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Old 03-08-2011, 16:01   #1
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Budget Setup / Generator / Batteries for Liveaboard

hello people, me again... thanks first of all for all the advise i got so far from all!!!
now. 2 of us want to live on the boat. 37 feet.
we have- or want:
microwave,650 watt running probably 15 minutes per day.
cooling plate fridge- i have no info about the motor,nothing i can read anymore.
gps-chartplotter garmin. need to buy one, so no info on watt...
position lights for the boat-no info...
2 vans,small, no info about motor
autopilot- small pilot wheel pilot, draw 0,60 amp
4 lights in the cabin- no info about watt
laptop- lets say 4 hours a day?
flatscreen tv - no info on watt...
dvd player- no info....
that would be all we have, need , want!!!
there is no aircon, freezer, waterheater,watermaker or any fancy toys we want or need. now the BIG QUESTION:
what to do.
i have a honda generator, eu2000i. i can buy a few batteries to build a house bank, charge them with the honda a few hours per day? would that work and how many batteries-size-would i need or get away with?
how much should or do i need to spend for that roughly?
as i'm novice with that stuff please bare with me and make it not to complicated please.........
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:11   #2
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesailor View Post
hello people, me again... thanks first of all for all the advise i got so far from all!!!
now. 2 of us want to live on the boat. 37 feet.
we have- or want:
microwave,650 watt running probably 15 minutes per day.
cooling plate fridge- i have no info about the motor,nothing i can read anymore.
gps-chartplotter garmin. need to buy one, so no info on watt...
position lights for the boat-no info...
2 vans,small, no info about motor
autopilot- small pilot wheel pilot, draw 0,60 amp
4 lights in the cabin- no info about watt
laptop- lets say 4 hours a day?
flatscreen tv - no info on watt...
dvd player- no info....
that would be all we have, need , want!!!
there is no aircon, freezer, waterheater,watermaker or any fancy toys we want or need. now the BIG QUESTION:
what to do.
i have a honda generator, eu2000i. i can buy a few batteries to build a house bank, charge them with the honda a few hours per day? would that work and how many batteries-size-would i need or get away with?
how much should or do i need to spend for that roughly?
as i'm novice with that stuff please bare with me and make it not to complicated please.........
A honda 2000 with a 2500 watt inverter and probably 6 6 volt golf cart batteries in a bank should do ya...

There's tons of technical articles on just this out there but too many get too technical...go with the basics and give her a try...what could go wrong
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:19   #3
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

First of all, you need an energy budget. Take the current for each ting and multiply this by the hours that it is uses per day. Add it all together. When you have this, it is MUCH easier so say what you need and what will work. But you are the only one that can make the budget.
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:25   #4
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

hey lars, thats the problem, i dont have all that infos for everything. i just try to get some info's what i would need and how much it will cost to get everything running. i can always get another battery later on i guess if its not enough?
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:28   #5
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

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hey lars, thats the problem, i dont have all that infos for everything. i just try to get some info's what i would need and how much it will cost to get everything running. i can always get another battery later on i guess if its not enough?
you can pay a pro to work it all out for you or ya gotta do your homework...

not easy but after a few days of reading and research... you may start to get the picture....
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:28   #6
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

thanks psneeld, cool. that sounds good. inverter- xantrex 3000 watt, 389 $ by amazon? would that do it?
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:33   #7
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
A honda 2000 with a 2500 watt inverter and probably 6 6 volt golf cart batteries in a bank should do ya...

There's tons of technical articles on just this out there but too many get too technical...go with the basics and give her a try...what could go wrong
What does the 2.5kw inverter do for him as it all looks 12v less the microwave? and what is being cooked in the microwave because without that the whole thing is much simpler and cheaper.

Since you have the Honda already then I agree with Psneeld suggestion of adding batteries and decent sized battery charger and trying it.

Best guess on your AH usage per day? about 75AH if you do away with the microwave.

Pete
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Old 03-08-2011, 17:01   #8
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

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What does the 2.5kw inverter do for him as it all looks 12v less the microwave? and what is being cooked in the microwave because without that the whole thing is much simpler and cheaper.

