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Old 09-16-2014, 02:00 AM   #1
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No generator

32 Nordic, New boaters looking. Standard equipment on a 32 Nordic tug for northwest waters. No air conditioning, fine with that. The power would come from house batteries when moored and engine regenerating each day.

Would you add a Generator?
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:16 AM   #2
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The power would come from house batteries when moored and engine regenerating each day.

For what?

If the boat is operated 3-4 hours each day with a smart 3-4 stage V regulator keeping up with all demands EXCEPT refrigeration will be easy.

The cure for the reefer is either a super high efficiency unit from the RE folks , or a modern high insulation ice chest.

Of course if you run marina to marina and plug in every night , no problem.

I would install a SOC meter for the DC batts and see how you do.

Then get a Honda 2000 if your batts go dead too soon.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:10 AM   #3
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32 Nordic, New boaters looking. Standard equipment on a 32 Nordic tug for northwest waters. No air conditioning, fine with that. The power would come from house batteries when moored and engine regenerating each day.

Would you add a Generator?
My boat has no genset and the only thing I lack is the ability to run the air conditioning away from shore power. Since you don't have air conditioning on that boat, it wouldn't be an issue.

I have a propane range for cooking and I have an inverter to power a microwave oven. Hot water comes from engine heat.

It works for us.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:19 AM   #4
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Holding plate fridge ? compressor belted from main ? sailboat stuff.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:30 AM   #5
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We have had several cruisers in that size range.

We had inverters, and good sized battery banks.

If you are going to use your boat, on the hook in the winter you will need a furnace.

Running the furnace will deplete your battery bank by morning. Then its up to you how to recharge. Portable generator? Run the main engine? Something will have to charge the batteries.

If you do not have or use a furnace then that size boat in my opinion does not need a generator.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:34 AM   #6
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Figuring out your DC needs requires an energy calculation that balances consumption, storage capacity, charging capacity, days at anchorage and hours of cruising time between anchorages.

Most boaters who anchor out for a couple of days at a time over weekends can get by with 200-300 amphours of battery capacity and no additional charging sources.

Here are some parameters to help you:

1. You will use 60-120 amphours per 24 hours from your house batteries while on the hook. Refrigeration is the biggest consumer.

2. Don't routinely run down your house batteries below 50%.

3. The OEM alternator on your propulsion engine can put out at best 50 amps, often less.

4. A battery monitor- about $200 is a big help in figuring out how much energy you use.

So here are some solutions, in approximate order of cost to make the balance work if it doesn't, ie you are staying on the hook longer than 2 days, your usage is high, etc:

1. Add additional batteries. A pair of 6V golf cart wired in series to produce 12V and supply 220 amphours will cost about $300 for batteries, cables and battery box.

2, Add solar panels. 250 watts of panel will add 80 amphours daily on a sunny day (I know that doesn't always happen in the PNW) and will cost about $500 for parts.

3. Upgrade your propulsion engine alternator with a high output one with an external regulator- about $1,000.

4. Buy a Honda EU2000i and make sure that your shore power charger is big enough to limit its running time but not too big to overload it. $1000 for the Honda and $300 for a bigger charger if needed.

David
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:05 PM   #7
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Congrats! We also have a NT 32, but ours is the East Coast version with the genny and two AC units. That said, we don't really use the AC much when we anchor out (thus not much use on the genny) so I can give you some guidance. We have a house bank consisting of four 6 volt golf batteries, so somewhere around 420 AMP hours. We have converted all the interior lights to LED, so there isn't much draw there (before converting we found the halogens using more amps than the fridge). We do not have an inverter, and we have a propane stove. We can easily go two days without using the generator or running the engine before the batteries get down to 50% (we actually never let them get that low). The biggest draw is the fridge at around 4-5 amps, and the anchor light at 1-2 amps (changing to led this winter). Head and water usage isn't really much of a factor. I second the recomendation to get an amp/state of charge meter. It will help you determine your amp usage and, more importantly, will help prevent you from running down the batteries too much. Getting back to the generator, we do use it in the morning to heat the hot water, make coffee, and run the microwave if we need to. Coffee is a non-negotiable item on our boat. This is more than enough usage to keep the batts topped up, but as I said, not necessary if you move the boat every day or two. With your setup, and depending on your battery bank, an inverter that could run a coffee maker and microwave, coupled with a couple solar panels, would probably be about perfect.


I also suggest you join the SENTOA owners forum. Lots of owners with plenty of NT specific experience to share, and many in your cruising area.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post

1. You will use 60-120 amphours per 24 hours from your house batteries while on the hook. Refrigeration is the biggest consumer.

If it helps to add another data point, we can say our minimum fridge load is about 3-amps/hour on the larger and about 2 amps/hour on the smaller. So 60 amp-hours minimum if we were to run 24 hours on DC.

FWIW, we also have a few other constant non-discretionary DC loads -- three CO detectors, the AM/FM/TV antenna, the shower sump -- and that adds up to about 1 amp/hour.

I haven't calculated the effect of our anchor light. We changed that to an LED fixture recently (finally), but I keep forgetting to look at the meter to see what the resulting load might be.

So in the meantime, we consider 6 amps/hour as our minimum load.

Doesn't count the rest of our discretionary loads -- lights, music, whatever -- but those are relatively easily managed.

Different boats, of course, but perhaps useful to illustrate one approach to deciding whether a genset would be useful or not.

-Chris
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:00 PM   #9
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I have an Nt37 with a generator and 2 solar panels. With the solar panels, I have not needed the genny at all. The house bank drains down a bit overnight from the fridge, but tops off again during the day from the solar charge. That said, I'm still glad I have one, although I cant think of a good reason why.
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