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Jay88

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Everything posted by Jay88

  1. Tony - Well at least the power management panel does tell me the leisure battery volt readings, better than nothing I suppose. It also doesn't proviede a % state of charge, just how many Amps have gone out (goota read the manual a bit more to get a better understanding...) Jen - I'll take on board the comments IRT tips for the solar panel - all great points
  2. Many thanks for the replies so far. To answer some questions: 1. We are putting the boat on the hardstand as we feel it's safer out of the water for 11 months and we don't need to pay for licence fees over this period which equates to about 900 quid. Craning the boat in and out id about 150 quid each way 2. We can't take the batteries home as we live in a land far far away...in lockdown... 3. Monitoring batteries during cruising is via a Sterling Power Management Panel. I have a reasonable (ish..) knowledge of batteries so during cruising I will let the alternators do their thing to get the batteries back to fully charged whilst cruising. Worst case, if I don't quite get them back to 100% whilst cruising for 4-5 weeks, I'll definatley have them at 100% prior to hardstanding the boat 4. The B2B is alreay installed but not working...I didn't really have any intention to replace it but was looking at potentially getting a 200Ah(ish) alternator for our Izuzu 42 from Four Counties Marine when we start our 6 month cruising option, but I thinks that's another topic...just wanted some simple solutions for the short term cruising period first. So it appears the general advice is to potentially go for a 50Wplus solar that should keep the batteries ''alive'' whilst we're away and help out with charging the batteries whilst cruising the 4-5 weeks. Is there anything I should be aware of so I can 'keep' some of the equipment for the solar install in 5 years (the 800-900w system)?ie go for a MPPT to support the bigger system? Cheers!
  3. Cruiser stern style so batteries under the deck near the engine so installation by an expert would be very simple
  4. Thanks for the advice. As the boat will be on hardstand and pretty much "unsupervised'' for 10-11 months, is there anything that can go wrong when left to it's own devices?
  5. I can install a solar sysytem but I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible...also I'm just not sure what the full cost would be for someone to install a small panel including wiring, mounting, MPPT etc etc system noting we will install a new large solar system (about 800-900W) in 5 years when we start cruising 6 months in each season. Maybe I should make some enquires and do some comparisons....any good recommendations?
  6. Hi all, After some advice IRT battery options for short term cruising focusing on keeping things simple and low pricing... Currently have the narrowboat on the hardstand since Nov 19 (just before COVID kicked in) and will not be able to get her into the water until mid next year. When stored on the hardstand the batteries were 5-6 years old and pretty knackered (weren't holding a charge for long), so by about mid next year they be approaching 10 years old and I think completely shot. Our plan is to cruise for only 4-5 weeks per year for the next few years (return the boat to hardstand each time) so what are the best battery options (cheapest) to support this type of cruising, noting that in the medium term (about 5 years) we will cruise on the boat for 6 months at a go and when we start this option we're happy to get a heap of solar and brand new batteries accordingly. So my thoughts were that we're probably best off getting maybe just 2-3 cheapo lead acids (maybe 80 GBP each?) for each cruising season and literally 'bining' them at the end of each season. Whilst at the hardstand I can't connect the boat to mains power to keep the batteries charged nor install a small solar panel (ie 60-80W) to keep them topped up because I imagine this system including installation (MPPT etc etc) will be few hundred quid. I'm trying to keep it as simple as possibly in the short term and I can easily buy and install 2-3 cheapo leisure batteries. As a side note, the boat currently has 6 x leisure batteries but during our short cruising season I think (maybe..) 3 x 110AH leisure batteries should keep up with our electrical needs (won't be operating the freezer or dryer and washing machine only when engine is going...) and since we will most likely cruise most days, this will be a good opportunity fully recharge them each day (2 x 80AMP alternators with Sterling B-B charger). Also will probably need to buy a starter battery each season as well... That said, at the end of the cruising season when we put the boat back on the hardstand for 10-11 months, I know the batteries will be 'flat' when we start our next cruising season, but if I simply recharge them what would the life expectancy be? ie will the 110AH battery now be a 80AH battery because we've it's been flat for a few months as it's capacity has been degraded? Is 80AH even close, higher or lower? Any experiences? It would be great to go down this path but I don't want to begin a new cruising season with batteries that may have significantly reduced capacity from the original 110Ah. Maybe buy 130AH batteries? Anyway, if anyone has any further ideas or input, please let me know, or if I've missed any key info Enjoy cruising the cut, can't wait to be back. Cheers
  7. I have re-checked the engine starter connections (via multiple videos & pictures I have of the boat as I'm currently not on-board) and can confirm 100% that the engine starter battery ONLY connects to the leisure batteries via the negative black cable..my bad and apologies for the mistake. Soooo re-visiting the electrical schematic, it all makes sense in that the positive engine battery cable goes to the engine battery isolator which in turn is connected to the A-B charger... I suppose this means my question is now mute, it is not one large battery bank. Apologies for the inconvenience!
