Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-11-2015, 06:17   #1
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Electrical re-build Number 2

Hiya

I have titled this thread number 2 as there is another current thread running with the same subject, i didn't want to butt in or hijack it as these can get quite confusing, to me at least.

I think its about time I rewired my boat, It"s currently a horrible mess.

At the moment there are two house batteries and one starter battery.

On the supply side there is a wind generator and a prop generator and of course an engine alternator. I am going to add an Electric Windlass and Bow Thruster to the boat.

I will also be adding some solar panels.

Im thinking that I should keep the starter battery for just that, starting. Im just trying to get my head around the idea of say adding another house battery to compensate for the extra equipment (Windlass and Bow Thruster) or locate them in the fore cabin on their own bank.

Any advice would be gratefully received. As would a wiring diagram

Thanks
__________________

__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 06:26   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,595
Images: 240
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Goonah.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 06:34   #3
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Many thanks for the welcome.
__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 09:52   #4
Registered User
 
wrwakefield's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wrangell Island, Alaska
Boat: Nauticat 43
Posts: 865
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Goonah,

Welcome to the forum.

There are many good books covering the subject you are inquiring about.

May I suggest you start with the new (4th edition) of Nigel Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual.

I recommend the book not to cop-out on answering your inquiry, but because the subject is vast and the considerations many, therefore a common voice is helpful when trying to keep your focus.

Wishing you the best with your project.

Cheers!

Bill
__________________
SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
wrwakefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 10:57   #5
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Thanks Bill

That looks like a good book.
I am reading one dealing with renewing the electrics by Mike Westin part of the Adlard Coles series. Its a bit basic but clearly written.

Chris
__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 11:34   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

You will have an interesting project for sure. There was a recent thread, very recent, concerning whether to put batteries local near a windlass/thruster, with some wildly divergent opinions. You should certainly look in to that. One issue is what voltage your house is and what voltage the thruster will be, how far from the house bank, how to charge separate batteries, etc. You'll have to make a decision on that but you can do everything else in the meantime. Just plan for sufficient room for you house bank, plus room for any extra (if needed) for your thruster. If it were only a windlass I would suggest using the house bank with large cables going forward to the windlass. Thrusters are a significant issue in that regard though, and for either it depends on how far away your bow is from your house bank. If the house bank is closer to the bow that will influence your decision.

If you go with a separate battery(ies) for the bow, go with a start or combined start/deep cycle battery. There have been some contrary opinions but they should have been sufficiently discredited but you'll have to make up your own mind. If it were my boat, I would strongly think about using an AGM battery in the bow with a echo charger to keep it topped off. They are fairly expensive for the capacity but the Optima spirals are excellent for this application. You can put AGMs in any position and they do not need regular maintenance like wet cells do. I used them for my start batteries on the last two boats and they are great for bow applications.

But lots of ways to skin a cat. Whatever you do, make sure you take advantage of current thinking on battery switching and charging. All your main charging sources should go to your house banks. If you have two alternators on your motor, the smaller can go to the engine start battery, or an echo charger or an ACR can charge the start battery without a separate alternator (most common solution).

You'll have lots of more detailed questions as you get in to the planning. Have fun and set some money aside. I'm doing the same thing on my boat right now and I did it to my previous - complete new systems - expensive and time consuming, but well worth it.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 13:58   #7
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Thanks Maggie

I did see the other thread you refer to and that is why I'm here on this quiet thread. I read the first few posts and though it was great but it degenerated into a technical discussion and I lost the plot a bit. 😉
__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 14:13   #8
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Goonah View Post
Thanks Bill

That looks like a good book.
I am reading one dealing with renewing the electrics by Mike Westin part of the Adlard Coles series. Its a bit basic but clearly written.

Chris
I don't wish to give the impression that Mike's book isn't worthy.
It is a bit basic but that is perfect for me
__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 23:18   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Panama City FL
Boat: Island Packet 32 Cbreeze
Posts: 347
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

If you have read the other thread then it should be obvious there are several general configuration choices. Kind of like religion, everybody’s got different ideas.

I have both a bow thruster and electrical windlass on Cbreeze. Bow thrusters draw considerable electricity (even more than diesel starting and for a longer time) but in the overall energy use on a daily AH basis are pretty minimal. My little 3 HP Side Power draws north of 300 Amps at 12 Volts. A busy day of bow thrusting would be 2 or 3 minutes which equates to 10 to 15 AHs per day (probably 10 % of the daily use on a frugal set up and 5% on a more power hungry operation). Windlass operation is probably going to be say 2 to 3 AHs per day. The issue is how do you get 300 amps fwd and still have enough voltage to drive the thruster efficiently. Two choices: big expensive copper wire from midships battery(s) or battery in the fwd area and smaller shorter wire. If there is room for fwd battery(s) then that can be a solution, if there is no room then the configuration is pretty well decided for you.

In my case I chose a fwd battery and rather than haul all that lead around for just 3 minutes of use, I decided to make the fwd battery a part of the house bank and get more bang for my lead buck. The difference in this approach is that rather than a light weight charging scheme (to only replace the 10 AHs is pretty easy), I needed to run a significant electrical connection between the main bank and the fwd bank. Not as big as the no fwd battery circuit but bigger than the simple trickle charge set up. What I get for my trouble is a 50% increase in house bank size ( which is important in our style of cruising) and an efficient set up for powering the thruster/ windlass. I chose a #4 copper connection and it is fused on each end because that wire wonders through the boat and all kind of places for mischief to pop up. Also need a battery switch and fuses/ breakers for the thruster and windlass. I also tap off a few other loads which are not much electrically just happen to be located in the fwd area of the boat (anchor washdown, shower sump, red night light, and 12 volt charging station station). The fwd bank is always just connected in parallel with the main bank, just not located next to it. When I fire off the bow thruster the current is supplied about 200 amps from the fwd battery and 100 amps from the main bank. This proportion is a function of the wire size, length, and bank configuration. The fwd bank (2- 6V golf cart) is located in the fwd bilge (IPs have big bilges) but all switching and fusing is above the floor level. I worried about this early on, but have become comfortable over time. If that bilge battery set is under water I can switch them out and I really have some serious problems.

