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Old 03-03-2013, 11:22   #16
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

Depends on your usage.

I have about 300ah of battery and only 30watts of solar on my stern pulpit. Solar takes up space and with a 24 I imagine you will have less than I do on my 27. With the 3amps (90watts) out of my outboard motor I never use shore power as I only use the boat on weekends.

I find that when I am underway I only use the VHF, keep my Ipod and Cell charged in use the depth finder sparingly.

Here is a link to what the setup looks like.


As for the 6V golf cart vs 12V marine I would suggest going with the 12V marine. The cost per amp hour is roughly the same after you put the 6V batteries in series to get 12V. If one of your 12 volt cells bites the dust you can just remove it, but with the 6 volt setup you loose a jar and you are stuck at 6 volts you can't really use.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:30   #17
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
The laptop can be the energy hog.
Great point Sailorchick.

Congratulations on the new 'baby'

I did a study on PC devices. The makers really don't care much about consumption. They look at hours between charges and address the issue with bigger batteries. They assume you are never more than a few inconvenient steps from an outlet. Lap tops are terrible power sucks. Net & Note books are great improvements. Surprisingly, most marine nav computers are not designed with power use in mind either. We installed Simrad NSE-8 because - small LED screen (about 20 watts). Most are LCD with flourescent back lights. (about 35 to 55 watts). The remainder of our instruments are independant so we can turn them off if not needed.

I have a hand-held Garmin I use 98% of the time as my only Nav computer. Most times, we sail in day light and nice conditions so that is enough.

An interesting alternate you might be like is Free or Share ware navigational software. There are also some great apps if you have a device with GPS. We run Open CPN and Sea Clear. You may want to confirm software compatability with your intended PC before you buy. The nice thing about these is that they use NOAA free navigational electronic charts. (that's 2273 NOAA charts for free)

Think 'small is better' and try to compare watts for any new stuff. If you can bypass the wall-wart charger and run direct from your battery or a dedicated PC solar charger you reduce total demand too.

I suggest you read HandyBob's Blog Making off grid RV electrical systems work HANDY BOB. He lives off the grid and has a lot of great advice.

For LED lights, read up on Marinebeam Replacement LED bulbs for your existing boat fixtures technical Info & idiots guide. NAPA automotive LEDs are not for boats. Some LED bulbs can actually consume as much power as an IC depending on how they limit current. I have over 60 of the Marine Beam and Imtra PWM regulated replacements including NAV lights and spreader lights. If you will spend a lot of time at anchor & NOT in a designated anchorage you must run an anchor light. Use a replacement LED bulb in the fixture. You can save more by also using a solar recharging all-around white self-contained light instead. See one at West Marine and then shop on line.

These guys also have nice product and technical assistance BEBI Bebi Electronics-Installing Marine LED Reading, Navigation and Running Lights!

IMTRA. Marine Lighting - Boat Lights - Yacht Lights - Imtra
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Old 03-03-2013, 20:38   #18
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Wow, wow, wow! You sailors sure know a lot about electrical items and their power requirements! I'm impressed!
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Old 03-03-2013, 20:49   #19
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

Solar very much depends on where you are also. Seattle in the Winter It won't work.

Here on the West side of Hawaii we get real good solar and same for most of the South Pacific. But if you are cruising where it is very cloudy much of the time you will need twice as many watts of panels or more. Or a Honda 2000 as a backup while on the hook.
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Old 03-03-2013, 21:26   #20
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I'm out of Portland Maine. I have no intentions of cruising around the harbor blaring 12" subwoofers listing to death rap (just cause I'm a kid doesn't mean I listen to music obnoxiously loud). And yes I am on a budget but I will put in the money if it is well spent. I plan on using a hand held garmin for back up and old fasion dead reckoning and paper chart plotting for the majority of my nav. My lap top is a little net book so it should draw too too much juice. I have no refrigerator or ac. I'm really trying to stick to the basics with this boat and am leaning towards 1 or 2 deep cycle marines.
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Old 03-03-2013, 21:48   #21
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

All you need is the RV/Marine Batteries for your use they are normally cheper than the Deep cycles
How long do you plan to be out at a time?
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Old 03-03-2013, 21:53   #22
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

No bad fridge karma , added to positive all-LED-light karma. I think a single 80 watt panel would suffice.
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Old 03-03-2013, 22:03   #23
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

Assuming you have no inboard engine to charge your batteries, right?
You shouldn't need more than 2 x batteries at, say 100 amp hours each.