  8. The picture shows the engine start battery with its + & - cables connected to the first of 6 x leisure batteries. When we got the boat the previous owner had issues with one of the leisure batteries and bypassed this battery to the other leisure batteries. I can't fathom why this would mean connecting the engine battery to the leisure bank...but maybe this was already set up this way.. Anyway the main point is that if I disconnect the engine starter battery when I next replace the leisure batteries, I imagine this would not create any further issues with the current charging setup?
  9. I have cut and pasted this question from another topic of mine as it deviates from the original question: I have noticed that the engine battery is connected to the leisure batteries (see photo) which has raised a few questions.. After scrutinising the boats Electrical System Schematic, it appears the setup from the builder is as follows; - 2 x 80A alternators with a Sterling A-B charger and a Bat-Bat charger *Alternator 1 goes to the B-B charger which connects to the Bow battery and also the A-B charger *Alternator 2 connects to the A-B charger which then connects to the Engine battery via the Engine Battery Isolator & the Leisure batteries via the Leisure Battery Isolator So while the schematic has the engine battery and leisure batteries completely separate, why in reality are they connected? Maybe I'm reading something wrong here? I always thought that the 2 x battery banks should be separate so if the leisure batteries ever die, the engine start battery is still good to go as it's on a different system as such. Thoughts? I would normally take a picture of the boats electrical system schematic and post it here but it's very blurry and wouldn't be clear, maybe I'll do another PPT..
  10. Thanks all for the responses and I if I have enough cabling I'll go for the 2-5 setup As I'm unsure of the ratings of the cables and interconnects, is there a recommended rating? Also I have noticed that the engine battery is connected to battery 1 (see photo) which has raised a few more questions.. After scrutinising the boats Electrical System Schematic, it appears the setup from the builder is as follows; - 2 x 80A alternators with a Sterling A-B charger and a Bat-Bat charger *Alternator 1 goes to the B-B charger which connects to the Bow battery and also the A-B charger *Alternator 2 connects to the A-B charger which then connects to the Engine battery via the Engine Battery Isolator & the Leisure batteries via the Leisure Battery Isolator So while the schematic has the engine battery and leisure batteries completely separate, why in reality are they connected? Maybe I'm reading something wrong here? I always thought that the 2 x battery banks should be separate so if the leisure batteries ever die, the engine start battery is still good to go as it's on a different system as such. Thoughts? I would normally take a picture of the boats electrical system and post it here but it's very blurry and wouldn't be clear, maybe I'll do another PPT..
  11. OK - so my current set-up is like this but is it best to have the installation feeds from batteries 1 and 6 instead of both from battery 4?
  12. Hi again, I have posted this question in a different topic but decided to make separate it for ease of tracking. Question: Any recommendations on the best way to interconnect 6 x leisure batteries? I know there is a preferred method for 4 x leisure batteries (as per Smartgauge website- Method 4: http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html) but what about 6 x batteries? Currently it appears my batteries are done via method 2 but with the main feeds taken from the middle battery. Hope that make sense.... Thoughts? Any advice is highly appreciated. Cheers!
