Being able to accurately monitor our batteries is a vital function for all cruisers, but which of the multitude of systems offered should we buy and install? John defines the functions we actually need, and then recommends a monitor.
The single biggest bitch we hear about battery monitors is that they are always wrong. John shares how to fix that and make your batteries last a lot longer too.
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.
Matt examines lithium ion batteries in detail and answers the question, Should I use lithium ion batteries for the house bank on my boat?
So which is better, 12 or 24-volt DC systems for live-aboard cruising? Like most things, it depends. Here’s a definitive way to determine which is best for your boat and usage.
In Part 1 we learned that it was inefficient, and often impossible, as well as potentially dangerous, to supply the high-load equipment, that so many cruisers seem to want, with a 12-volt system. And, further, that the solution to this problem is either to forgo all very high-current (amperage) gear, or select a boat with a 24-volt system. So let’s look at that.
The claims made for battery pulse desulphators seem to make them ideal for voyaging boats. A cheap, easy to install gadget that will dramatically extend your expensive batteries’ lives. What’s not to like? But do they really work? John takes a look.
Through a combination of planning, frugality, solar and wind power, Colin and Lou have never had to run the engine of their OVNI 435 to charge their batteries when at anchor. How did they manage that? Read on to find out how.
Should you install a wind generator on your boat? Find out from someone who has cruised with one for 5 years—invaluable real-world experience.