Realistically on a small boat space is going to limit how much solar acreage you can physically achieve. Maybe just 1 x 80watt panel, I reckon, plus a small wind generator as well. Then adjust you energy usage (i.e. lifestyle) according to how much power you can generate, not how much you want to use.

Take advantage of opportunities to charge your batteries on shore power whenever you can.
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Old 03-03-2013, 22:28   #24
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

With him being in Maine, I'm going to stick with my recommendation of 140 watt solar panel and (2) Sam's Club 6 volt golf cart batteries in series as the best bang for his buck. On my Cal 40 I made do with (2) 68 watt panels and (8) golf cart batteries and I was in sunny Sea of Cortez. I have a hunch that at 19 and already owning his first cruising capable sailboat, he is going to own a lot of boats in his lifetime. Later on he can go 1st class with LiFePO4 housebank and 800 watts of solar.
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Old 03-03-2013, 22:55   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer
With him being in Maine, I'm going to stick with my recommendation of 140 watt solar panel and (2) Sam's Club 6 volt golf cart batteries in series as the best bang for his buck. On my Cal 40 I made do with (2) 68 watt panels and (8) golf cart batteries and I was in sunny Sea of Cortez. I have a hunch that at 19 and already owning his first cruising capable sailboat, he is going to own a lot of boats in his lifetime. Later on he can go 1st class with LiFePO4 housebank and 800 watts of solar.
Prefect post. Keep it simple on a little boat. One panel that fits, one battery (or 2 6v), turn stuff off when battery gets low
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Old 03-03-2013, 23:03   #26
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

200w solar on eBay for about $200, and a couple of 100-150ah batteries will do. Run the batteries down one after the other ot in parallel ... It's like having a reserve tank- you might never use the second one- I rarely use mine.

I run internal LEDs, LED nav and anchor lights, engel fridge (60L), VHF, 27meg, multiband ham radio, laptop, plotter, sounder and an ST1000 and rarely get into the second battery. I only use the ST1000 during the day usually though. My summer temp is around 30c (86f) and the fridge doesn't use that much power.
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Old 03-03-2013, 23:14   #27
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillon.dundee View Post
I'm out of Portland Maine. I have no intentions of cruising around the harbor blaring 12" subwoofers listing to death rap (just cause I'm a kid doesn't mean I listen to music obnoxiously loud). And yes I am on a budget but I will put in the money if it is well spent. I plan on using a hand held garmin for back up and old fasion dead reckoning and paper chart plotting for the majority of my nav. My lap top is a little net book so it should draw too too much juice. I have no refrigerator or ac. I'm really trying to stick to the basics with this boat and am leaning towards 1 or 2 deep cycle marines.

As I said in my earlier post, no offense was intended. I saw most of the early posters were recommending a few thousand dollars worth of equipment and figured I'd go with recommending a less expensive path. My experience has been that most people think of a radio like a light bulb, its either on and consuming maximum wattage or its off consuming none. However, the amps the radio will draw is fairly proportionate to how loud you play it. No need to look for an insult there, I didn't mention blasting it across the harbor or death rap. I teach music and play in an acoustic celtic jazz fusion alternative rock group, believe me I don't go by stereotypes .

That said, if you're installing the radio you may want to check to see how much current the unit uses on standby. Most receivers use about .5 amps even when off, some use more some less. Just something else to add into your usage calculations

For navigation, I strongly recommend the plastic waterproof chartbooks and cruising guide put out by Rickardson. The Cape Cod Canal to Casco bay, Maine book should cover just about everything you'll need unless you head north. The charts are rugged, bound together, easily manageable in a cockpit, and cost about 50$.

If you've got an android phone you might want to give one of the marine GPS aps a try to see how you like it. I use Marine Navigator on a Kyocera Hydro. The ap was 12$ and covers the entire US with NOAA charts. The Hydro cost 100$ from walmart with a free 25$ gift card and I loaded mine with a bunch of free anchor watch apps, offline weather, wind and tide reports through sailgrib, a commercial marine traffic app, the cruisers forum app, google sky view, plus a bunch of music, movies and an SNES emulator for rainy days all in a water resistant, shock resistant, dust resistant package with a 10 hour battery for less than a low end handheld GPS. I've been using mine as the boats primary GPS for 6 months now with no hiccups. Its really a great way to go as long as you keep in mind that you should use the GPS in tandem with the paper charts too.

