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Old 09-09-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
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City: San Antonio
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Shintullah
Vessel Model: 55' 1978 Defever
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 92
How do you configure your boat when you are away from it?

I live two hours away from my boat, I get to play on it about every two weeks, sometimes I will go three weeks without a visit to check on things.*

Its a late 70's steel 55 foot *DeFever, basically a stretched 48. It has four water tight compartments each with an automatic bilge pump(all are 32v). The DC electrical system is made up of 32v and 12v banks, each with two battery banks plus a 24v bank for the bow thruster for a total of 5 separate battery banks. The AC system is 220v and 110v. The 32v and 12v battery chargers are 110v. The thruster 24v bank is a D.C. To D.C. 12v charger. It has a sea chest and I always close all through hulls when I leave. All four bilge pumps are powered via a single breaker on the 32v panel but the audio alarm associated with the bilge pumps are powered by 12v breaker. Both AC and DC power panels are set up so just about everything has its own breaker/power supply. And the refrigerator is 110 or 12v.*

The two 32v battery banks are identical, same make and model of 8v battery, *but I bought them 8 months apart. The 12v banks are different, *bank one is two group 29 and bank 2 is two 8 D batteries.*

My slip neighbors and marina staff are nice and keep an eye on things, *its a large marnia and people are always around.*

My concerns are safety and equipment longevity.*

How would you leave the boat configured when you leave? *Battery chargers on or off... Battery select switches set to off, 1, 2 or both. Frig on or off, 110 or 12v..*

After a few responses I will tell you what I do and why... I just want to check my logic.*

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Old 09-09-2015, 01:14 PM   #2
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City: Washington NC Waterfront
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Heron (2)
Vessel Model: '88 Cape Dory 28 Flybridge #115
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 877
I leave my 110 volt charger on, but it's a smart Stirling model that idles at 13 Volts Maintenance mode. battery selector on "1" (my start bank), so the House bank doesn't get toasted if something goes amiss..
Fridge on 110 Volts so if someone disconnects me it doesn't take out a battery bank....all I lose is jar of mayonaise...

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Old 09-09-2015, 01:14 PM   #3
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City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,858
Mr. T. Battery switches on all. Fridge (110v) on. Inverter/charger on. Cabin outlets on to operate the oscillating fans that are in every compartment. Water heater and water pump off. Seacocks closed and "Warning" signs posted at helm.
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:31 PM   #4
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City: St. Petersburg, Florida
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Sherpa
Vessel Model: 24' Vashon Diesel Cruiser
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 385
I am in a similar situation--the boat gets used every two or three weeks without a visit. I am very concerned about a boat fire so my shore power is always disconnected when I am away: battery charger and AC/dehumidifer are off. The bilge pumps and bilge high water alarm run directly off the batteries (fused of course). Main breaker is off and the battery switch is in the "off position". Bilge is always bone dry so the bilge pumps aren't running unless there is a problem.

All three sea-cocks are closed as well. Fortunately, we have live aboard neighbors who have my numbers and the marina keeps a decent watch.

I am contemplating solar battery chargers to keep the batteries charged when I am away.
“Go small, go simple, go now”
― Larry Pardey, Cruising in Seraffyn
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:44 PM   #5
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City: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Country: US
Vessel Name: Moana Huaka'i
Vessel Model: Selene 53
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 815
I leave shore power connected, chargers on, fridge on. Water pump and heater off. I close the raw water seacocks and put the engine keys on one of their handles.

I think disconnecting from shore power while away is a bad idea.
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:54 PM   #6
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City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,380
I discount the power, close the seacock, and make sure the bilge pumps are turned off whenever I leave the boat.

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I also make sure to close the door and turn the lights off.

I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:05 PM   #7
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City: DC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carolena II
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 32/34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 566
LOL Ted.

We are on our boat every weekend (about 30 mins away). Although I used to close thru-hulls a long time ago, we now leave them open. Tied to the dock, shore power connected. The only 110 AC circuits left on are for the outlet in the saloon that runs our little humidifier and air purifier, the battery charger, and the fridge (which is set to AC only so it won't kill the batteries if shore power goes out - happened once and learned that lesson). Only DC circuit on (aside from the dedicated bilge circuits on a separate breaker panel) are cabin lights in case we get to the boat after dark. In winter, we also run two marine bilge heaters - one in the ER and one in the main cabin.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:31 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,410
I'm almost 2 hours away but use the boat every weekend.
Batt charger on, all batts on, 120 v fridge on, inverter on (in case the dock power goes out) hot water heater off, water pressure off.
Seacocks always open, key in ignition (in case boat needs to be moved for whatever reason), flybridge enclosure closed, flag furled and in its cover, doors closed. (I hate locks)

If I have a pumpout scheduled I leave $5 clipped to my power inlet.
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:33 PM   #9
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City: Oneida Lake, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Radio Flyer
Vessel Model: Wilderness Systems Aspire 105
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 769
I leave mine plugged in. The DC panel is all off. AC panel is mostly off, except for fridge, outlets and battery charger. I leave a small fan on in the cabin.

I always check my bilge pumps and float switches before I leave for an extended period. I stow the canvas enclosure, and roll up the Bimini. I leave the cockpit cover on. I leave the keys in the ignition, in the hopes that someone will steal it someday.
What I drive at work
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:33 PM   #10
City: Fort Myers
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 763
Shore power is on, smart charger on and 110vac only frig on, every other breaker off, all DC breakers off, we have separate circuits for 3 bilge pumps.

