Sorry, it’s been a while since the last blog. Since our last loss of motor power event, we have since made some drastic changes to the boat to ensure that we have sufficient power for most circumstances.
It has been a little while now, but I recall it was quite the ride of time and money spent to restore our confidence in our electric motor’s available energy supply.
Here is the list of upgrades:
1) SS tubing and terminal ends to build a sturdy base above the Bimini while trying into the Bimini bars.
2) Replaced Bimini feet to Solid rigid style for strength and stability
3) Purchased 2 Piomar (de Italia) – 200 Watt 24-volt panels wired in series (48 volts) above Bimini using 4 SS Ubolts per panel.
4) Purchased Midnight’s The Kid Charge Controller.
5) Purchased two Battery switched and battery cables to switch between using and charging our FLA and AGM battery banks. Will probably run with 2 AGM banks in the future.
6) Last, but not least I built a platform for the second battery bank above the other and installed 4 Vmax tanks AGM MR137 (Amazon – Free shipping! Yeah baby!) wired in series for the second 48-volt bank.
7) Is that all? No!!!!!! We eventually purchased a shunt and Wiz Bang JR. From Midnight to measure amp-hours going into the bank when charging and amp hours and percentage of life being used. Really neet device to prevent overcharging which will destroy your batteries.
Sailing on a budget Haaaaaa!!!!! Is there really such a thing? With all of this though I am certain that we saved over $5,000 when compared to having a new diesel engine installed by pros. The total price of motor batteries, panels, etc. Still comes in at less than $10k DIY.
What I found the most frustrating was programming the controller correctly, but contacting the battery manufacturers and Midnight to dial in the numbers certainly eased my pain a bit. Just a bit.
Final tests are in. On a clean Hull, we should now be able to do somewhere between 3-5 knots (depending on wind resistance, tide, etc.) at a 20 Ah draw (seems to be a our sweet spot) for a little over 5 hours on strong, charged batteries before we end up at the 50 o/o level.
Time to set sail again, finally!!!!!! So glad this chapter is over, for now!
See you on the water!