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Re: electrical systems on Sabre 32

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  • Phil
    I ve owned my S34 for 27 years, & one of the most cost effective, functional upgrades I ve done is a Blue Sea ACR/Battery switch. For about $100 & a few hours
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 8, 2013
      I've owned my S34 for 27 years, & one of the most cost effective, functional upgrades I've done is a Blue Sea ACR/Battery switch. For about $100 & a few hours labor, I never have to concern myself with which battery I'm on, or if it's charged. The system designates one battery as "start" & the other as "house". The relay gives priority to charging the start battery. Once it's fully charged it does the house. Very simple, & has never given me any trouble. Except for an emergency where you can combine batteries, the switch only has one position. I did the install after an "almost disaster" on an Around Long Island race. 2 days of sleep deprivation & seasickness resulted in a confused crew & 2 dead batteries.


      Phil
      Scimitar
      S34 #67
      Huntington, NY


      --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Appreciate the help RC, Dave, and Harry,
      > Those links to PB site have a lot of good info. Battery monitor sounds like a good way to understand loads. I'll review all this info (never heard of a combiner) and look for a marine electrical systems specialist in the Cleveland area to help plan out this upgrade.
      >
      > Since last year was our first year of any sailing/boating experience, it will be hard to guess what we might want to add later. I really didn't miss not using any AC outlets while sailing, so we might not need an inverter. All I cared about was not having a better understanding of battery state than the push button meter on original panel.
      > Tim
      >
      > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "sailor11767" wrote:
      > >
      > > I loudly second Dave's recommendation for vtewarehouse -- I have a bunch of their stuff.
      > >
      > > However, I disagree a bit with the bank separating bits. In an ideal world, starting from scratch, it is probably a good idea. In a retrofit world, I think there are better places to spend your money. Here's how my batteries work:
      > >
      > > * I have a house bank, a couple of golf cart batteries, on #1. I leave them on 24/7. They run my house, and in the AM, they start my engine. A deep cycle is not harmed by "cranking" loads, although they may have a slightly lower CCA than a starting battery. Fortunately, my little Volvo engine is WAAAAY below the CCA of a golf cart battery, so no worries (a 4-bank set of T-105's starts my fathers Perkins 4-236, a horse of an engine). Yes, I know that a deep cycle battery has no rated CCA -- but my engine starts on way under 200A, and those batteries can easily serve a 2KW inverter that draws close to 200A.
      > >
      > > * I never switch the battery switch. That means I only charge the house bank underway -- which is the only battery I use. It also means I NEVER screw up and kill my alternator, leave the batteries on both and drain them dry, etc.
      > >
      > > * I have a second battery, on battery #2. It's a Group 24. I never use it. If somehow I kill the house battery, #2 is there, untouched. Since I never sail more than a week from home, it doesn't drain much under way -- and like my car that can sit a month and still start, it will start my engine after sitting a week.
      > >
      > > * Pier side, I have a charger that charges both batteries.
      > >
      > > It's simple, it works, and I'm very secure in the knowledge that I have a backup battery if something goes awry. Yes, a fancy start battery system is slick. But do you need it? I don't think so.
      > >
      > > I do need to institute a program to periodically exercise that backup battery to be sure it still works.
      > >
      > > One day, I may just invest the time/effort to install a combiner of some sort to give the backup battery a touch of charge when motoring. But for my cruising, I'm loosing interest in even that!
