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1341Re:: Battery charging.

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  • olivershaw4229
    Feb 3, 2017
      >  allied to a suitably large battery,  and efficient lighting;   I now use LED lights throughout,  for better efficiency.



      That is the principal part of my strategy,  which I have developed for this boat over about 8 seasons.

      The boat came to me in 2009 with a single 75 Ah battery,  fluorescent lights in the cabin,  and filament lights for tricolour and all-round white,  which latter also served as the anchor light.    That was fine for cruises of up to a week's duration,  provided I did not often need to use the anchor light all night.

      Then in 2013 I found that two full nights of using the anchor light,  plus cabin lights in the evening,  plus chartplotter on passage,  flattened my then ageing battery.    The battery was recharged in Conwy,  and checked,  and pronounced fit for further service,  but nonetheless the writing was on the wall.   Thereafter I avoided using the anchor light so far as possible.    A little over a fortnight later I was in the Isle of Man,  and although I wasn't flat I took the opportunity to have it recharged;    again it was checked and found OK,  and with care and nursing it lasted me for a further fortnight and still had life left in it by the end.   So it was recharged twice in a cruise of 5 weeks in total.

      For other reasons I decided after the 2013 cruise to increase my ballast,  and then discovered that the price of lead in the form of a brand new lead acid battery was not much more than the price of scrap lead in the form of old lead pipes,   so some of my additional ballast might as well work for its living.   Hence the additional 100 Ah battery in 2014,  and the ageing 75 Ah one was replaced in either 2015 or '16 (cannot reliably remember which)..    Also in 2014 I replaced both the navigation lights (tricolour and masthead all-round white) and the cabin lights with LED lights.

      The result is that I have slashed my consumption,  and more than doubled my reserve capacity,  and it is that combination which enables me to last so well between opportunities to recharge.   And the occasional visit to a harbour or marina,  every three weeks or so,  is welcome for other reasons;   on an occasional basis I don't mind paying for easy access to shore facilities,  which typically include easy opportunity to re-provision,  re-fuel,  do the laundry,  have showers,  etc.,  plus often good transport links.



      Oliver




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