Might want to think about one of those security camera's to check in on it yourself?
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:34 PM   #11
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City: Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 998
We are only 5 min from our dock. Last year the marina had some shorepower issues so we lost our 30A SP several times. Turns out it was one pole of the pedestal breaker that went bad. I leave the battery charger on, which when fully charged goes into standby mode, and the refrig with the DC breaker off. The Auto-bilge pumps are independently fused from the battery switch. Everything else is off. If I do lose power, the house batt does not get drawn down flat by the frig. Since my current draw is only a couple amps at most, I use a normal 14/3 outdoor extension cord with adapter to plug into a 15A GCFI recept on the dock. We don't leave anything in the frig that will spoil more than a couple days. No stray current issues and they don't charge me for power.
The boat is on the hard when gone for the summer. All batteries are disconnected and a drain is open if any rainwater gets in. When I arrive in the fall, I check the battery volts. All have been >12.4 after 6 months.
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Englewood, FL and Cape May, NJ
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:10 PM   #12
Scraping Paint
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DC off completely. AC on powering the three stage battery charger, the AC/DC refrigerator, and in winter cabin and engine room heaters. Propane tanks off. All seacocks closed except main engines raw water intake.
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:22 PM   #13
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City: Lafayette, LA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Miss Puddy
Vessel Model: 44' Nova
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 183
All DC circuits off, except bilge pumps. AC has bat charger and refrig, all others are off. In summer I leave one air conditioner running at 78*. Disconnect pedestal water supply.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:49 PM   #14
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City: Sydney
Country: Australia
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 181
Timber boat, so bilge pumps and flooding alarms on, shore cable plugged in and battery chargers running.
Seacocks open.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:56 PM   #15
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City: Bass Harbor
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Tortuga
Vessel Model: Nunes Brothers Raised Deck Cruiser
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 561
I leave my seacocks closed (all 4). My bilge pumps are on in automatic mode. All switches are off and I do not have shore power. I was on the boat today after not being aboard since Sunday. Both battery banks were at 100% charge (thank you solar panels). The only thing I have on other than bilge pumps is the solar panel controller. I haven't hooked the batteries up to a charger since 2011 when I installed them.
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:44 PM   #16
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City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 8,457
Originally Posted by Wayfarer View Post
I leave the keys in the ignition, in the hopes that someone will steal it someday.
Where exactly do you berth your boat, Wayfarer????

3 Seacocks - OPEN
ER Lights - OFF
Battery Charger - ON
Pressure Water - OFF
Water Heater - OFF
Horn Air - OFF
Inverter - OFF
120V Fridge - ON/EMPTY
12v/120V Fridge - ON
120V Countertop Fan - ON
Winter ER 120V Heater - ON
Winter Cabin 120V Ceramic Heater - ON
Winter Dri-Z-Air Dispensers - FILLED

All other AC and DC circuits remain powered in my absence.

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Old 09-09-2015, 06:52 PM   #17
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City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9,113
bilge pumps on
shore power on
charger on
refrigerator on
everything else off
thru hulls open: engine, auto bilge pumps, sinks
thru hulls closed: blackwater, manual bilge pump, shower water

operate boat at least every two weeks or less
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:55 PM   #18
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City: Brisbane River
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Insequent
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 50 Mk I
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 912
I'm only 3km from the dock, an easy bicycle ride if I don't drive down. I visit the boat every other day even if just for a coffee but usually do something else as well. So I tend to leave everything the same as I would at anchor, except I have shore power connected as well. I can go down, hop on board and have hot water available, and switch TV on from standby as Satellite dish is also on and tracking.

While I'm waiting for the coffee maker to warm up I'll check the battery SOC and run the diaphragm pump in the bilge. It usually pumped a little water out, but it was never high enough level to trigger the bilge pumps themselves. A few days ago I tightened the packing gland on the starboard shaft so now even the diaphragm doesn't have anything to pump out.

Then its time to just sit for a bit with the coffee and reflect on how nice a place the world can be .....
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:13 PM   #19
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City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,149
I borrowed Al's list and modified it for what I do....

All 6 Seacocks - CLOSED
Seacock strainers-DRAINED
Battery Charger - ON
Inverter - ON
50A/120V & 50A/240V Shore power - ON
Water Heater - OFF AND DRAINED
Inverter - ON
120V Fridge & Freezer- ON/EMPTY
Fly Bridge Freezer & Refrig-OFF
6 120V heaters - ON AND SET TO 750 Watt SETTING
Winter ER 120V Heater - ON (BOATSAFE HEATER)

I also hang a 120V bulb up in the fly bridge, hanging from one of the stainless supports for the bimini. This bulb is bright green so everyone can see if it is on or off. Dock mates all know to keep an eye out for it.

I also have an excellent mechanic that's 5 minutes from the boat. He has a key to it and whenever he's around the marina working on another boat he goes by and checks my boat.
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:46 PM   #20
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City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2,725
AC power on
Charger on
Fridge on if there is food in it, if no trip coming up, turn it off and clean it out.
Four bilge pumps in auto, two per batt bank.
Sea cocks open
Aircons off
Everything else off.

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