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Old 26-11-2019, 06:59   #1
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Newbies need Lithium help please.

Hi everyone.

My wife and I are relatively new to sailing, but have decided to retire early, sell up, buy a new Seawind 1260 Catamaran (available next year) and live on board.

We are considering various upgrade options, one of which is Lithium batteries. YouTube is currently our primary source of information and each of the main channels/sailors we follow recommend the upgrade. The specific source of easily understood information was from Gone With The Wynns and at first glance it looks as though we need something very similar to their set up. That is 4 x Relion 300 AH batteries for the house bank and 2 x 100 AH batteries for the two engines. Unfortunately the manufacturer upgrade costs the same or more for half of the power.

We will either launch from the Vietnam/Thailand area or cost permitting ship it to another location.

Can anyone help with the following questions please?

1. What should we expect to pay for this system, understanding that we may need a couple of additional items.
2. Does that price including fitting from a professional reliable company?
3. Do those companies operate within easy travelling distance of the launch area, or would we need to ship the Catamaran for supply and/or fitting?

Apologies if these are really simple/silly questions and please forgive our naivety. Any and all help would be greaty appreciated!

Many thanks.

Corrigano
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Old 26-11-2019, 07:00   #2
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Corrigano.


RELiON batteries can be purchased online, with free ground shipping within the continental U.S.
You can also order through our dealers and distributors all over the world. In Asia, Relion Deep Cycle Lithium Batteries (LiFePO4 ) are available from https://centaur-asiapacific.com/insi...4-battery.html

Centaur Asia Pacific, Hong Kong
Phone: (852) 2527 0007

Centaur Asia Pacific, Singapore
Phone: (65) 6362 6922

Centaur Asia Pacific, Malaysia
Phone: (60) 7570 5979
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Old 26-11-2019, 07:14   #3
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Wow!

Many thanks for such an amazingly fast reply as well as the really helpfull information.

Thanks again GordMay.
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Old 26-11-2019, 07:56   #4
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrigano View Post
We are considering various upgrade options, one of which is Lithium batteries.
If you are going to fit lithium you should plan on upsizing alternators and battery charger. This is a system issue.

I still like flooded lead acid batteries if you can get about 900 Ah to fit.

You should also relook at your plans for start batteries. Ah are not your issue there, just A, specifically CCA.
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Old 26-11-2019, 08:14   #5
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Hi Auspicious.

Thank you for your reply. This is my first post and I can't believe how quickly you guys reply with helpful advice.

We are really naive on all things marine electrics but we're trying to consider and agree the best options well in advance of us picking up the catamaran next year.

We have picked up the importance of upsizing alternators/battery charger and start batteries. We are almost treating this like a jigsaw and have started with the house bank first and then adding the other componenents for the best option based on total cost.

Please feel free to suggest any specific alternators/chargers/starter batteries that you think we should be considering.

Thanks again!

Corrigano
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Old 26-11-2019, 08:59   #6
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Here is a great resource for marine electronics info:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Pacific...able_polymer=1


Watch the "how to" series.


If you are getting a new boat the builder should be able to provide you with what you need.
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:01   #7
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Thanks Gtstricky.

I've just subscribed to the YouTube channel and will read through the other info too.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply, offer help and include great links!

Corrigano
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:26   #8
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

I would advise caution here. You state that you ar new to sailing and the electrical system on a modern boat is a complex and balanced system (or should be!). If you don't understand the system suficiently to be confident in what needs doing then you could find it is a lot more expensive to both fit and maintain. There is a lot of hype around lithium and for boats with a very high power consuption it does look like a good solution but that does not meen that flooded lead acid batteries are not still very practical as well as been far cheaper.

My advice would be to run the boat for a full season to get a good idea of your needs before deciding on the upgrade.
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:32   #9
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Thanks for the reply and guidance Roland.

We are genuinely happy to be offered any and all advice at the moment to help us make a considered judgement. This includes your balanced advice to not rush in.

Appreciate you taking the time to help us!
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:38   #10
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
... My advice would be to run the boat for a full season to get a good idea of your needs before deciding on the upgrade.
That's excellent advice for any significant upgrade/purchase.
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:56   #11
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
That's excellent advice for any significant upgrade/purchase.
That and what live aboard lifestyle. Tied to the dock or ocean voyages.
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Old 26-11-2019, 11:13   #12
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

This is really good advice. When learning, you will make mistakes. It is better tom make them on $600 worth of batteries than $2500.

