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Old 05-11-2021, 12:08 AM   #21
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I've had good luck with flooded golf cart batteries in the past, my only hesitation in this case is that I would have trouble accessing half of the bank to check fluid levels.
A battery-watering system will solve that problem. Flow-Rite is a good brand.
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Old 05-20-2021, 07:53 AM   #22
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Thank you again for the solid input. I have re-configured the inverter wiring so that it no longer feeds the entire AC panel, from now on it will only feed select outlets including the refrigerator but it will continue to default to powering them through the shore power or generator source when available.

I read through the inverter/charger manual installation manual carefully as I did not want to create any new problems for myself and was surprised to see that feeding entire panel was one of 3 recommended configuration options. It certainly isn't an ideal configuration for me and I feel much better about the current setup. We were on the boat the other evening, showing my sister around when the dock power went out due to a storm and the inverter kicked in attempted to power the air conditioning, which had been running at the time, clearly a problem and I can't see how the installer of this system thought it was a good idea.

The two group 27's which are undersized for my needs are also definitely deteriorated and need to be replaced, I left the refrigerator running for about 1.5 hours the other day and they were too weak to start the engine.

I think I'm going with a combined house/starter bank of 3 - 200 AH AGM batteries. I'm doing one bank for now because my inverter is the only charger on the boat now and if I add another AC powered charger, it will likely exceed the capacity of my single 30 amp shore power inlet. Re-wiring for a second 30 amp shore power input will be a good project left for the off-season.
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:18 PM   #23
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Sounds good. I meant to suggest earlier that you can run a lot of the small electronics on 12v through built in USB ports or car adapters in a lighter plug. On my 34 I had the inverter wired to the fridge and two plugs, but a couple of 12v USB bars as well to handle devices.
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Old 05-20-2021, 07:19 PM   #24
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I have my inverter powering the entire panel and there are some significant benefits in doing so. The inverter can fix low or dirty voltage being input from shore and supplement the amperage when the boat peak loads exceed the shore power capability. However the biggest downside is the inverter trying to run the whole panel if the shore power drops out. To solve that I have a relay that connects the three main circuits in my panel. If the relay does not see shore power voltage, two of the three circuits drop out immediately reducing the load to the ďaway from shoreĒ circuits. I also have a small ten amp circuit breaker that I can throw manually to add the load shedding circuits back in (after one has turned off all but maybe one breaker on the load shed panels). If you forget about that breaker and try to run too much current, it simply trips and you are back to load shedding mode.

There are pros and cons to every setup. Thatís about the best you can say.
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Old 05-20-2021, 07:30 PM   #25
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Thank you again for the solid input. I have re-configured the inverter wiring so that it no longer feeds the entire AC panel, from now on it will only feed select outlets including the refrigerator but it will continue to default to powering them through the shore power or generator source when available.

I read through the inverter/charger manual installation manual carefully as I did not want to create any new problems for myself and was surprised to see that feeding entire panel was one of 3 recommended configuration options. It certainly isn't an ideal configuration for me and I feel much better about the current setup. We were on the boat the other evening, showing my sister around when the dock power went out due to a storm and the inverter kicked in attempted to power the air conditioning, which had been running at the time, clearly a problem and I can't see how the installer of this system thought it was a good idea.

The two group 27's which are undersized for my needs are also definitely deteriorated and need to be replaced, I left the refrigerator running for about 1.5 hours the other day and they were too weak to start the engine.

I think I'm going with a combined house/starter bank of 3 - 200 AH AGM batteries. I'm doing one bank for now because my inverter is the only charger on the boat now and if I add another AC powered charger, it will likely exceed the capacity of my single 30 amp shore power inlet. Re-wiring for a second 30 amp shore power input will be a good project left for the off-season.


I never liked relying on having to remember to do something to keep from winding up with the inability to start the boat. While separate charging might be nice, an inexpensive automatic charge relay will isolate your starting battery whenever it is not being charged for around $50.

Many small fridges will easily consume 50 amp hours a day, which is a lot to ask of a single group 27 battery, let alone an older one. We cruised on a small boat for years with nothing but a small ice box. Not as convenient as a running frig, but I never woke up stranded because I couldnít start the boat either! Packing the frig with block ice still works and can easily get you days.

BTW, I have a 1400 amp hour house bank. I can easily charge it with a single 120amp charger off my 30amp shore power. No need to put in a second service just to charge multiple small banks.
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:26 AM   #26
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Not one of your options, but you might consider firefly batteries for the house bank. Two group 31 batteries will give you 240 AH. You get lithium -like performance without the science/engineering project.