      > >
      > > I'm only saying that, unless you've fixed a lot of other issues, this system is probably good enough for now.
      > >
      > > Harry
      > > Analysis
      > > '79 S34-I #063
      > > Mill Creek, Annapolis
      > >
      > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, Dave Lochner wrote:
      > > >
      > > > To RC's list, I would add a battery combiner and an appropriate panel to separate the house and starting banks. Blue Seas Systems has several different panels that will do the job.
      > > >
      > > > For the odds and ends parts, i.e., bus bars, terminals, and so forth, check out https://www.vtewarehouse.com They make many of the Blue Seas parts and sell the same parts unbranded for much less money.
      > > >
      > > > Dave
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > On Jan 7, 2013, at 9:13 PM, mainecruising wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > For the battery charger feel free to read this:
      > > > >
      > > > > Installing A Marine Battery Charger
      > > > >
      > > > > The whole boat GFCI is called an ELCI or RCD. Blue Sea offers them. They also make one that will replace a typical dual pole 30A toggle breaker. It does require three spaces though so you'll give up one AC circuit.
      > > > >
      > > > > Refrigeration: Two words SEA FROST !!!! Cleave Horton is the best in the business, stands behind his products and builds QUALITY products.
      > > > >
      > > > > Galvanic Isolator: Please, please, please do not build your own. These are critical devices in the direct path of the SAFETY ground for your vessel. They should meet ABYC A-28 standards and Guest, ProMariner and DEI all make a good 30A Fail Safe unit.. A GI must maintain the safety ground under all conditions and this is what a "Fail Safe" GI can do.. The NEC has the same requirement for shore based installations of GI's. This article goes into a GI in a little more depth:
      > > > >
      > > > > Testing A Galvanic Isolator
      > > > >
      > > > > A battery monitor would be a good first step in deciding how big of a bank, alternator, charger etc. that you need. The Victron BMV-600 is a very good value. What can't be determined is the cycle duty of the fridge because that is insulation/icebox dependent. Fridges are also not a "constant" in terms of current draw but a battery monitor can track your 24 hour averages better than a human....
      > > > >
      > > > > Generally speaking the biggest house bank you can fit in the space will last the longest..
      > > > >
      > > > > -RC
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I'm thinking about adding 3 things to our 1985 Sabre 32; a shore power battery charger, refrigeration, and whole boat GFI protection. It's a classic layout with original battery switch and two group 24 batteries. A recent magazine article also has me wondering if we need a galvanic isolator.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Power needs include a fixed mounted Standard Horizon VHF with input voltage 13.8VDC +/- 20%, and a Simrad WP30 auto pilot with power consumption of 0.06 A standby and typically 0.75 A on auto.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The addition of a Frigoboat or Sea Frost refrigeration system would add between 3 to 6.5 amps draw when operating. I don't have a chartplotter or wind machine, but may want to add them next year.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I'd appreciate any recommendations of good equipment to install and other considerations to keep in mind for this project?
      > > > > > Thanks,
      > > > > > Tim
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • tpm1950
      That sounds like an efficient charging system Phil--letting the Blue Sea monitor and charge batteries as needed. Never realized how much new equipment is
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 9, 2013
        That sounds like an efficient charging system Phil--letting the Blue Sea monitor and charge batteries as needed. Never realized how much new equipment is available to manage the DC electric.
        Tim

