Members' Online Book: Cruising Boat Electrical Systems, Chapter 10 of 22

Installing And Programming The Right Alternator Regulator

JHH5_102209-EditIn many cruising grounds, at least a couple of times a month, the wind won’t blow and a passage will be made, at least partially, under power. And, as long as the engine runs continually for 6-8 hours, this will be a perfect opportunity to charge the batteries to 100%.

But even if you have the biggest and best alternator in the world, if you don't have a good regulator and, in most cases, reprogram it from the factory default settings, your batteries are not going to get that full charge they so desperately need.

The Regulator And Its Dirty Little Secret

Of course most cruisers know that you need a good three stage regulator to control the alternator. But sadly…it’s dirty little secret time:

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Meet the Author


John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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