When I first started putting in my Grampians electrical systems I bought two 114Ah batteries for 80$ each, put one in the boat to run everything I needed and put the other in my car to charge through the day. Not the greatest way to take care of a deep cycle and I probably wouldn't have done it with a more expensive battery but they came with a 1 year free replacement warranty and it got me by until I managed to put in a dedicated charger and solar panels. Just an alternative way of getting the boat out and sailing without having to spend a bunch of money up front.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:26   #28
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As I said in my earlier post, no offense was intended. I saw most of the early posters were recommending a few thousand dollars worth of equipment and figured I'd go with recommending a less expensive path. My experience has been that most people think of a radio like a light bulb, its either on and consuming maximum wattage or its off consuming none. However, the amps the radio will draw is fairly proportionate to how loud you play it. No need to look for an insult there, I didn't mention blasting it across the harbor or death rap. I teach music and play in an acoustic celtic jazz fusion alternative rock group, believe me I don't go by stereotypes .

That said, if you're installing the radio you may want to check to see how much current the unit uses on standby. Most receivers use about .5 amps even when off, some use more some less. Just something else to add into your usage calculations

For navigation, I strongly recommend the plastic waterproof chartbooks and cruising guide put out by Rickardson. The Cape Cod Canal to Casco bay, Maine book should cover just about everything you'll need unless you head north. The charts are rugged, bound together, easily manageable in a cockpit, and cost about 50$.

If you've got an android phone you might want to give one of the marine GPS aps a try to see how you like it. I use Marine Navigator on a Kyocera Hydro. The ap was 12$ and covers the entire US with NOAA charts. The Hydro cost 100$ from walmart with a free 25$ gift card and I loaded mine with a bunch of free anchor watch apps, offline weather, wind and tide reports through sailgrib, a commercial marine traffic app, the cruisers forum app, google sky view, plus a bunch of music, movies and an SNES emulator for rainy days all in a water resistant, shock resistant, dust resistant package with a 10 hour battery for less than a low end handheld GPS. I've been using mine as the boats primary GPS for 6 months now with no hiccups. Its really a great way to go as long as you keep in mind that you should use the GPS in tandem with the paper charts too.

When I first started putting in my Grampians electrical systems I bought two 114Ah batteries for 80$ each, put one in the boat to run everything I needed and put the other in my car to charge through the day. Not the greatest way to take care of a deep cycle and I probably wouldn't have done it with a more expensive battery but they came with a 1 year free replacement warranty and it got me by until I managed to put in a dedicated charger and solar panels. Just an alternative way of getting the boat out and sailing without having to spend a bunch of money up front.
No offense was taken just making a point and thanx for the great advise.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:56   #29
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan H View Post
As I said in my earlier post, no offense was intended. I saw most of the early posters were recommending a few thousand dollars worth of equipment and figured I'd go with recommending a less expensive path. My experience has been that most people think of a radio like a light bulb, its either on and consuming maximum wattage or its off consuming none. However, the amps the radio will draw is fairly proportionate to how loud you play it. No need to look for an insult there, I didn't mention blasting it across the harbor or death rap. I teach music and play in an acoustic celtic jazz fusion alternative rock group, believe me I don't go by stereotypes .

That said, if you're installing the radio you may want to check to see how much current the unit uses on standby. Most receivers use about .5 amps even when off, some use more some less. Just something else to add into your usage calculations
.
Most of the "car stereo" units installed in boats are without external amplifiers.

These units do vary a bit, but typically the consumption is about 1.2A when playing loud and 1.0 A at a lowish volume.
Most consume very little when off, generally less than 0.05A to run the memory circuits, but this does vary, so check.
If you don't need the station presets and time its easy to wire the units so the are completely off, consuming no power. It is important to be able to do this at least, when leaving the boat for an extended time.

If you want to reduce the power consumption as much as possible wire the unit so that the the display is on dim although the savings are small.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:22   #30
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Re: How many watts? And how many 12v batteries

This brings back memories, I grew up with a Columbia Contender! Many happy sailing memories. With that said, I own an O'Day 40, with no refrigeration, all LED lights, stereo, and laptop. My 80 watt panel keeps me topped up at anchor. As a caveat, I don't heavily use the laptop, though the stereo is used heavily. I sail in the Northeast.
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