        --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" wrote:
        >
        > I've owned my S34 for 27 years, & one of the most cost effective, functional upgrades I've done is a Blue Sea ACR/Battery switch. For about $100 & a few hours labor, I never have to concern myself with which battery I'm on, or if it's charged. The system designates one battery as "start" & the other as "house". The relay gives priority to charging the start battery. Once it's fully charged it does the house. Very simple, & has never given me any trouble. Except for an emergency where you can combine batteries, the switch only has one position. I did the install after an "almost disaster" on an Around Long Island race. 2 days of sleep deprivation & seasickness resulted in a confused crew & 2 dead batteries.
        >
        >
        > Phil
        > Scimitar
        > S34 #67
        > Huntington, NY
        >
        >
        > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Appreciate the help RC, Dave, and Harry,
        > > Those links to PB site have a lot of good info. Battery monitor sounds like a good way to understand loads. I'll review all this info (never heard of a combiner) and look for a marine electrical systems specialist in the Cleveland area to help plan out this upgrade.
        > >
        > > Since last year was our first year of any sailing/boating experience, it will be hard to guess what we might want to add later. I really didn't miss not using any AC outlets while sailing, so we might not need an inverter. All I cared about was not having a better understanding of battery state than the push button meter on original panel.
        > > Tim
        > >
        > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "sailor11767" wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I loudly second Dave's recommendation for vtewarehouse -- I have a bunch of their stuff.
        > > >
        > > > However, I disagree a bit with the bank separating bits. In an ideal world, starting from scratch, it is probably a good idea. In a retrofit world, I think there are better places to spend your money. Here's how my batteries work:
        > > >
        > > > * I have a house bank, a couple of golf cart batteries, on #1. I leave them on 24/7. They run my house, and in the AM, they start my engine. A deep cycle is not harmed by "cranking" loads, although they may have a slightly lower CCA than a starting battery. Fortunately, my little Volvo engine is WAAAAY below the CCA of a golf cart battery, so no worries (a 4-bank set of T-105's starts my fathers Perkins 4-236, a horse of an engine). Yes, I know that a deep cycle battery has no rated CCA -- but my engine starts on way under 200A, and those batteries can easily serve a 2KW inverter that draws close to 200A.
        > > >
        > > > * I never switch the battery switch. That means I only charge the house bank underway -- which is the only battery I use. It also means I NEVER screw up and kill my alternator, leave the batteries on both and drain them dry, etc.
        > > >
        > > > * I have a second battery, on battery #2. It's a Group 24. I never use it. If somehow I kill the house battery, #2 is there, untouched. Since I never sail more than a week from home, it doesn't drain much under way -- and like my car that can sit a month and still start, it will start my engine after sitting a week.
        > > >
        > > > * Pier side, I have a charger that charges both batteries.
        > > >
        > > > It's simple, it works, and I'm very secure in the knowledge that I have a backup battery if something goes awry. Yes, a fancy start battery system is slick. But do you need it? I don't think so.
        > > >
        > > > I do need to institute a program to periodically exercise that backup battery to be sure it still works.
        > > >
        > > > One day, I may just invest the time/effort to install a combiner of some sort to give the backup battery a touch of charge when motoring. But for my cruising, I'm loosing interest in even that!
        > > >
        > > > I'm only saying that, unless you've fixed a lot of other issues, this system is probably good enough for now.
        > > >
        > > > Harry
        > > > Analysis
        > > > '79 S34-I #063
        > > > Mill Creek, Annapolis
        > > >
        > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, Dave Lochner wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > To RC's list, I would add a battery combiner and an appropriate panel to separate the house and starting banks. Blue Seas Systems has several different panels that will do the job.
        > > > >
        > > > > For the odds and ends parts, i.e., bus bars, terminals, and so forth, check out https://www.vtewarehouse.com They make many of the Blue Seas parts and sell the same parts unbranded for much less money.
        > > > >
        > > > > Dave
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > On Jan 7, 2013, at 9:13 PM, mainecruising wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > > For the battery charger feel free to read this:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Installing A Marine Battery Charger
        > > > > >
        > > > > > The whole boat GFCI is called an ELCI or RCD. Blue Sea offers them. They also make one that will replace a typical dual pole 30A toggle breaker. It does require three spaces though so you'll give up one AC circuit.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Refrigeration: Two words SEA FROST !!!! Cleave Horton is the best in the business, stands behind his products and builds QUALITY products.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Galvanic Isolator: Please, please, please do not build your own. These are critical devices in the direct path of the SAFETY ground for your vessel. They should meet ABYC A-28 standards and Guest, ProMariner and DEI all make a good 30A Fail Safe unit.. A GI must maintain the safety ground under all conditions and this is what a "Fail Safe" GI can do.. The NEC has the same requirement for shore based installations of GI's. This article goes into a GI in a little more depth:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Testing A Galvanic Isolator
        > > > > >
        > > > > > A battery monitor would be a good first step in deciding how big of a bank, alternator, charger etc. that you need. The Victron BMV-600 is a very good value. What can't be determined is the cycle duty of the fridge because that is insulation/icebox dependent. Fridges are also not a "constant" in terms of current draw but a battery monitor can track your 24 hour averages better than a human....
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Generally speaking the biggest house bank you can fit in the space will last the longest..
        > > > > >
        > > > > > -RC
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I'm thinking about adding 3 things to our 1985 Sabre 32; a shore power battery charger, refrigeration, and whole boat GFI protection. It's a classic layout with original battery switch and two group 24 batteries. A recent magazine article also has me wondering if we need a galvanic isolator.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Power needs include a fixed mounted Standard Horizon VHF with input voltage 13.8VDC +/- 20%, and a Simrad WP30 auto pilot with power consumption of 0.06 A standby and typically 0.75 A on auto.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > The addition of a Frigoboat or Sea Frost refrigeration system would add between 3 to 6.5 amps draw when operating. I don't have a chartplotter or wind machine, but may want to add them next year.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I'd appreciate any recommendations of good equipment to install and other considerations to keep in mind for this project?
        > > > > > > Thanks,
        > > > > > > Tim
        > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • mainecruising
        Quote: I ve done is a Blue Sea ACR/Battery switch. For about $100 & a few hours labor, I never have to concern myself with which battery I m on, or if it s
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 9, 2013
          Quote: "I've done is a Blue Sea ACR/Battery switch. For about $100 & a few hours labor, I never have to concern myself with which battery I'm on, or if it's charged."

