Equalizing Batteries, The Reality

Fully charging your batteries after each discharge on a live-aboard cruising sailboat is simply not practical. Instead, most of us will cycle our batteries between 50 and 80% of their capacity. The bad news is that this will ruin your lead-acid batteries (regardless of type) in a distressingly short time due to sulphation. However, there is a solution: equalization. In this chapter we cover what it is and how to do it.

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Renewable Power

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.

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Solar Power

There are very few cruising boats these days that don’t have a solar panel fitted somewhere, and many have some pretty substantial arrays. Based on five years of real-world experience, Colin gives some tips and recommendations for how to get the maximum benefit from solar.

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Hydro Power

Meeting daily electricity needs using power and solar while at anchor is one thing, but what about when passagemaking? Solar can only do so much and wind generation works best when sailing to windward. So is hydro the answer? Colin talks about the pros and cons of hydro generation.

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