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Old 01-12-2008, 07:01   #1
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Wiring a 24 volt windlass on a 12 volt boat

I may be able to obtain a 24 volt - 1200 watt windlass at a fairly attractive price. However, I am trying to decide if the extra hassles of having it 24 volt are worth the savings. I am wondering what others have done to power a 24 volt windlass or bow thruster on a 12 volt boat.

I could install a couple smaller batteries forward to provide the 24 volts. This of course would save on wiring costs. To charge the batteries, I could add a small 24 volt charger close by and power it off of my 120 volt AC system, either through the genset or perhaps my 2000 watt inverter. However, this involves multiple electrical parts that could fail.

My current house bank is 3 - 4D wet cells. I have a 4Kw diesel 120 volt genset and a Freedom 20 inverter/charger.


Has anyone used either a series parallel switch or a combination of battery switches to switch over a pair of 12 volt for temporary 24 volt service.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:17   #2
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Originally Posted by Paul LeFebvre
... Has anyone used either a series parallel switch or a combination of battery switches to switch over a pair of 12 volt for temporary 24 volt service.
I wouldn't try to gimmick the system /w switches.
Instead, install a dedicated 24V Batt. Bank & Charger as per your opening ... or forgo the windlass & itís associated multiple electrical parts.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:17   #3
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You will spend much more money making the 24 volt windlass work than it is worth. Save your money and just get a 12 volt windlass.
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:43   #4
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I had a 24 volt Ideal windlass with batteries and charger forward. The windlass needed many parts and needed replacment. I decided to replace it with a 12 volt unit and run it from my house bank. My thinking was that I would have only a 12 volt system and if anything failed I had back up chargers and batteries in place.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:27   #5
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You will spend much more money making the 24 volt windlass work than it is worth. Save your money and just get a 12 volt windlass.
The potential savings on the windlass purchase is $1100, so the decision isn't as easy as it would be if the savings were only a couple hundred bucks.

Over complicating the boat or not having multiple charging options does have its price too though.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:59   #6
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a friend of mind purchased a warn 24volt winch for his 4x4 truck at which point he bought a 12/24 convertor system which allowed him to run his 2 12volt batteries for his truck but still have 24 volt functionality. he really likes his setup seems to work great without any issues. not sure how this would work in a marine environment but always an idea.
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Old 12-08-2018, 13:01   #7
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Re: Wiring a 24 volt windlass on a 12 volt boat

A refrigeration tech advised a 24V system, wired separately within an existing 12 volt (four 6 volt batteries) house system, to power to a new 24V refrigerator. He claimed it would be a much more efficient refer system. Perhaps this should be a separate thread, but the question is wiring up a 24V system to service just one piece of equipment in a 12v system. He said there would be no problem to do this.
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Old 12-08-2018, 17:34   #8
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Re: Wiring a 24 volt windlass on a 12 volt boat

If you chose not to install a 24V bank forward, then the correct way to power a 24V piece of equipment from a base 12V bank is with a Vanner Equalizer http://tinyurl.com/y8pyynop or equivalent. You will need a 12V battery forward that will switch in series with your aft bank for windlass ops and will switch to parallel operation when charging.
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