Gordon
I just realized that you own the Ocean Alexander a few slips away from me at HHS, I've been walking past it for a few days now scratching my head trying to figure out if it was the one that used to carry a helicopter on the aft deck, the radar arch really far forward looked familiar to me. I found myself searching through the archives to confirm it. That is a fascinating and beautiful boat.

edit: I guess you just sold it
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Old 06-04-2021, 07:26 AM   #27
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On our 34 ,we ended up and are happy with a house bank of 3 ,with the option of adding another. group 27 flooded deep cycle batteries for a total of 270AH. 270 is the bare minimum ,for us, that will give 2-3 days at anchor without recharging. The big draw is the 12v refrigerator that uses around 4 amps pretty much continuously in warm weather followed by the fresh water pump that gets used minimally. When anchored we also leave the AIS on and maybe 1 vhf. All lights are LED which helps ,especially the anchor light that stays on all night. We cook with propane but the occasional microwave use via the inverter is a power hog. The engine start is a group 31 dual-purpose that can be paralleled by the ACR combiner if needed. I do have the anchor windlass connected to the engine battery (hence the dual-purpose and not a starting) since we only use it after the engine has been started.
I'm hard-pressed to upgrade the stock 65A alternator on the Perkins because of the cost of a complete serpentine belt system, high-output alternator and programmable regulator would be in the $2000 range. The stock alternator struggles...and by struggles I mean it gets hot as hell, to bring the current system up to a full charge so I'm really hesitant to add the 4th group 27 to the house. Also, the alternator field is energized from the engine ignition key via a relay but senses the house bank first and only after it's brought them up to almost full (4-6 hours from 50% discharge @ 1650 RPM), does the ACR kick in to start charging the start battery, unless I manually engage it via the on/off/auto switch. At the dock everything is charged by a ProMariner Pronautic 50A charger which seems to be fine for the system.
It sounds complicated but it's really not. The spares we keep are an alternator, a belt & a relay for the field connection to the ignition.
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Old 06-04-2021, 09:22 AM   #28
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On our 34 ,we ended up and are happy with a house bank of 3 ,with the option of adding another. group 27 flooded deep cycle batteries for a total of 270AH. 270 is the bare minimum ,for us, that will give 2-3 days at anchor without recharging. The big draw is the 12v refrigerator that uses around 4 amps pretty much continuously in warm weather followed by the fresh water pump that gets used minimally. When anchored we also leave the AIS on and maybe 1 vhf. All lights are LED which helps ,especially the anchor light that stays on all night. We cook with propane but the occasional microwave use via the inverter is a power hog. The engine start is a group 31 dual-purpose that can be paralleled by the ACR combiner if needed. I do have the anchor windlass connected to the engine battery (hence the dual-purpose and not a starting) since we only use it after the engine has been started.
I'm hard-pressed to upgrade the stock 65A alternator on the Perkins because of the cost of a complete serpentine belt system, high-output alternator and programmable regulator would be in the $2000 range. The stock alternator struggles...and by struggles I mean it gets hot as hell, to bring the current system up to a full charge so I'm really hesitant to add the 4th group 27 to the house. Also, the alternator field is energized from the engine ignition key via a relay but senses the house bank first and only after it's brought them up to almost full (4-6 hours from 50% discharge @ 1650 RPM), does the ACR kick in to start charging the start battery, unless I manually engage it via the on/off/auto switch. At the dock everything is charged by a ProMariner Pronautic 50A charger which seems to be fine for the system.
It sounds complicated but it's really not. The spares we keep are an alternator, a belt & a relay for the field connection to the ignition.
I am worried that your 65-Amp OEM alternator might give up the ghost with all that stress. Are you pulling it for maintenance by a shop every so often? I understand the hesitancy to go the expense of a bigger alternator system, but I replaced a 65-Amp one a Ford Lehman 120 single belt system with a 100-Amp internally regulated alternator without a big issue. Besides, the 100-Amp alt will rarely if ever hit 100 Amps, but it will certainly outperform the one you have with far less stress. If you are concerned about the charger working your current alt a bit too hard you can knock the power setting of that PN50 down in 25% increments.
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Old 06-04-2021, 09:42 AM   #29
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Oh I'm worried about the stock alternator quitting while trying to bring the batteries up from a depleted state too! That's why we carry a relatively inexpensive spare with us. It's not too bad to change but not something one enjoys doing, especially while cruising.
I looked into a better quality Balmar 70A, one where I could use the same belt & get by, but they are rather adamant about it's rotation for cooling. I was one on the "lucky" Mainship Perkins owners who got a contra-rotating 6.354. It runs like a top but in this case, I would rather have had the standard-rotation one.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:44 AM   #30
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Balmar 100-amp alternators can be used safely with a single belt, external regulation of course. Use with an alternator temp sensor as recommended by Balmar. Take a look at Rod Collins' marinehowto.com website. Everything you need to learn about systems is right there.
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Oh I'm worried about the stock alternator quitting while trying to bring the batteries up from a depleted state too! That's why we carry a relatively inexpensive spare with us. It's not too bad to change but not something one enjoys doing, especially while cruising.
I looked into a better quality Balmar 70A, one where I could use the same belt & get by, but they are rather adamant about it's rotation for cooling. I was one on the "lucky" Mainship Perkins owners who got a contra-rotating 6.354. It runs like a top but in this case, I would rather have had the standard-rotation one.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:47 PM   #31
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Oh I'm worried about the stock alternator quitting while trying to bring the batteries up from a depleted state too! That's why we carry a relatively inexpensive spare with us. It's not too bad to change but not something one enjoys doing, especially while cruising.
I looked into a better quality Balmar 70A, one where I could use the same belt & get by, but they are rather adamant about it's rotation for cooling. I was one on the "lucky" Mainship Perkins owners who got a contra-rotating 6.354. It runs like a top but in this case, I would rather have had the standard-rotation one.
I missed this post until just now, I also have a counter rotating 6.354 in my 34', I am planning to send my coolant water pump off to TAD this fall for rebuilding and also want to have some replacement injector lines made. They have the patterns but it will be pricey.