  13. Thanks for all the responses and as the the boat is skin cooled, we will play it safe and leave it as is. Will double check with the marina IRT adequate anti-freeze and make sure when we do start using the boat, we have the engine fully serviced (all coolant, filters, oil etc etc) prior to commencing any cruising. Also all batteries will be dead so will need to replace the 6 x leisure batteries (over 5 years old in Nov 9 and held very little charge) and the engine start battery. If we ever leave it again for any length of time (over a couple of months) I'll definitely get a 100W solar kit or similar to keep all the batteries topped up. That said, does any recommend the best way to join 6 x leisure batteries? I know there is a preferred method for 4 x leisure batteries (as per Smartgauge website- Method 4: http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html) but what about 6 x batteries? Currently it appears the batteries are done via method 2 but with the main feeds taken from the middle battery. Hope that make sense.... Thoughts? Thanks again for all the advice, appreciated!
  14. Hi All, We currently have our NB stored in a marina hardstand since Nov 2019 and were originally planning to cruise the waterways for about 4-6 weeks per year for next 2-3 years or so until we become continuous cruisers. However due to a number of reasons, we probably wont be able to use our NB until end 2021 or possibly later. We had the NB winterised in Nov 19 but do we need to have the engine (Isuzu 42) regularly started / turned over? We will have the engine thoroughly serviced when we next use the NB (maybe end 21 or later) but is there any benefit in having the marina start the engine? If so, how often? The engine battery is obviously completely dead and we plan on installing a new one once we're back on the NB. I've read the manual and there is no specific mention of what should be done for long term storage. Any thoughts / recommendations are highly appreciated. Cheers!
  15. We live o/seas and only come over for 4-5 weeks per year until we will live on the boat permanently in 5 years. As mentioned previously, maybe another solution is to have the marina hook the bot with shore power once a month for a day or so to keep the batteries in good nick? I heard keeping batteries charging through the battery charger via shore power may be a bit too much for 11 months straight....(cook em?) However I think I will go for a 100w solar panel and hook it up when we leave understanding that over the depths of winter (2-3 months) the batteries will only get minimal charge but given I'll have them at 100% charged prior to departing, the solar panel only has to keep them topped up.
  16. During the 5 weeks we'll probably cruise a few hours each day, maybe stay somewhere for a day or two
  17. Thanks for all the responses and I'll probably go with installing a solar panel and controller to help the batteries out when the boat is on the hardstand. The only reason for 6 x batteries is that's what's currently on the boat, may need to look into doing a decent power audit to determine if we could maybe get away with 3-4 during the next few years before we finally live aboard permanently as CC...
  18. Hi, Quick one, we have recently bought a narrowboat and for the next 5 years or so we plan on using it for 4-5 weeks per year then store it on hardstand the remaining time (10-11 months). The boat is currently winterised and on the hardstand and the 6 x leisure batteries (all knackered) will be replaced before our yearly cruise of 5 weeks during the 2020 summer. Question: As we have the boat winterised each year, what do we do with the leisure batteries after our yearly cruising season? I've done some research which indicates leisure batteries (or any) shouldn't be totally discharged which would happen if we don't do anything with them, but what is the best course of section to ensure the new batteries have a chance at a long(ish) life? Buy a small solar panel and hook up during our periods away? If so what would be the ideal size? Obviously we would something that can do its thing without any oversight / monitoring. Any thoughts / ideas are highly appreciated. Cheers!
  19. Hi All, Can anyone make any recommendations for a carpenter near the Leicester line? We're after a new bedroom cupboard (to supplement the existing one), some kitchen work done and other smaller jobs so getting a good carpenter would be great. Also does anyone know what the standard rate per hour is for a carpenter? Any advice is highly appreciated. Cheers!
  20. Not sure if out current 12 year old 80AMP alternators are 'modern'? Does the sterling AtoB charger act as a split charge relay or VSR? Maybe easiest/simplest solution is to have sterling look at the old unit to see what's wrong and if completely u/s, may replace with another unit. As the boat is already kitted out with sterling this may be a viable option as mixing other brands may cause incompatibility issues?
