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Old 07-27-2016, 05:30 AM   #21
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This is where the marine industry is really lacking.

Every year I hear of what's the best charger or inverter or combo, but it's all just opinion.

There is no real definitive info on what lasts, performs as advertised, or lives up to real customer service.

I am ready to upgrade to a great inverter/charger or separates, but I have read of no clear cut winners.

I have heard great things about Charles, yet some years back, almost every Charles charger installed in dozens and dozens of Sea Rays I delivered during the sales process had their Charles chargers replaced under warranty the first year or so.

Even then people were saying how great they were, yet I had great personal/in industry experience to the contrary.

So for existing chargers/inverters and combos...especially now the Xantrex is retooled, who has any real evidence of superiority in these categories?

Just having luck with yours helps the discussion, but hardly proves anything.

Maybe time for forums like these to have a favorites/reviews section where people could come up with somewhat weighted ratings based on knowledge of the people rating the equipment.

Oh well......
It is hard to find a decent stand alone inverter with any sort of power. It is why I now have another battery charger in my boat because it came attached to the 2000 watt inverter that I wanted. And it is Magnum Engineering brand. If you do some research, Magnum does a ton of work with off grid applications as well as RV applications so there is plenty of feedback on the interwebz....and it it generally very good. The equipment is not cheap though Like B&B said, Amazon is usually a good place to go for reviews.

Also, I may be wrong but it is my belief that chargers are now smart enough to know which bank needs charging and which bank does not.. IOW, the small bank does not get fried if the big bank needs more juice.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:36 AM   #22
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Chargers get smarter and smarter , and more complex.

Rather than the all in one multiple use wonder box , perhaps 2 smaller individual chargers would last better? .

And if one does go you are not SOL.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:09 AM   #23
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I guess a combo inverter-charger is ok if you split your AC panel properly. I do not like them though. I feel better when I am in control. A friend has a Great Harbor with a full sized, huge 120V Frig-Freezer and his inverter is running all the time, pass through. Likely 3000+ amp hour battery bank of hi tech batteries. Works good for him, too rich for my blood, but it can be done. We talked about solar, he said not necessary right after his electrical refit. 6months later he is adding 1000 watts of solar.

I have 1100+ amp hours wet cell of stowage, 750 watts of solar, 80 amp stand alone Samlex charger, Samlex stand alone 1500 watt inverter. The main house load is 3 Engels 12volt Freezer-Refers. The Engels can be either a freezer or a reefer but not combo.

The inverter has one plug, near the TV and kitchen appliances. Seldom used. With all 3 Engels running all night with floating batteries at sundown I get up to 65-70% total remaining charge. I like to keep it above 70%, I get nervous when in the 60's and shift to semi panic in the 50's. I have a Xantrex link pro meter. I really like it. A glance tells me all about battery health, corrected charge rate vs amp out flow, length of time at current charging rate till float.

This charger and meter are new. I have learned from the meter while at the dock. Need hot water, water maker water or other high load appliances then fire up the charger, time it just before bed, give the batteries a sip from the charger and shut down with the batteries at 95+% with a get up @80%+ then the sun kicks in. So from that, on the hook, genset replaces the shore power.

With the real time info from Link-Pro I manually manipulate the charger, generator or shore power, refrigeration and solar. If I am away from the boat for a few days I shut down one reefer and go solar. 6-7 hours of Sun floats the bank. The link pro has educated me to the characteristics of my system so I can project and Taylor the load to the system. I think and hope I have the bases covered.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:18 AM   #24
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The quality of the overall install, electrical system maintenance and owner abuse trump brand name with but a few exceptions.

I won't cite the very well known Chinese boat builder, but the system engineering and electrical install has bedeviled many an owner of these high end vessels. Chargers, inverters, switching devices and alternators were all too often cited as the culprits when in most cases bad connections or faulty design have been found to be the problem.

Bottom line, most of today's chargers are pretty good on a stand alone basis. But are our boat electrical systems equally good?
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:48 AM   #25
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I have an 80 amo Charles charger installed as OEM on my boat. It still works just fine. I would ask how many batteries in each bank and what type of batteries??? 40 amps is pretty weak for a charger in this day and age. I have seen some pretty big boats with 40 amp charger that have battery issues. Why??? Because the normal household 12VDC loads approach and even exceed 40 amps on bigger boats. Also, AGM batteries desulphate by the charge the receive....the bigger the charge, the better. So if you have AGM batteries and a weak charger, you are potentially shortening the life of your batteries.