Since you have the Honda already then I agree with Psneeld suggestion of adding batteries and decent sized battery charger and trying it.

Best guess on your AH usage per day? about 75AH if you do away with the microwave.

Pete
my reply was only half hearted...the electrical system on a boat may be the most sophisticated system, the least understood and the hardest to keep up with of all systems on a boat....

I've spent 50 years undestading these systems and to think you are gonna design one from an internet forum is beyond me....improve or troubleshoot one...maybe...but to design, install and properly use one?????....it's a long shot....
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Old 03-08-2011, 17:10   #9
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

HI Newbie I think we have all been where you are and have worked things through over time but!!!! most of us long timers did not have a CF to help us through so we made the mistakes and battled on. I hope i can help you with some base level start ups so that you get a good start on a working system.
1) Most boats will only have 400AHrs of house batteries. The reason for this is that recharge takes time so this is a good starting point and will not be a nightmare to recharge. ( I started with 800Ahrs What a mess )
2) try and plan your new life a little different and get away from the micro oven these guys suck up to much power so untill you set yourself up with solar and wind !! use the stove.
3) Your 2000 Honda will run a 50Ahr Xantrex ( or similar) charger so go for this to recharge at first.
4) Look at your Stove if you dont have a good set up try for a good gas unit with oven as you will get to use this more than the Micro if you get into cooking good food as it becomes one of the hilights of the day when you are at sea YUM !!!
5) unless you plan to be one of the many I see that have constant battery problems dont set your self up around a huge inverter as trying to have your TV DVD etc. etc going just like back home. I treat my inverter as a useful tool and use it to recharge things like phones ipods and run a PC not to power the boat that is the job of the house batteries. If I need it I have a Honda 2000. I had a friend who did all the tech. studies ( set up by dock side sailors) and decided to fit a bar fridge running on the inverter!!! he had constant batteries below 50% BAD!!!
6) fit a battery Monitor these are well priced now and will allow you to keep track of you batteries and also at first allow you to see how many AHrs you use over a period of time
7) most things like TV and galley tools are now easily found in 12vlt so you can save the mains power stuff for when you take a braek in a marina. You will soon get sick of starting the genset to make coffee
TAKE IT SLOW hope you have a great time sailing Jacko
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Old 03-08-2011, 17:27   #10
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Re: Budget Setup / Generator / Batteries for Liveaboard

my reply was only half hearted...the electrical system on a boat may be the most sophisticated system, the least understood and the hardest to keep up with of all systems on a boat....

I've spent 50 years undestading these systems and to think you are gonna design one from an internet forum is beyond me....improve or troubleshoot one...maybe...but to design, install and properly use one?????....it's a long shot....

i know its complicated, thats why i just asking for some ideas from experienced people here....
i dont want to set up a nuclear powerplant, i just want to have my little lights on and make a few cups of coffee! haha, thats all i need.
nothing complicated, solar-wind-nuclear powered... years ago my dad had a boat and we had some petroleum lamps and a charcoal barbeque on the backdeck. that worked fine as well....
i just try to keep it basic and to be honest cheap. i spend most of my day outside anyway, so just like my beer cold and hot coffee in the morning and don't like to sit in the dark at night.....
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Old 03-08-2011, 17:42   #11
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacko View Post
HI Newbie I think we have all been where you are and have worked things through over time but!!!! most of us long timers did not have a CF to help us through so we made the mistakes and battled on. I hope i can help you with some base level start ups so that you get a good start on a working system.
1) Most boats will only have 400AHrs of house batteries. The reason for this is that recharge takes time so this is a good starting point and will not be a nightmare to recharge. ( I started with 800Ahrs What a mess )
2) try and plan your new life a little different and get away from the micro oven these guys suck up to much power so untill you set yourself up with solar and wind !! use the stove.
3) Your 2000 Honda will run a 50Ahr Xantrex ( or similar) charger so go for this to recharge at first.
4) Look at your Stove if you dont have a good set up try for a good gas unit with oven as you will get to use this more than the Micro if you get into cooking good food as it becomes one of the hilights of the day when you are at sea YUM !!!
5) unless you plan to be one of the many I see that have constant battery problems dont set your self up around a huge inverter as trying to have your TV DVD etc. etc going just like back home. I treat my inverter as a useful tool and use it to recharge things like phones ipods and run a PC not to power the boat that is the job of the house batteries. If I need it I have a Honda 2000. I had a friend who did all the tech. studies ( set up by dock side sailors) and decided to fit a bar fridge running on the inverter!!! he had constant batteries below 50% BAD!!!
6) fit a battery Monitor these are well priced now and will allow you to keep track of you batteries and also at first allow you to see how many AHrs you use over a period of time
7) most things like TV and galley tools are now easily found in 12vlt so you can save the mains power stuff for when you take a braek in a marina. You will soon get sick of starting the genset to make coffee
TAKE IT SLOW hope you have a great time sailing Jacko
jacko, thanks a lot for that advise. all that makes sense to me. my better half just agreed with you- we dump the microwave!!!!!

