Electrical systems

Installation of instruments and electrics in the Cape Cutter 19

Electrical systems

Postby David Hill » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:58 am

Hi

I've had my cc for about 5 years now, and to date all power has been small battery driven - from camping torches, to hand held GPS etc. I've never bothered with a depth sounder (if I touch, up comes the board.......), or wind speed indicators (the more it blows, the more I reef..........) or log (handheld gps tells me that if I'm interested.......).

However, I am tempted to install something as I'm may do more night sailing and maybe a tiller pilot. So, my question to the group that has 'prower' relates to how have you all installed it.

One way is a 'standard' battery with a connection for shore based charging. Another is one of these 'portable' type batetries that you charge at home, carry on board, and should cope with a few days of limited power requirements. I still won't get all the stuff above, so the requirements would be only for navigation lights, internal reading lights and maybe an autopilot.

If I do get a tiller pilot, which one would you guys recommend?

Cheers,

David
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Electrical Fitting Out

Postby Dennis » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:30 pm

Hello David

I have just completed fitting out Mary Ann, I decided to do a full fit (With the initial enthusiasm of owning a new boat).

I would recomend that you fit LED lights for navigation and cabin use, because of the low power consumption.

NASA Tricolour (About £50) consumes 0.2 Amps
Triton Marine Anchor Light consumes 0.09 Amps

I use a NASA Clipper Duet Log/Depth sounder it consumes approx. 0.1 amps.

I have also fitted a Raymarine ST1000+ Tiller Pilot. It consumes according to the handbook:
"Current consumption: • Standby: 40 mA (90 mA with full lighting)
• Auto: 0.5 A to 1.5 A depending on boat trim, helm load and sailing conditions"

I used a Simrad TP10 on my previous boat but had some reliability issues with it. I may have just been unlucky.

I have also fitted a NASA Battery Monitor. This is a very useful bit of kit. It tells you the state of charge of your battery, including how many hours you have left etc.

I have a 26 ampHour sealed lead acid battery. It is small enougth to easily remove for charging if necessary.

Even though I have a charging coil on my outboard, I expect that I will eventually fit a solar charging panel which would eliminate the need to remove the battery for charging during the sailing season.

I intend to post some photos of the installation (eventually).


Hope this helps

Dennis
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Electrical Systems

Postby Simon Head » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:07 pm

I agree withe Dennis- fit out with LED lights and a LED Tricolor. I used a Lopo mast head light which cost a fortune (no others were available at the time)- the Nasa version is much cheaper. I designed a stainless steel bracket for this for Bob at Honnor Marine which fits over the top of the mast where the hole comes out in the centre- it looks quite smart.

My electrical installation is virtually invisible- I mounted a circuit breaker, battery (an 80ah deep cycling leisure battery) and distribution system behind the companion way step- I mounted it all on a plywood base spaced off the tray with stainless steel feet. The beauty of mounting it here is that cables for cabin lights can be run beneath the cavities for the seats into the moulded units either side (I have 2 LED lights- you can buy conventional halogen lights and covert them to LED).

Another benefit is that the whole thing can be built up on a bench- the only thing required to do in situ is to connect the accessories to the output box and drill the mount holes.

The lead for the masthead light is led along the centre board case. On the SA Cape Cutters there is a stiffening piece in the case which is glassed in- I led the cable beneath this in oval plastic conduit- it looks smart.

Like Dennis I have an Autopilot- I bought the Raymarine ST2000. This is connected directly to the battery with an inline fuse and seperate control box (I have a wireless option that needed plumbing in). I looked at the ST1000- the ST2000 was slightly more expensive at the time (it was on offer at one of the London Boat Shows- I think £100 more but came with the wireless option). The mechanism for the ST2000 is much better than the ST1000 although it has the same footprint. I have had no problems with it.

I also have a combined GPS and depth sounder (Lowrance M68i) This is located in the cockpit and is fed from the distribution board. The sensor is through hull (I did not want to drill holes in the hull- seems a bit alien to me!) and is located underneath where the water bottle is normally located (I ditched this shortly after getting the boat). It reads accurately and has been installed for some 4 years now with no problems.