But, back to your original question, Charles chargers are damn good and their customer service is even better.

WIth that said, I also needed an inverter so bought a Magnum Energy 2000 watt inverter combo 100 amp battery charger. If you do not already have an inverter, I would highly recommend going this route.

After thinking about your post i have to agree that a larger charger would cut down the generator run time to bring the batteries back to full charge. Plus the larger chargers have temperature compensation to treat the batteries more kindly.
So the Charles 80 amp 5000 series it is.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:47 AM   #26
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After thinking about your post i have to agree that a larger charger would cut down the generator run time to bring the batteries back to full charge. Plus the larger chargers have temperature compensation to treat the batteries more kindly.
So the Charles 80 amp 5000 series it is.
That is exactly the one I have. It is 15 years old and still going strong. Of course it has a stable mate as well in the Magnum 100amp/2000watt inverter/charger.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:16 AM   #27
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The quality of the overall install, electrical system maintenance and owner abuse trump brand name with but a few exceptions.

I won't cite the very well known Chinese boat builder, but the system engineering and electrical install has bedeviled many an owner of these high end vessels. Chargers, inverters, switching devices and alternators were all too often cited as the culprits when in most cases bad connections or faulty design have been found to be the problem.

Bottom line, most of today's chargers are pretty good on a stand alone basis. But are our boat electrical systems equally good?
A couple of European builders with similar situations.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:16 AM   #28
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Looking forward to installing it.
Pretty good price at $875
I'm happy. 😎
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:40 AM   #29
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"After thinking about your post i have to agree that a larger charger would cut down the generator run time to bring the batteries back to full charge."

A huge tempature monitoring charger might be fast till a LA batt set is 85% or so full, then even 10,000 amps of charger can not speed up the final process.

That's where solar or wind works very well.

Folks that want the fastest charge from the noisemaker can simply install a 135A alternator and smart charger on the front of the noismaker.

Check first for a dual pulley and what power can be taken off the front end from the assembler.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:39 AM   #30
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Is A Charles Industries Charger Great?

I had two large solar panels on the boat when we bought it. I took them off because i could not keep the boat clean underneath them and the solar panel control failed and cooked the battery set.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:16 AM   #31
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A couple of European builders with similar situations.
Interesting, can you give some links pls.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:39 AM   #32
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Interesting, can you give some links pls.
Links....links to what. Sunchaser simply said one or more high end Chinese builders had bedeviling electrical issues and I said a couple of European builders did as well. The most notorious would be Azimut.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:46 AM   #33
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Links....links to what. Sunchaser simply said one or more high end Chinese builders had bedeviling electrical issues and I said a couple of European builders did as well. The most notorious would be Azimut.

Understand, 40+ years as a dutch marine engineer i've never heard of that, but you might be right.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:59 AM   #34
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Links....links to what. Sunchaser simply said one or more high end Chinese builders had bedeviling electrical issues and I said a couple of European builders did as well. The most notorious would be Azimut.
One of my closest friends is a marine electrician...and he absolutely abhors working on those boats. It may just be a different engineering philosophy. I have flown Swedish aircrast(Saab) and French aircraft(ATR). And I did not think their engineering was up to something like a Boeing. BUT, they have passed all rigorous testing and have been flying around safely for decades. So it really is more of a bias of what I think is correct.....and I still do.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:32 AM   #35
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Understand, 40+ years as a dutch marine engineer i've never heard of that, but you might be right.
I've never heard of it on dutch builders. However, I've heard of it often on Italian builders, especially Italian built boats for the US. That, and poor service by the dealer are the reasons Azimut has a very poor reputation in the US. (I've heard Benetti/Azimut have a much better reputation in Europe). I've heard it mentioned as an issue less frequently on other builders but partly because they have less US presence. But I've heard complaints on Prestige. Also on Jeanneau powerboats. What percentage of the problems to attribute to the build and what percent to poor support in the US I couldn't say, but do think both are factors.

Meanwhile, I've heard no criticisms ever of Dutch boats, from Feadship to Delta and all in between. Dutch boats will have excellent systems laid out well and precisely in the manner of the specifications and drawings. Not including the most infamous fake Dutch boat which is VanDutch, which is built at whichever US builder will build for them at the moment. Back to Azimut for a moment, one of the criticisms is that two boats of the same model may be wired and plumbed very differently.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:34 AM   #36
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To add, I don't know which Chinese builder Sunchaser has in mind, but would be interested in him saying which.
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