charging. I'm also not sure whether or not the engine batteries are on totally different busses and if one is lower than the other, the higher charged battery might become overcharged. The new modern charging systems such as the Pronautic 1250 or Minnkota 210 D are highly rated and described as "smart" in that they discriminate among the batteries they are charging and also indicate what is going on. So, I'm asking for recommendations for a replacement of the old Charles with a more modern system which can be monitored (at a reasonable cost of course).
I realize that separating starting from house duties is the best of all solutions but that's beyond my electrical pay grade at age 73.

Thanks for all of the responses

Hi, again.


You simply cannot overcharge any battery if the voltage is proper. Period.

Here's an example:

Overcharging with Combiners or ACRs The MYTH:
Overcharging Batteries with a Combiner or ACR

You might also be interested in learning more about batteries and what they need:

The Ample Power Primer
[May 2019]
The Ample Power Primer is still available on the Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20160323...mer/primer.pdf
It remains one of the best...
Many thanks to Bill Murdoch

All these links come from this thread which has a lot of pertinent information:

Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101


***************
***************

It appears that we figured out most of what you had from your original description, but thanks for adding to it. You're using starting batteries to run your house loads, modest as they may be.

I'm 73, too, and since you've posted here I'm sure you're still into "learnin' more" right?

Your basic question is that you think, but don't know for sure, if your old charger is murdering your batteries. The first thing to do is measure the voltage. Can you do that and tell us what it is? At the batteries, just when you start the shorepower charger. That'd help us to help you.

I am not personally familiar with Optima Blue Top model 34s , so I'm sure someone else will comment on the suitability of those beyond starting duty, i.e., for deep cycle house use.

The first question that came to my mind at the start of this topic was why two start batteries? You only start one engine at a time, right? Most sailboat owners opt for the largest house bank for the best extended time without having to recharge (forgetting about solar for now). But that's philosophy 101 and not your question.

Measure the voltage and tell us before you go spending $$ on a new charger.

It also sounds like your needs are met by the alternators, assuming that you're serious about staying out on the hook. If that's the case, there's more to discuss. Everybody uses their boats differently, and while there is a preponderance of solutions "out there" it never is a one size fits all model, and what works for me and many others may not be applicable to your described use. That's actually GOOD news!

Hope to hear from you soon.
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Old 02-06-2019, 23:54   #14
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

Since he stated his main concern was overcharging and he seems to have no problem with insufficient electrical needs, he only needs to spend a bit of time monitoring battery voltage during a typical charge cycle. Or simply observe how often he needs to top off batteries. But I would suggest he add an inverter to avoid starting genset each time a small AC appliance is used. Adding a battery monitor would be a good thing.

Most other suggestions here involve major work.. And like me he is in 70's and I feel like why bother to do major changes on a system that works?
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Old 03-06-2019, 00:03   #15
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Re: 3 Bank Charger for 50' Bluewater Coastal

His house loads are being pulled off a group 34 battery that also starts his engine. No way he can Power an inverter. His gen will need to be running most of the tine.

Your old charger is Likly a single constant voltage charger and not a 3 stage. If so I would change it. Those do cook batteries.
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