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Old 06-04-2014, 12:29   #1
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Super basic electrical

My family's summer boat is a Seaward 17 kept on a mooring in northern MN. I want to power navigation lights, anchor light, depth, and bilge pump via 1 battery and a solor panel. I only daysail on scattered weekends (providing the 3 hour tour for guests, mostly, and then exploration and gunkholing when I get freed up from that!) , so I don't really need alot beyond sufficient charging from the solar panel to keep things up.

I was thinking a gel battery to accommodate the occasional serious heel, but what do I need for a solar panel and charger that I can leave for weeks at a time unattended? Walmart or Northern Hydraulics, or do I need something serious for serious money from marine supplier?

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Old 07-04-2014, 08:09   #2
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Re: Super basic electrical

If it is several weeks between uses I would expect even a very small solar panel to be able to get your battery back up to a full charge.

The biggest draw is going to be the bilge pump, so the real question is, how dry is your boat? That is, how often, and for how long, is the bilge pump going to be running? That will determine how large of a battery, and how big of a solar panel, you will want.
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Old 07-04-2014, 14:49   #3
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Re: Super basic electrical

Thanks Denver. So far for summers 0
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Old 07-04-2014, 14:56   #4
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Re: Super basic electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by RolfP View Post
Thanks Denver. So far for summers 0
Zero leaks in four summers but I'm adding a knot meter (thru hull) this spring so that's the reason to also add the bilge pump. This is my small boat I am testing my skills on instead of sinking my big boat. :-)

Any suggestions on a solar panel and charger? I worry about killing the battery by not charging it right.
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Old 07-04-2014, 15:51   #5
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Re: Super basic electrical

A small solar panel of 10-50 watts and a cheap PWM controller like the Morningstar Sunsaver 6 amp will cost less than $100 and do the job safely. Any size battery will work given the light load demand.

I use a 30 watt panel on my boat. It puts out almost 2 amps in full sun and cost $50. The controller cost $30.

David
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Old 07-04-2014, 16:26   #6
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Re: Super basic electrical

[QUOTE=RolfP;1512209]Zero leaks in four summers but I'm adding a knot meter (thru hull) this spring so that's the reason to also add the bilge pump. This is my small boat I am testing my skills on instead of sinking my big boat. :-)


Keep it simple, use your GPS for speed over ground. Knot meters are a pain, add a hole in the hull, foul quickly, and only tell you how fast the water is travelling past your hull. If you've got a strong current and try to judge distance and time to get there SOG is more useful. If you're racing and trying to tweak a bit more speed out of your sails you may find a knot meter useful. I'm plugging that hole in the hull on my boat, YMMV.

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Old 20-05-2014, 14:23   #7
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Re: Super basic electrical

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
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