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Old 10-04-2005, 10:13   #1
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New Catamaran Sailors

Greetings,

We just joined Forum and hope to exchange info with other "2-hullers." This year we sold our 37' Pacific Seacraft after living aboard & cruising for the last 7 yrs. We replaced it with a used 37' Privilege Catamaran. Same length but more creature comforts. We have lots of work to do to get Cat Tales ready to cruise so I'm sure we will have lots of dumb questions for other "cat people."
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Old 10-04-2005, 20:20   #2
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the only dumb question is the one un asked. ps i have a cat too. jt
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Old 11-04-2005, 18:38   #3
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What!?!

Another Privilege 37 owner!!! Congratulations! Great boat, we love ours so far. We bought it in December of last year. We are down in Ft Lauderdale. We are in the process of refitting it. Probably know a reasonable amount about the systems and such. This forum is a great place to exchange info, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.



Keith
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Old 12-04-2005, 20:18   #4
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2 Alternators Charging House Bank?

Hi Keith & Jt,
First dumb question. One of my first tasks is to straighten out the charging system. I have a 60Amp alternator on each engine and both have internal voltage regulators which don't do a very good job. I want to convert both to external 3 stage regulators, and have both charging the house bank at the same time. Do I need another device to prevent regulators from interfering with each other? I'm afraid one would sense the voltage coming out of the other and cause it to reduce charging rate. Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-04-2005, 21:48   #5
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Greg;

A few questions for you befor we give you something to think about. What kind of regulator are you thinking of getting? I researched the Balmar regulators and the appear to be very well functioned. They also allow you to connect multiple alternators to a single battery bank.

What do you plan to do for your starting batteries? How will they be charged? What kind of battery configuration and size do you have? How many AMP hours? Are they 6 volt? 12 volt? My boat only has one starting battery and that is connected to both starters. I have the new Yanmar 3YM30 engines. They are configured such that you only connect one cable for both starting voltage and charge output. Therefore my engines only normally charge the starting battery. I have added a battery combiner/diode to charge the house bank, after the starting battery is charged. How do you plan on configuring them?

Originally, I thought to get upgraded alternators (100 amp Balmars). But, I thought of the optimal charging configuration and concluded that expensive marine diesels did no present the optimal solutions. Since you are concidering a multiphase regulator, you are familiar with Bulk, Acceptance and float charging levels. My issue was with the float charge. To optimize this phase you are putting in relatively low amount of current (2 amps or so) at relatively low voltage (13.2 or so), this is a very light load for a 20 hp and above diesel engine. Higher loads are significantly better for their overall longevity. This lead me to concluded that I'd be better off using some type of alternate charging source. I have just ordered an Air X marine wind generator and I intended to mount several solar panels on my boat. This will allows me to have a prolonged float charging phase as well as limit my overall discharge level. Both of these are good things for any type of battery bank.


In anycase let us know, I am certain we can give you some good things to consider as you configure your system.




Keith
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Old 13-04-2005, 20:45   #6
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Charging Set-up

Hi Keith,

I haven't decided on voltage regulators yet. I had a Link 2000R on my last boat and I was happy with it, but don't plan to do the whole Link installation again. I will probably go with Xantrex or Balmar 3 stage regulators.

I replaced the existing house bank (almost dead 12 volt batteries) with four 6 volt golf cart batteries. Lots of our cruising friends are happy with them and they are cheap to replace ($46. each at Sam's club). Right now, the port engine only charges the starting battery (12 Volt). The stbd engine charges the house bank, but has an isolator that also charges the engine battery. I'm not happy with this since I want both alternators charging the house bank since the engine battery rarely discharges. I plan to use the existing isolator or install a combiner from the house bank to keep the starting battery topped up.

I agree with your conclusions that the high amp alternators are probably not needed with alternative energy sources. I have two solar panels hooked up now and plan to add two more plus an Air X wind generator. (I had an Air Marine gen on my last boat and liked it very much). My final set-up will depend on the type of refrigeration system we choose. The boat has a Frigoboat engine driven system that I may convert to a DC compressor or go with an Adler Barber type system. "The Admiral" wants a separate freezer so that will drive power consumption way up and I may need more batteries and solar panels. I had engine driven refrig on my last boat and decided I didn't like it on our first cruise. I added an Adler Barber clone and kept the engine driven as a "quick cool down" just before anchoring.

My concern about both alternators connected to the house bank is that they may interfere with each other. When one alternator is charging, the other regulator will sense the higher voltage and may "throttle back" the charging rate of the second alternator. I was wondering if there was another black box needed to "direct traffic." Perhaps the Balmar regulators will handle that issue.

The fun part of any of these options maybe fishing wire from one hull to another. I may have to rent a small monkey to crawl through the passageway with a wire in his mouth..ha.ha.

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