No starting battery, we just live or die on the main bank. Worked out well for our style of cruising. Seemed a little radical when I decided to go down this road 10 years back but completely comfortable now. Only 100 Amp Balmar for engine charging but working at adding some flexible solar on the bimini in the future. Do have a Freedom 10 inverter/ charger as part of the system.

Sorry for all the words (nothing decent on TV tonight), just trying to highlight one slightly different setup without getting too far out in the weeds.
__________________
Frankly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 03:00   #10
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Thanks Frankly.

Did you give any thought to running smaller wires from a charger near the main bank ?
Seems like a good idea to me, just wondering why you opted to run a heavy wire forward.
__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 10:24   #11
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Goonah View Post
Thanks Frankly.

Did you give any thought to running smaller wires from a charger near the main bank ?
Seems like a good idea to me, just wondering why you opted to run a heavy wire forward.
I'm sure Frankly will respond, but just two cents in the mean time. If you need 300amps of current to go to your thruster it would take a pretty big cable just to go back and forth to a local battery a close distance away, and a much bigger set of cables to go aft to a more remote house bank (or dedicated battery that is not very close to the thruster). There are tables that will give you the necessary cable size for the amperage and distance (total of positive and negative cables, i.e. total round trip).

IF you need 300A (a very powerful thruster) you'll need 2/0 cable for even a local battery and 3/0 or 4/0 for remote batteries (or doubled-up 2/0). 2/0 is expensive and 4/0 is way more expensive. Plus the cables are fairly thick so need wire runs which will accommodate them. If your thruster is smaller, you will still need fairly large cables. Blue Sea, and West Marine, and others have the ampacity (max at any distance) rating for various sized cables, with another table that give the size by round-trip distance for a give number of amps.

If you're not sure what thickness this all is, take a trip down to your chandlery and look at the cables themselves. West Marine usually has 2/0 on the shelf but 4/0 may be a special order. I bought 50' of 2/0 red and 50' of black for about $450 and that is a big discount from normal retail, so the wire can be a big part of the cost. If you will be doing your own work, I highly recommend you get a professional crimper for the large crimps. My favorite is a Greenlee but there are others. Ordering cables to length with crimps on them is a good way to get cables to short and worthless or to have too much excess of a very large cable you need to secure and find room for. DO NOT use the hammer type crimpers. And you'll need some suitably sized cable cutters.

Lots of fun ahead.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 12:28   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Panama City FL
Boat: Island Packet 32 Cbreeze
Posts: 347
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

If you want a distant set of batteries to perform like they are part of the main bank then they must be close electrically (IE connected with a low resistant circuit). There is only about 1 volt difference between a fully charged/ discharged battery and so the voltage differences are small and currents must flow to maintain balance when one set gets drawn down a little more than the others. Bow thruster will draw more energy from the fwd bank so the voltage will be down slightly and current will flow from the main bank until voltages are again equal for all three banks. It is an inherently unbalanced configuration vice connecting all physically close batteries in parallel with a reverse return negative setup.

Also without starting battery, I wanted to be able to start from any single bank (fwd included). Just can't do that when the wire going fwd is 10 AWG.

Fwd battery with a recharge system will work just fine (most are probably set up that way when there is a bow thruster). I was just offering an alternate configuration for your consideration.

As we used to say about some engineering selections " no single great solution, only choices".

As to the a bow thruster drawing 300 amps, that is a measly 3 HP. 5 HP, which is probably more typical, can get up around 500 amps.

I have for years used a manual nicopress tool (West Marine) to crimp on battery connections. It has worked really well for the one off occasional connection us non professionals need and it also works with nicopress sleeves. If I can find some pictures, I will add them to my abum in the near future.

Happy Turkey Day,

Frank
__________________
Frankly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2015, 04:18   #13
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

I'm getting some great info here, thanks guys n gals.

I guess I'm going to have to sell one of my children to pay for it though.😉
__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2015, 09:15   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Nicopress swaging tools are entirely OK so long as they are the proper size and used correctly.

If you view the bow thruster as an absolute must have then you will want to wire them with heavy cables, as Frankly says, so you can parallel them with the house bank. Otherwise you can deal with a potential low battery by docking manually and then addressing the problem later. There are always multiple valid solutions for almost any problem.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 10:16   #15
Registered User
 
SV Goonah's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk UK
Boat: Colvic Victor 40
Posts: 8
Re: Electrical re-build Number 2

Thanks for all your help with this, I'm slowly getting there.

I mentioned earlier that I am reading Mike Westins book "replacing your boats electrical system", I had said that it was a bit basic but I must retract that. I actually think its a masterpiece of writing, it manages to look very basic but it is a wolf in sheep clothing. The more I read the more I learn.
__________________

__________________
SV Goonah is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cal, electric, electrical

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Build My Electrical System Dustymc Construction, Maintenance & Refit 21 23-10-2010 11:35
Complicated Electrical Question - Good Puzzle for You Electrical Geniuses Dockhead Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 36 07-09-2010 07:14
What to build, what to build... Pura Vida Multihull Sailboats 67 19-05-2008 07:44
National Phone number for Weather? Reed Marine Electronics 4 12-06-2006 08:28
Reducing the number of forums Gisle Forum News & Announcements 5 24-05-2003 23:50



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.