if i have to buy a better stove now because of that i'll follow you in your nightmares jacko!!!

(there is a alcohol stove/oven on the boat)
i guess i'll try to get away with some simple setup like you suggested and then we see how that works. i just try to have the battery/gen seperate from the engine/alternator/battery so i don't depend on starting and running the engine every day.....
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Old 03-08-2011, 18:18   #12
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

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Originally Posted by newbiesailor View Post
jacko, thanks a lot for that advise. all that makes sense to me. my better half just agreed with you- we dump the microwave!!!!!

if i have to buy a better stove now because of that i'll follow you in your nightmares jacko!!!

(there is a alcohol stove/oven on the boat)
i guess i'll try to get away with some simple setup like you suggested and then we see how that works. i just try to have the battery/gen seperate from the engine/alternator/battery so i don't depend on starting and running the engine every day.....
That's exactly why internet forums are tough..

The microwave is the most efficient cooker you have on board. 12v cooking appliances are often crap.

People that learn to use a microwave properly can cook almost anything delicious with very limited power.

Some of the cruisers here on CF are in the stone age and relish it....and worse...brag about it.

There is no "set" amount of battery power on any boat...oncea boat is sold used..no telling what the previous owner set up.

Solar, wind etc are all tough to set up and maintain, are unreliable if you don't thoroughly inderstand them and expensive unless you really know what you are doing.

A honda 2000 is a great way to generate electricity in a reliable, relatively inexpensive way.

I agree a propane system fir cooking and occasional heat is great...but you better install it right and understand it's limitations and dangers.

OH and battery monitors....good luck...have never had luck with them...neither have my friends. Like boat fuel guages...don't trust them...just understand your consumption, capacity, drain, production and you will be much happier.
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Old 03-08-2011, 18:25   #13
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
What does the 2.5kw inverter do for him as it all looks 12v less the microwave? and what is being cooked in the microwave because without that the whole thing is much simpler and cheaper.

Since you have the Honda already then I agree with Psneeld suggestion of adding batteries and decent sized battery charger and trying it.

Best guess on your AH usage per day? about 75AH if you do away with the microwave.

Pete
The honda actually putx out 12v. I suppose the invertor is nice for the tv, computer and to use the microwave at any time wo the gen on. My guess is 100 plus ah per day based on my similar set up boat. Refridge will effect the ah most.
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Old 03-08-2011, 18:52   #14
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

now....
what about setting up the most stuff with 12 volt then? i get 12 volt lights,fans,fridge and run that from the battery and charge with my honda?
or is it cheaper/better/ to use my normal 120 volt tv,microwave.... and have to buy an inverter? that would eat up more power i guess?
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Old 03-08-2011, 19:10   #15
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Re: budget setup/generator/batteries for liveaboard

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now....
what about setting up the most stuff with 12 volt then? i get 12 volt lights,fans,fridge and run that from the battery and charge with my honda?
or is it cheaper/better/ to use my normal 120 volt tv,microwave.... and have to buy an inverter? that would eat up more power i guess?
read, read, read some more...then read some more...

As I said before most things designed for 12 volts are crap so any inefficiency through an inverter I'm not so sure is made up with being able to use a better, more efficient 120 volt product.
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