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
I would advise caution here. You state that you ar new to sailing and the electrical system on a modern boat is a complex and balanced system (or should be!). If you don't understand the system suficiently to be confident in what needs doing then you could find it is a lot more expensive to both fit and maintain. There is a lot of hype around lithium and for boats with a very high power consuption it does look like a good solution but that does not meen that flooded lead acid batteries are not still very practical as well as been far cheaper.

My advice would be to run the boat for a full season to get a good idea of your needs before deciding on the upgrade.
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Old 26-11-2019, 11:39   #13
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrigano View Post
Hi Auspicious.

/snip/
Please feel free to a suggest any specific alternators/chargers/starter batteries that you think we should be considering.
Call me Dave.

For alternators and chargers with lithium batteries the big deal is BIG. If you're going to take advantage of the fast recharge time of lithiums you need a lot of charging.

Start batteries are just for cranking the engines over. Lots of amps for a short period - just like a car or truck. Thus CCA as more relevant than Ah. Keeping them charged with different chemistry than your house bank deserves attention. The easy way is to use a standard alternator in addition to a high output one on the engine, the alternator on a generator to charge start while the generator feeds the house bank through a charger, and a properly sized combiner from solar and/or wind.
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Old 26-11-2019, 11:43   #14
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrigano View Post
Hi everyone.

My wife and I are relatively new to sailing, but have decided to retire early, sell up, buy a new Seawind 1260 Catamaran (available next year) and live on board.

We are considering various upgrade options, one of which is Lithium batteries. YouTube is currently our primary source of information and each of the main channels/sailors we follow recommend the upgrade. The specific source of easily understood information was from Gone With The Wynns and at first glance it looks as though we need something very similar to their set up. That is 4 x Relion 300 AH batteries for the house bank and 2 x 100 AH batteries for the two engines. Unfortunately the manufacturer upgrade costs the same or more for half of the power.

We will either launch from the Vietnam/Thailand area or cost permitting ship it to another location.

Can anyone help with the following questions please?

1. What should we expect to pay for this system, understanding that we may need a couple of additional items.
2. Does that price including fitting from a professional reliable company?
3. Do those companies operate within easy travelling distance of the launch area, or would we need to ship the Catamaran for supply and/or fitting?

Apologies if these are really simple/silly questions and please forgive our naivety. Any and all help would be greaty appreciated!

Many thanks.

Corrigano
There will be various prices to do the same job.

But before this you need to evaluate your use case.

Beware of fan boy or sponsor motivated internet sources whose info may be severely biased.

Decision making factors:

1. Sensitivity to voltage sag?
2.Sensitivity to battery replacement frequency?
3. Sensitivity to initial cost?
4. Sensitivity to ICE powered charging sources?
5. How frequently will you be away from shower power and for how long?
6. How long will you own the boat?

All of these things and more should be evaluated, before making the decision to go LiFePO4.

If you have definitely decided, the cost will depend on who does it, with what products, based on what design?

The products and design can be all over the map.

As for who does it, it would likely play out:

1. Manufacturer - most expensive. But the manufacturer has a lot invested to keep you happy if something goes wrong.

2. Skilled professional. Slightly less expensive, but the good ones are also invested in keeping you very happy.

3. Boat bum for hire. Run away.

4. DIY. This is tricky and requires an honest self assessment. Are you highly knowledgeable of all marine electrical standards and sound practice, as well as LiFePO4 specific requirements? If not, you will have a lot of learning and skills development ( not just book reading or YouTube watching) to do, to complete the job safely and effectively.

That you appear to be contemplating use LFP for start batteries, indicates you are no where near there.

Lastly, if you don’t have the manufacturer install the electrical system, how do you plan to get it to where it will be done?
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Old 26-11-2019, 11:50   #15
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Re: Newbies need Lithium help please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
My advice would be to run the boat for a full season to get a good idea of your needs before deciding on the upgrade.
I totally agree. Very sound advice!

If you'd like to dig into the Lithium setups a little deeper this website has some really good info as well, focussed on Lithium onboard seagoing yachts.

We have published our switch to LiFePO4 on the Dutch sailors forum but unless you understand Dutch that won't be very helpful for you.
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