With regards to charging there is an excellent portable solar panel that is sold by Maplin which is held in a folding case. This comes with a regulator and at the last count was £49.00. This suplements the feed from my outboard which charges through a gland wich passes first into the starboard locker and then through another gland into the cabin. Where it goes into the locker I have installed an IP68 waterproof case which also provides an extra power socket in the cockpit. I have a GPS enabled PDA which I use with Memory Map charts and acts as a chart plotter which is powered from this.

In 5 years I have had my power installation installed I have not had to take the battery out yet!

I will get some pictures sorted out and write an article which will appear on the web site shortly.

Regards

Simon Head
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Postby David Hill » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:37 am

Thanks for the comments.
It's a tough call for me! The simplicity of batteries, versus the flexibility of proper power!
My wife thinks a tiller pilot is over the top, and we should make do with a tiller mate.
I continue to ponder!
Thanks
David

PS OT - I ordered a Yankee from Bob on Monday - arrived Tuesday!great service, as ever.
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Battery Power

Postby Moneypenny » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:38 am

I started along the "rechargable" route. This included an excellent hand-held depth sounder from Westmarine (but also now available in UK). I also have battery navigation lights just in case I don't make it back to the river before sunset. I have now conceded the advantages of battery power, especially for lighting. The problem with the yellow jump-start packs is that they are designed to give a car battery a sudden boost. My solution is to use a golf trolley battery. This is highly portable, connects in seconds, and gives a steady trickle enough to keep cabin lights etc going for 2 or 3 days. Works for me.
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Solar power

Postby Black Sheep » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:34 am

Hi,

I asked Bob to install a solar panel based electricity system on Black Sheep. I supplied him with a Solara M panel and a Solara controller for charging a small 33 Ah AGM battery (fitted next to the Porta Potti). A modified garage was moulded no longer having the Lexan window and the panel was glued and bolted on top of that (see picture in my album). The cable goes through the deck and, together with the cable of the mast light, via a plastic strip to starboard. The solar panel cable ends in the controller and from there one cable goes to the AGM battery and the other to the switch panel. Since I have LED cabin and mast lights and just a 12 V socket for charging my mobile, handheld VHF and handheld GPS, I expect that I will not require any shore power for this 12 V system. So far I am only disappointed by the quality of the Solara digital voltage display which seems to be a 'Monday-morning' product.

regards,
Michel
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Postby Dennis » Mon May 10, 2010 11:42 am

I have recently added a solar charging panel to Mary Ann. I have fitted it to the top of the skylight on the companionway garage. It is held down with four pieces of double sided foam backed self adhesive tape. It should be easy to remove if and when I need to.

It is a 4.8 watt panel from Maplin and cost £30. I applied addition silicon sealant to the panel joints before I fitted it (just in case!).

It charges my 26 AHr battery at 0.4 A in strong direct sunshine (with no shadows on panel), at 0.2 A in most conditions and at 0.1 A when it is dull and overcast.

This is sufficient to ensure that the battery is always fully charged when I sail the boat (usually once per week) and is a useful supliment to the charging coil fitted to the outboard motor.

I have added a photo to the album " Mary Ann Modifications" for any one who is interested.

Happy sailing

Dennis

CC19 #100 Mary Ann
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Postby Michiel » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:42 pm

Hi Dennis,

Enjoying your hols??

I collect 'Nemo' this weekend from HM.

Can you tell me which charge controller you are using with your 5W pv panel.
Somewhere I have read that, as long as the battery is >35Ah, you do not need a controller??.
I would be a bit worried of cooking the battery, esp. down in France.

Michiel
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Postby Michiel » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:05 pm

Hi Michel,

Can you tell me what size (Watts) your Solara M PV panel is, and are you still happy with the panel and charge controller.

P.S. I have just realised that you are a fellow countryman of mine.
Regards,
Michiel

(CC19 No.63 'NEMO')
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Postby Michiel » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:11 pm

Sorry, me again.

Do any other panel members have any experience with small PV charge systems on their boats? good or bad.

Also, what size of battery would you advise.
I realise this greatly depends on the load, which would consist of the basics;
Led lighting, autohelm, GPS/log etc.

The boat would mainly be used for day-sailing, with an occasional stay over.
Regards,
Michiel

(CC19 No.63 'NEMO')
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