I call it the mighty CanDoAlot, and Just Like DR.Frankenstein, people told me I'm crazy or that a project
like CanDoAlot is simply not possible but yet here I sit in my air conditioned 40 foot leopard catamaran
after having charged my batteries and making a 100 gallons of fresh water
all provided by the mighty CanDoAlot. A little back story so my story makes sense and to give those who dare to buck the conventional wisdom a little hope that just maybe their crazy idea will work. How did I get here you ask? Simple, all it took was an extremely expensive failure of a cheap
rubber heat exchanger elbow
to destroy our Northern Lights
. Yes we thoroughly rinsed the machine and applied many bottles of salt-off and anti corrosion
spray but in the end salt water
managed to get in every nook and cranny of the Northern Lights generator
before the automatic shutoff system sensed the problem and by then it was only a matter of time before the Northern Lights generator gave up and died. I had seen the little Kubota based DC generators at boat shows for years and was always intrigued by what the companies selling them claimed but I wasn't willing to swap out a working generator for an unknown and often maligned DC unit but here I was facing a $15,000 repair bill on a machine I never really liked and that was hard to service
the way it was installed in Mulligan. Enter Dan Forest of AquaMarine Inc in Washington
state, (did I mention I'm in Florida
?) who's company sells such a unit. The thing is less than 1/2 the size of the Northern lights it was going to replace and about half the weight, it is modular with many bolt on accessories to make the unit more versatile but admittedly the unit requires a great deal of planning and patience to install without it ending up looking like an amateur slapped it in the vessel. For our cruising area Florida
we knew we wanted air conditioning
making, and of course a fast charge capability all of which are provided by the mighty CanDoAlot. Here are the results of the installation
1. Mulligan lost
more than 200 pounds
2. I can now charge my 900 AH battery
bank from 50ish% state of charge to 95ish% state of charge in 90 minutes or less.
3. I can air condition the entire vessel using the automotive type AC kit provided by Aquamarine while anchored using less than 10 ounces of fuel
4. I can make water at a rate of 24 gallons per hour while charging
the house bank.
5. Last but not least this unit takes up so much less space I can now store dive gear
for 4 including tanks
and BCs in the same space that the Northern Lights used to occupy.
Total cost of installation
was about the same as the repair of our old unit coming in at just over $15,000 of course no labor was involved which would have driven up the price
but I like to know exactly how everything works on Mulligan necessitating a hands on approach anyway.
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