How to buy and install a real live-aboard cruiser’s alternator that will be reliable over the long term.
One of the biggest snow jobs in boat gear sales is the myth of the smart three-stage alternator regulator. In fact, the alternator regulators that have been available to us cruisers for about the last 15 years are not that bright…OK, they’re downright stupid. But, finally, we now have a truly smart regulator. John takes a look and comes away impressed.
The WS500 alternator regulator was a great option for cruisers a year ago. It’s even better now. Here’s why.
Most marine battery chargers are, in fact, battery killers. Yes, that includes most of the fancy three stage units we all pay so much money for. Here’s why and what to do about it.
Do you need a diesel generator to go cruising? It’s a surprisingly simple decision governed by only two criteria.
An analysis for any live-aboard cruiser who is considering a lifestyle that will require more than about 250 amp/hours at 12 volts (3 kWh) of electricity daily.
These days, most boats with AC generators have significant DC (12- or 24-volt) battery banks that need to be charged regularly by the generator. But often that process is horribly inefficient. The good news is that the fix is easy, simple, and relatively inexpensive.
John recently replaced the house battery bank on Morgan’s Cloud. But before starting the project he had a big decision to make: which battery type. Here’s a look at the options he considered, starting with lithium.
John takes an in-depth look at the benefits and drawbacks of carbon foam, liquid filled, and AGM lead acid batteries, and then reveals his thinking if faced with battery replacement today.
Load dumps are an intrinsic danger with lithium batteries installed on cruising boats. Here’s why, and why we need to fix it.
Load dumps on a cruising boat are dangerous. Here’s how to prevent them, including some special tips for “drop in” owners.
Lithium batteries have many benefits, but are too complicated and fragile, and not fault tolerant enough, to be relied upon exclusively on an offshore boat. Here’s how to fix that.
Matt examines lithium ion batteries in detail and answers the question, Should I use lithium ion batteries for the house bank on my boat?
In the last chapter, we quantified how short battery life will be on a cruising boat with a standard electrical system, now let’s move on to fixing that.
Charging batteries fast has all kinds of benefits: less engine wear, fuel savings, less carbon. But how far can we go?