  21. Thanks again for all the responses. From here I think the best way to go will be: - Get 6 x new domestic batteries (std wet lead acid) - Once installed double check the A-B charger is working or not - Do a detailed power audit - Look at getting a TP which will power our high load electrical items whilst off shore power with the engine running - As the current sterling battery charger is 30A, instead of charging the batteries when the TP is operating through the Battery charger, use the 2 x 80A alternators due to higher rating which raises the following: - Question: if the a-B is broken, is it still a good option to install a new A-B charger to help charge the batteries quicker? I checked out the Mastervolt (Alpha Pro III) but it appears it only connects to 1 x alt not 2 like the current sterling A-B charger and doesn't do multiple battery banks?? The Adverc version is adaptable for 2 x alt but I'm unsure if it can do multiple battery banks... - Will investigate solar options further. - Mr Smelly - would appreciate any info on your chap who can supply and fit the TP. Thanks again for all the info, slowly getting my head around it all.....
  22. Thanks for the answers so far. If we did buy a Travel Power pack, how would it be installed? Do we need another alt-batt charger? Will it provide AC power to the entire boat so it would then power the battery charger to charge the batteries? If so, what are the 2 x 80AMP alternators charging?
  23. Hi, We have just bought our first narrowboat and have a few questions IRT the electrical system. We bought the boat with the intention of only using it for about a month per year for the next 5 years until we fully retire and then live aboard permanently as CC. Current setup is as follows (installed new in 2008, so all about 10-12 years old) Isuzu 42 with two alternators (80 AMP) Sterling Alternator to Battery charger Sterling Battery charger (plugs into wall socket when on shore power) Sterling Battery to Battery charger Sterling 3000W Inverter (seems to use a bit of power from the batteries) Sterling Battery Management system Fridge – 12v Washing machine, dryer (only used on shore power by previous owner) and freezer - AC 6 x domestic battery bank (5 years old) 1 x starter battery 2 x bow thruster batteries On the first day we collected the boat we had the alternator alarm sound after start up and after calling in an electrician, it was discovered the Alternator to Battery charger was faulty and as we had to move the boat that day he ‘bypassed’ the unit meaning that the domestic bank was only being charged by 1 x alternator. On our first night after cruising for about 6 hrs, the battery management system had the batteries in the 13s and as ‘fully charged’, but after about 2 hours use (TV, lights, pumps NO washing machine, dryer- high draw items) the inverter alarm sounded and we noted that the batteries were in the low 11s. We turned the inverter off and after cruising the next day for about 8hrs the same thing happened again that night. After ringing the previous owner and surveyor it appears the domestic batteries are on the way out. So from here the questions I have are: Given our current situation, what would be the best set up if we wish to use the dryer (about 1.5kw) and freezer whilst CC without regular access to shore power? Obviously, the dryer draws a lot of current, so would we simply use it through the inverter with the engine running? Would the 2 x 80 AMP alternators cope? If we decide to run the dryer in this way, do we make sure the domestic battery bank is fully charged prior? In order to get the domestic battery bank up to charge quickly, do we replace the old model Sterling Alt-Batt charger with an updated model? Is there a better make that people can recommend? The mariner where the boat currently sits recommends Adverc over Sterling, thoughts? Also are we better off replacing the current 6 x domestic batteries with another set of lead acids? Or are we betting getting off getting a small petrol generator to run our high load items whilst we’re off shore power? If so, does the generator plug into the boats shore power connection (so we then turn the electric supply from Inverter to Shore Power) or do we plug in the Sterling Battery Charger to the generator to charge the batteries and use the dryer through the inverter? It would seem that plugging the generator to the shore power connection would make more sense but I’m not sure about any potential sine wave/earthing issues. Any recommendations? Something above 2kw? Finally, as we have the boat on hardstand for 11 months each year, we are thinking of installing a small solar panel to keep the batteries topped up. However, we thought we may as well get a decent system to help charge the batteries whilst we’re cruising. For aesthetics, we would only be interested in the flexible units and can install a number across the roof. Any recommendations? At this stage we have not yet conducted a detailed power audit, but (apart from the dryer) normally at night we just watch TV, have a few LED lights on, fridge on DC, freezer on AC and maybe charge the phone or laptop, as well the normal water pumps for showering etc. We understand the previous owner used to turn the freezer off last thing at night and all food products still be fine in the morning. Apologies for the long post but look forward to any advice and recommendations. When we do eventually CC, we would like to relatively self-sufficient power wise and not rely on access to shore power especially in winter to power all our electrical items (not all at the same time...) Many thanks!
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