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Old 03-08-2013, 07:34 PM   #1
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Electric system from scratch

Hi,

I have a 43' Defever PM, vintage 1978 thats in great shape except it has no electronics, Radar, Gen, invertor, Refridge, etc. - I do have a Honda 2000 that I fire up to keep the batteries fresh, etc. So I need some suggestions/recomendations in starting from scratch to get everything up to snuff. I do have a top that I put on so I could put 2 large solar panels there. The boat sits on a mooring all year in SoCal so i want to keep my batteries fresh and my beer cold....bring it on!!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Yup, cold beer. First priority. Welcome aboard.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:10 AM   #3
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2 solar panels will just barely keep up a modern high efficent (and price) 12v fridge , if not too large.

With beer and no food a week of rain will result in a warm box , but that's life , unless you want to spend REALLY BIG BUCKS.

A boat kept at a mooring is great , the ventilation and privacy are excellent .

If you prefer the sound of silence I would copy the schematic for a good 40 ft sail boat .

These are the most energy stressed boats , and even there its the fridge is the big killer.
A Propane reefer is the answer, but is harder to install safely in an existing boat.

Our boat sits at times for 6 months with only the solar working to keep the battset up (snowbirds) , so it can be done.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dperry1959 View Post
Hi,

I have a 43' Defever PM, vintage 1978 thats in great shape except it has no electronics, Radar, Gen, invertor, Refridge, etc. - I do have a Honda 2000 that I fire up to keep the batteries fresh, etc. So I need some suggestions/recomendations in starting from scratch to get everything up to snuff. I do have a top that I put on so I could put 2 large solar panels there. The boat sits on a mooring all year in SoCal so i want to keep my batteries fresh and my beer cold....bring it on!!!
Simple:

Make a list of everything you need and it's power requirements.

Make a drawing of where each device will be installed.

Now, decide which devices can be on common circuits and which devices should have their own circuits.

Pick out an electrical panel that will handle the current and the number of circuits needed. Allow for future expansion.

Draw a schematic of the entire electrical system.

Buy the materials and install everything according to USCG and ABYC requirements.

Sit back and enjoy your cold beer.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:52 AM   #5
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Fred, when your boat is on solar for those 6 months and the batteries kept charged by the solar panels only what draws are there on the batteries, lights, fridge, ventilation?
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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I'm in the same boat, I've got a hull with no wires. My wire guy is going to start soon I get a few duckies together. I'll be watching this thread because I have room for a ton of solar panels but I just don't think their cost is worth at this point. Are they worth it? I haven't really priced them, just what I've heard.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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I'm in the same boat, I've got a hull with no wires. My wire guy is going to start soon I get a few duckies together. I'll be watching this thread because I have room for a ton of solar panels but I just don't think their cost is worth at this point. Are they worth it? I haven't really priced them, just what I've heard.
If you plan on keeping the boat on a mooring, that's about the only way to keep the batteries charged. If you keep the boat in a slip, shorepower and a charger makes a lot more sense.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:18 AM   #8
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"Fred, when your boat is on solar for those 6 months and the batteries kept charged by the solar panels only what draws are there on the batteries, lights, fridge, ventilation?"

Batteries are fresh so will loose about 1 or 2 % a day by them selves.

The bilge pump is the ONLY 12V load , and that's pretty intermittiant , even in tropical rains.

The Trace charge C-10 controller for the batt is fully adjustable so I only charge to 13.4 to keep the water use down.

Before departure I used to overfill the batts with distilled water , as the constant daily charge will eat some water .

Now I simply go a bit higher on the water and have Hydro Caps that handle the recombining task.

Ventilation is a snap , I installed one of those rotary turbines 12 inch dia. in a std 14 inch RV vent.

This works better than a dehumidifier as there is no $2.00 a day of electric use , so no need for power aboard at all.

As a matter of fact the boat does not have a 120V shore power inlet , or a 120V electrical system.

Should for some reason the Batt charger or air cond require operation an extension cord does the trick.

Onboard the 1500W chop chop inverter does the microwave or Cusinart.

KISS!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dperry1959 View Post
Hi,

I have a 43' Defever PM, vintage 1978 thats in great shape except it has no electronics, Radar, Gen, invertor, Refridge, etc. - I do have a Honda 2000 that I fire up to keep the batteries fresh, etc. So I need some suggestions/recomendations in starting from scratch to get everything up to snuff. I do have a top that I put on so I could put 2 large solar panels there. The boat sits on a mooring all year in SoCal so i want to keep my batteries fresh and my beer cold....bring it on!!!
First make sure you don't have any leaks! If you keep all the water out and have a battery to start your engine you are off to a good start. After that it gets more complicated.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:40 AM   #10
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Dperry, check the Classified tag for a ready made drop-in system.
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