I ended up altering my plans on the battery plan a bit and bought 4 group 31 AGM batteries from Batteries Plus Bulbs. They have a pretty good reputation and a physical location I can walk into if I have problems, that is worth a lot to me. I had been on the verge of ordering some 200 AH AGM's via Amazon or Ebay but their where some pretty bad horror stories about damage in shipment or no one standing behind their product, the manufacturer and vender just pointing fingers. The first two 31's showed up quickly and I was able to swap them straight in replacement of the shot group 27 FLA that cam with the boat. The second two 31's were back ordered until today. I'll need to assemble the new battery leads and install the fuses for these in a new location. I'm just using the same gauge, length and manufacturer cables and fuse holders as the existing batteries so they should be receiving a balanced load and charge.
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:04 PM   #32
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I hate batteries I hate complicated electrical systems that being said thatís just me for me simple is better but like I said thatís me I understand other people want other things I have two batteries that run everything . I think they may be a group 27 but Iím not really sure to be honest with you they are fairly large batteries but still small enough that you can carry them anyways I donít have a TV I donít have a microwave I donít have electric anything except for LED lighting and a couple of 12 V outlets for charging tablet and cell phone. As far as windless and bow thruster my main engine is running when I use those things if I need to bake something i.e. since I donít have a microwave a barbecue grill works for that a two burner propane cooktop works for coffee and whatever else you need a cooktop for no A.B. switches no anything but a couple of batteries I do have a single cylinder diesel engine and a aluminum enclosure sitting on the floor of my shop one of these days Iíll put that in the boat I can hand crank that to start it anyways you might think about going simple again maybe not oh yeah I forgot my reefer I have one of those old fashion top loaders you can set it as a refrigerator or a freezer I have it set as a freezer so when I am cruising everything is frozen if I was to stay on the hook for more than a couple of days I would have to run the main engine to keep everything frozen a big ice chest with ice is always handy
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:16 PM   #33
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I didn’t really mean to say that I don’t have anything that runs on batteries everything in the boat runs on batteries water pumps and everything what I meant to say is I don’t have anything that a couple of batteries Can’t handle anyways there I go being a big dummy again
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:28 PM   #34
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I didnít really mean to say that I donít have anything that runs on batteries everything in the boat runs on batteries water pumps and everything what I meant to say is I donít have anything that a couple of batteries Canít handle anyways there I go being a big dummy again
Nah, you're good. Simple boat, simple electric, and it works for you. I, OTOH, started my boating life (canoe and Dad's ski boat don't count) with a 42-foot Grand Banks in 1986 with all the amenities one of those beauties come with. When checking out my current boat before purchase, I was pleased to find it had as many amenities as the GB albeit in a smaller package. Different strokes....
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