Members' Online Book: Battery Installation & Maintenance, Chapter 20 of 23

Battery Replacement—Resisting The Seduction of Perfection


Time to bring this lot up to modern standards.

We are in the throes of replacing the house battery bank on Morgan’s Cloud and, for reasons that I will explore in another post, upsizing it significantly. To add to the fun and games, our venerable Link 2000 battery monitor just bit the big one after 23 years of faithful service.

Given that, it seems like a good time to go through our entire battery system and upgrade it to the latest ABYC standards. For example, 23 years ago when I last went through this exercise, I was considered an early innovator (and not a little anal retentive) for fusing the batteries. But now our old fuses and their mounts do not meet the present standards, so I might as well fix that too.

And, while I suspect that our battery box and the lid that keeps the batteries in place in the event of a knock down are more robust than most, I have never been entirely happy with the set up, so we will rebuild the whole area, including adding some aluminum extrusions to distribute loads to the hull ribs (aluminum boat).

Wait, there’s more. If we are going to upgrade our battery size, it only makes sense to add a bigger charger so that we can charge the new bank with our generator in the same time as the old bank and load the generator more as well.

And then what about renewables? Might be time to look at adding some solar panels…but what kind? And which controller/regulator to go with them? (In many ways the latter decision is more important than the former.)

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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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