          While these are very simple switches they force you to combine a good bank with a bad bank in the event of a failure. This happens and I have had it happen to a customer of mine and it left him fully stranded. While this type of failure is rare people should know about this potential issue.  If a battery or bank were to have an internal issue you would physically need to disconnect that battery before switching to combine. Problem is, like my customer, he did not know the battery had internally shorted and failed catastrophically before choosing "combine"...


          Quote: "The relay gives priority to charging the start battery. Once it's fully charged it does the house."

          This is not how the ACR works but is a very common misunderstanding many have. These relays work on voltage and voltage only. They make & break based on one thing, voltage. Either there is enough voltage on the system so they combine or there is not enough voltage on the system and they disconnect/uncombine.

          Once the relay senses a "combine" voltage it combines, just like the BOTH or COMBINE feature of your battery switch.. By routing the charging to the start battery first this voltage climbs to "combine" levels almost immediately because your start battery is almost always fully charged and does not get deeply cycled into "bulk range"... In the time it takes the start battery voltage to reach "combine" levels, seconds really, virtually no charging of that bank has been done "first".

          The diagram from Blue Sea that ships with these relays is poorly MISLEADING for vessels with large house banks and small starting banks. Unequal sized banks are very common on sailboats. The instructions that ship with the product were really written for fishing boats that need to run fish finders etc. all day long yet may start the motor 20-30 times per day while moving spot to spot. These boats also often have banks of the same or similar size size.

          Post # 37 below addresses the pro's and con's of the Blue Sea DCP switch, that anyone considering one, should  at least be aware of:

          Pro's & Con's of The DCP Switch

          On dissimilar sized banks, larger house bank & smaller starting bank, charging should be routed to the larger house bank first and not the starting battery. By feeding the start battery first you can create "relay cycling". When the relay combines with the house bank the charge source may not be able to support a "combine" voltage and the relay drops out. It then tries again and again and again until it finally remains latched. With a large enough house bank it may never remain latched enough to charge the bank. After numerous complaints from  industry techs about relay cycling Blue Sea issued a technical brief on this that can be found here:

          Preventing Cycling in Battery Combiners

          An ACR can also very easily be added to the existing 1/2/BOTH switch which is very safe and redundant.

          For an in-depth analysis of the 1/2/BOTH switch this post really digs into the heart of it:

          Musings Regarding the 1/2/BOTH Switch

          Again, nothing wrong with the DCP just some caveats to be aware of before installing one. I find most don't know these important points before installation...


