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Author Topic:   Battery Charging: Non-Engine Charging Sources
yachtman32 posted 10-08-2007 11:09 PM ET (US)   Profile for yachtman32   Send Email to yachtman32  
Hi, New to site, looks great with a lot of info. I just bought a 13 1/2 foot Whaler, 73 model. The engine an 73 Evinrude 40 hp, is not electric start, I am assuming there is no charging system. I want to run a stereo, fishfinder and nav lights. What do others do to charge the battery without on board charging? I'd hate the thought of always plugging in an portable charger.


Chuck Tribolet posted 10-09-2007 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
In increasing order of power consumption, the loads are:
fishfinder, nav lights (if on), stereo. The first two are
a minor load on a decent sized battery. The third, well,
how loud and obnoxious is it? (Please don't share your music
on the water).

There MIGHT be a charging system on the engine -- do some
homework. Some pull-starts have an alternator.

If you need a charger, there are a number of built-in
systems you can use -- mount a 110V connector on the boat,
plug it in, go home (or go in the house).

Stereo on a 13? Sheesh.


yachtman32 posted 10-09-2007 01:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for yachtman32  Send Email to yachtman32     
Thanks for the reply. I had thought about the on board 110v charger. We are in a marina with our main boat and could plug in to charge. I will look for a charging system on the old Evinrude. I'll have a vhf radio onboard also but that shouldn't take too much juice. I won't put an amp in this boat as I did on the main boat!
jimh posted 10-09-2007 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To charge a battery you have to generate electrical power. If you are not going to generate electrical power from the surplus mechanical power of the boat's engine, the other options that come to mind are:

--solar power; use photoelectric cells

--wind power; use a wind-drive alternator

--shore power; use an extension cord

I suppose you could could try to exploit some thermal energy and convert it to electricity. But I don't think any of these are particularly convenient.

If you really need a battery operated electrical system which will not be under frequent charging from the outboard motor, you will need a quality battery of the deep-cycle design. You will also need to design the system so the battery has enough capacity to provide a reasonable amount of time in operation between charging and recover periods. Design of such a system is usually covered in articles aimed at long-distance cruising sailors on larger boats. Check some of those resources for hints on how much battery capacity you will need.

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