What's New?
  For Sale
  A History
  Email List
  Members Only
  Marine Weather
  Local Weather
  Contact Us
Ron Breault's Marionette - Her battery locker, battery, charging systems, inverter and related (updated July 16, 2013)  

Marionette has a 4 hp outboard in a transom well - she does not have an alternator. By necessity, and design, there is not much electrical demand. The boat has 12v wired port, starboard and stern lights, but not much nighttime sailing is done; she has a full set of wired 12v interior lights but sleep comes early and the oil lamp light is preferred. The major user is the autopilot when single handing (average is 2 amp/hr), and using the 110v inverter for charging the cell phones, running a laptop and charging battery packs.

This is the starboard quarterberth locker with the access panel removed. The battery is underneath, the + sign marks the location of the positive terminal under (I can connect the clips to these terminals blindfolded). The battery charger is mounted at upper left. When not in use I clip the charger terminal clips on the strap holding the battery in place. The wood block is a tensioning spacer under the strap holding the battery against the locker wall. The black cable is the charger cable. The red cable is a 50' heavy duty extension cord. Barely visible in the lower left hand corner is a 30 amp one piece locking adapter.

At a slip I can connect to shore power with the extension cord to either a 15/20 amp or a 30 amp outlet. I connect the charger directly to the female connector on the extension cord, or use the surge protector for both protection and for multiple outlets - sometimes used for the laptop's 110v power cord, recharge the laptop's battery or my cell phone battery, or to recharge battery packs for a portable drill, hand held VHF radio, and a battery powered spotlight. I also carry a lot of regular disposable batteries, D, C, AAA, and AA, plus a rechargeable "C" for the solar powered forward hatch vent.

Note the wing nuts

The battery has a carrying strap and the charger is portable. The battery charger is a 'smart' unit mounted with wing nuts. When cruising and impossible, or too expensive, to get to a slip with power, or unable to tie up at a transient dock long enough to charge the the battery, both can 'easily' (battery weighs 70lbs!) be loaded in the dinghy and brought to a friendly shore that has a 110v outlet that you can use. In nearly 15 years of cruising Marionette I have had to do this only 3 times that I can recall - but the system worked, and I am glad I have it.

The wood wedge holds the battery down, a strap (green) holds it in the corner

The battery was a Group 31, 105 amp, absorbed glass mat (AGM) type, but early in 2013 was upgraded to a 200 amp, Group 31 AGM. It is strapped in the locker corner with a wood wedge to tension the strap. The top of the battery has a press fit wood block between it and the inside top of the locker so it cannot move. There is clearance above the battery for the battery charger clips.

Click on the subtitles to see a larger image; use the back arrow on your browser to get back to this page.

I have an inverter, above left, that takes DC power from the cigarette lighter outlet in my electrical panel. I use it to recharge battery packs and provide power to the laptop, and to a cell phone - sometimes at the same time (hence the 2 outlet adapter) when there is no 'hot spot' in range. My laptop does not have a phone card that inserts into a port - instead it has a phone cord that inserts into my cell phone. So I need two outlets on the inverter when I have to spend a lot of time updating this website!

I also have a small, suitcase type solar powered panel, above right, that under ideal conditions can charge the battery at a .5 amp/hr rate - way too small - but having it makes me feel better.

I can cruise about 1 week before I become really anxious about finding a slip or place to recharge that 105 amp battery - hopefully a few days longer with the new 200 amp battery.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have an alternator - and an light weight diesel inboard, standing headroom, etc.

masthead pig stick light 
Den Haan oil anchor light

These two items contribute to Marionette's battery power conservation effort. To read more about them click here.



1 [Home] [A History] [Technical] [Restorations] [Stories] [Forum]
[Members Only] [Links] [Marine Weather] [Local Weather] [Contact Us]

© Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Website Design by EasyWebCreations.com & Powered by ASP Hosting