          -RC

          For more understanding of battery switches this thread may help:
          --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" wrote:
          >
          > I've owned my S34 for 27 years, & one of the most cost effective, functional upgrades I've done is a Blue Sea ACR/Battery switch. For about $100 & a few hours labor, I never have to concern myself with which battery I'm on, or if it's charged. The system designates one battery as "start" & the other as "house". The relay gives priority to charging the start battery. Once it's fully charged it does the house. Very simple, & has never given me any trouble. Except for an emergency where you can combine batteries, the switch only has one position. I did the install after an "almost disaster" on an Around Long Island race. 2 days of sleep deprivation & seasickness resulted in a confused crew & 2 dead batteries.
          >
          >
          > Phil
          > Scimitar
          > S34 #67
          > Huntington, NY
          >
          >
          > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Appreciate the help RC, Dave, and Harry,
          > > Those links to PB site have a lot of good info. Battery monitor sounds like a good way to understand loads. I'll review all this info (never heard of a combiner) and look for a marine electrical systems specialist in the Cleveland area to help plan out this upgrade.
          > >
          > > Since last year was our first year of any sailing/boating experience, it will be hard to guess what we might want to add later. I really didn't miss not using any AC outlets while sailing, so we might not need an inverter. All I cared about was not having a better understanding of battery state than the push button meter on original panel.
          > > Tim
          > >
          > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "sailor11767" wrote:
          > > >
          > > > I loudly second Dave's recommendation for vtewarehouse -- I have a bunch of their stuff.
          > > >
          > > > However, I disagree a bit with the bank separating bits. In an ideal world, starting from scratch, it is probably a good idea. In a retrofit world, I think there are better places to spend your money. Here's how my batteries work:
          > > >
          > > > * I have a house bank, a couple of golf cart batteries, on #1. I leave them on 24/7. They run my house, and in the AM, they start my engine. A deep cycle is not harmed by "cranking" loads, although they may have a slightly lower CCA than a starting battery. Fortunately, my little Volvo engine is WAAAAY below the CCA of a golf cart battery, so no worries (a 4-bank set of T-105's starts my fathers Perkins 4-236, a horse of an engine). Yes, I know that a deep cycle battery has no rated CCA -- but my engine starts on way under 200A, and those batteries can easily serve a 2KW inverter that draws close to 200A.
          > > >
          > > > * I never switch the battery switch. That means I only charge the house bank underway -- which is the only battery I use. It also means I NEVER screw up and kill my alternator, leave the batteries on both and drain them dry, etc.
          > > >
          > > > * I have a second battery, on battery #2. It's a Group 24. I never use it. If somehow I kill the house battery, #2 is there, untouched. Since I never sail more than a week from home, it doesn't drain much under way -- and like my car that can sit a month and still start, it will start my engine after sitting a week.
          > > >
          > > > * Pier side, I have a charger that charges both batteries.
          > > >
          > > > It's simple, it works, and I'm very secure in the knowledge that I have a backup battery if something goes awry. Yes, a fancy start battery system is slick. But do you need it? I don't think so.
          > > >
          > > > I do need to institute a program to periodically exercise that backup battery to be sure it still works.
          > > >
          > > > One day, I may just invest the time/effort to install a combiner of some sort to give the backup battery a touch of charge when motoring. But for my cruising, I'm loosing interest in even that!
          > > >
          > > > I'm only saying that, unless you've fixed a lot of other issues, this system is probably good enough for now.
          > > >
          > > > Harry
          > > > Analysis
          > > > '79 S34-I #063
          > > > Mill Creek, Annapolis
          > > >
          > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, Dave Lochner wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > To RC's list, I would add a battery combiner and an appropriate panel to separate the house and starting banks. Blue Seas Systems has several different panels that will do the job.
          > > > >
          > > > > For the odds and ends parts, i.e., bus bars, terminals, and so forth, check out https://www.vtewarehouse.com They make many of the Blue Seas parts and sell the same parts unbranded for much less money.
          > > > >
          > > > > Dave
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > On Jan 7, 2013, at 9:13 PM, mainecruising wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > > For the battery charger feel free to read this:
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Installing A Marine Battery Charger
          > > > > >
          > > > > > The whole boat GFCI is called an ELCI or RCD. Blue Sea offers them. They also make one that will replace a typical dual pole 30A toggle breaker. It does require three spaces though so you'll give up one AC circuit.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Refrigeration: Two words SEA FROST !!!! Cleave Horton is the best in the business, stands behind his products and builds QUALITY products.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Galvanic Isolator: Please, please, please do not build your own. These are critical devices in the direct path of the SAFETY ground for your vessel. They should meet ABYC A-28 standards and Guest, ProMariner and DEI all make a good 30A Fail Safe unit.. A GI must maintain the safety ground under all conditions and this is what a "Fail Safe" GI can do.. The NEC has the same requirement for shore based installations of GI's. This article goes into a GI in a little more depth:
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Testing A Galvanic Isolator
          > > > > >
          > > > > > A battery monitor would be a good first step in deciding how big of a bank, alternator, charger etc. that you need. The Victron BMV-600 is a very good value. What can't be determined is the cycle duty of the fridge because that is insulation/icebox dependent. Fridges are also not a "constant" in terms of current draw but a battery monitor can track your 24 hour averages better than a human....
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Generally speaking the biggest house bank you can fit in the space will last the longest..
          > > > > >
          > > > > > -RC
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > I'm thinking about adding 3 things to our 1985 Sabre 32; a shore power battery charger, refrigeration, and whole boat GFI protection. It's a classic layout with original battery switch and two group 24 batteries. A recent magazine article also has me wondering if we need a galvanic isolator.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > Power needs include a fixed mounted Standard Horizon VHF with input voltage 13.8VDC +/- 20%, and a Simrad WP30 auto pilot with power consumption of 0.06 A standby and typically 0.75 A on auto.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > The addition of a Frigoboat or Sea Frost refrigeration system would add between 3 to 6.5 amps draw when operating. I don't have a chartplotter or wind machine, but may want to add them next year.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > I'd appreciate any recommendations of good equipment to install and other considerations to keep in mind for this project?
          > > > > > > Thanks,
          > > > > > > Tim
          > > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • Phil
          It s funny because if it hadn t been for the race incident, I probably would never have stumbled on the ACR. It s a scary thing to be in the middle of nowhere
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 9, 2013
            It's funny because if it hadn't been for the race incident, I probably would never have stumbled on the ACR. It's a scary thing to be in the middle of nowhere at 2am & realize both of your batteries are dead.
            The install did take some thought & care, as you must split the demand side of your circuitry. (The ACR splits the charging side). One battery is only for starting, the other (house) runs everything else (that way you can't kill the start battery). I made copies of the existing circuits from my owners manual and worked out the changes on paper first. A good Winter project. But wow, once it's setup the system does everything for you. Also it's inexpensive & never malfunctions. If anyone's interested, I can fax the modified circuit diagrams, it would make the installation easier.

            Phil

            --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > That sounds like an efficient charging system Phil--letting the Blue Sea monitor and charge batteries as needed. Never realized how much new equipment is available to manage the DC electric.
            > Tim
            >
            > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" wrote:
            > >
            > > I've owned my S34 for 27 years, & one of the most cost effective, functional upgrades I've done is a Blue Sea ACR/Battery switch. For about $100 & a few hours labor, I never have to concern myself with which battery I'm on, or if it's charged. The system designates one battery as "start" & the other as "house". The relay gives priority to charging the start battery. Once it's fully charged it does the house. Very simple, & has never given me any trouble. Except for an emergency where you can combine batteries, the switch only has one position. I did the install after an "almost disaster" on an Around Long Island race. 2 days of sleep deprivation & seasickness resulted in a confused crew & 2 dead batteries.
            > >
            > >
            > > Phil
            > > Scimitar
            > > S34 #67
            > > Huntington, NY
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Appreciate the help RC, Dave, and Harry,
            > > > Those links to PB site have a lot of good info. Battery monitor sounds like a good way to understand loads. I'll review all this info (never heard of a combiner) and look for a marine electrical systems specialist in the Cleveland area to help plan out this upgrade.
            > > >
            > > > Since last year was our first year of any sailing/boating experience, it will be hard to guess what we might want to add later. I really didn't miss not using any AC outlets while sailing, so we might not need an inverter. All I cared about was not having a better understanding of battery state than the push button meter on original panel.
            > > > Tim
            > > >
            > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "sailor11767" wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > I loudly second Dave's recommendation for vtewarehouse -- I have a bunch of their stuff.
            > > > >
            > > > > However, I disagree a bit with the bank separating bits. In an ideal world, starting from scratch, it is probably a good idea. In a retrofit world, I think there are better places to spend your money. Here's how my batteries work:
            > > > >
            > > > > * I have a house bank, a couple of golf cart batteries, on #1. I leave them on 24/7. They run my house, and in the AM, they start my engine. A deep cycle is not harmed by "cranking" loads, although they may have a slightly lower CCA than a starting battery. Fortunately, my little Volvo engine is WAAAAY below the CCA of a golf cart battery, so no worries (a 4-bank set of T-105's starts my fathers Perkins 4-236, a horse of an engine). Yes, I know that a deep cycle battery has no rated CCA -- but my engine starts on way under 200A, and those batteries can easily serve a 2KW inverter that draws close to 200A.
            > > > >
            > > > > * I never switch the battery switch. That means I only charge the house bank underway -- which is the only battery I use. It also means I NEVER screw up and kill my alternator, leave the batteries on both and drain them dry, etc.
            > > > >
            > > > > * I have a second battery, on battery #2. It's a Group 24. I never use it. If somehow I kill the house battery, #2 is there, untouched. Since I never sail more than a week from home, it doesn't drain much under way -- and like my car that can sit a month and still start, it will start my engine after sitting a week.
            > > > >
            > > > > * Pier side, I have a charger that charges both batteries.
            > > > >
            > > > > It's simple, it works, and I'm very secure in the knowledge that I have a backup battery if something goes awry. Yes, a fancy start battery system is slick. But do you need it? I don't think so.
            > > > >
            > > > > I do need to institute a program to periodically exercise that backup battery to be sure it still works.
            > > > >
            > > > > One day, I may just invest the time/effort to install a combiner of some sort to give the backup battery a touch of charge when motoring. But for my cruising, I'm loosing interest in even that!
            > > > >
            > > > > I'm only saying that, unless you've fixed a lot of other issues, this system is probably good enough for now.
            > > > >
            > > > > Harry
            > > > > Analysis
            > > > > '79 S34-I #063
            > > > > Mill Creek, Annapolis
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, Dave Lochner wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > To RC's list, I would add a battery combiner and an appropriate panel to separate the house and starting banks. Blue Seas Systems has several different panels that will do the job.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > For the odds and ends parts, i.e., bus bars, terminals, and so forth, check out https://www.vtewarehouse.com They make many of the Blue Seas parts and sell the same parts unbranded for much less money.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Dave
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > On Jan 7, 2013, at 9:13 PM, mainecruising wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > > For the battery charger feel free to read this:
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Installing A Marine Battery Charger
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > The whole boat GFCI is called an ELCI or RCD. Blue Sea offers them. They also make one that will replace a typical dual pole 30A toggle breaker. It does require three spaces though so you'll give up one AC circuit.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Refrigeration: Two words SEA FROST !!!! Cleave Horton is the best in the business, stands behind his products and builds QUALITY products.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Galvanic Isolator: Please, please, please do not build your own. These are critical devices in the direct path of the SAFETY ground for your vessel. They should meet ABYC A-28 standards and Guest, ProMariner and DEI all make a good 30A Fail Safe unit.. A GI must maintain the safety ground under all conditions and this is what a "Fail Safe" GI can do.. The NEC has the same requirement for shore based installations of GI's. This article goes into a GI in a little more depth:
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Testing A Galvanic Isolator
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > A battery monitor would be a good first step in deciding how big of a bank, alternator, charger etc. that you need. The Victron BMV-600 is a very good value. What can't be determined is the cycle duty of the fridge because that is insulation/icebox dependent. Fridges are also not a "constant" in terms of current draw but a battery monitor can track your 24 hour averages better than a human....
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Generally speaking the biggest house bank you can fit in the space will last the longest..
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > -RC
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "tpm1950" wrote:
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > I'm thinking about adding 3 things to our 1985 Sabre 32; a shore power battery charger, refrigeration, and whole boat GFI protection. It's a classic layout with original battery switch and two group 24 batteries. A recent magazine article also has me wondering if we need a galvanic isolator.
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > Power needs include a fixed mounted Standard Horizon VHF with input voltage 13.8VDC +/- 20%, and a Simrad WP30 auto pilot with power consumption of 0.06 A standby and typically 0.75 A on auto.
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > The addition of a Frigoboat or Sea Frost refrigeration system would add between 3 to 6.5 amps draw when operating. I don't have a chartplotter or wind machine, but may want to add them next year.
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > I'd appreciate any recommendations of good equipment to install and other considerations to keep in mind for this project?
            > > > > > > > Thanks,
            > > > > > > > Tim
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
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