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Author Topic:   On-board AC Operated Battery Charger
jcswpa posted 03-15-2004 08:08 AM ET (US)   Profile for jcswpa   Send Email to jcswpa  
My 2003 DAUNTLESS 22 has a 50 amp shore power system. I want to install an on-board battery charger. I am handy on land, but never did a boat installation. Do I need a electronics installer to do this? And install my GPS too?
Ed Stone posted 03-15-2004 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I installed the guest 2610,It is a 10 amp,two bank,
3-stage charger.The 2610 comes pre-wired.They also
have a model that you wire your self.

Try to keep it close enough to your batteries so
that you can use the factory wires on the charger.
You should not have much trouble installing a charger.

Would the gps be a flush mount or on top of
console mount.If you go with the flush mount you
will have to deal with running the antenna wire
and where to mount the antenna.With the console
mount you could go with the internal antenna
and have alot less wires to fool with.

Ed Stone

jimh posted 03-15-2004 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
When you have more sophisticated electrical installations on a boat where 115-Vac and 12-Vdc systems are mixed, it is very important to follow recommended practices regarding grounding. Connecting the boat to shore power for long periods of time can result in dramatic corrosion problems due to stray currents. If a marina is poorly wired or there are stray currents in the vicinity, the aluminum lower unit of your outboard can be substantially damaged in just a day or two!

Considering the investment you have in the boat, I would strongly recommend purchasing a Marine Electrical guidebook or reference, then following its recommendations closely.

This is especially important in the area of installing a battery charger. Your charger will be connected to the 115-Vac circuits of the shore, while at the same time be connected to battery negative. Your aluminum engine is also connected to battery negative. This arrangement sets up the possibility for much damage if not properly done.

In addition to concerns about corrosion, there is also a great concern for safety. A boat is a wet place and any 115-Vac wiring must be carefully done to preserve safety.

This is much too complicated a topic to be possible to describe in a couple of sentences in a forum. You need a good book.

Here is one possible reference:

Boatowner's Mechanical & Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems -- by Nigel Calder, Charlie Wing

Just to give you a little anecdote, last fall a friend had his boat in for some service, and also installed a new stainless steel propeller. Taking the boat on a short weekend cruise right after that, he discovered his new SS propeller was being coated with a white powder--ALUMINUM from his OUTBOARD! The culprit was an inadvertent ground in the console. It nearly ruined an expense propeller and motor!

The actual wiring and installation of most boat electrical circuit is not hard, but it needs to be done correctly for many reasons.

Steve M posted 03-16-2004 08:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Steve M  Send Email to Steve M     
I don't think I could add anything to what Jim said.

So what else do you have hooked up to your 50 A Shore power system. Is it the Charger and a couple of outlets? As a fellow owner of a 220 Dauntless, I am curious. On my Whaler the on board battery charger is the only piece of AC powered equipment, and since I only plan on trailering, I was tempted to get a portable charger and plug it into the Trolling motor panel in the bow to charge the batteries. I didn't like the idea of leaving a charger outside perched on the bow each evening. So my onboard charger is hooked to a console mounted Hubbell inlet that is designed to work with the standard 3-prong extension cord (I guess I have house power and not shore power).

I admit if you have found a way to trick out the boat with TV's, Airconditioners, etc, I probably would be too jealous to really want to know.

tarbaby posted 03-16-2004 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for tarbaby  Send Email to tarbaby     
Are you sure it is 50 amp? I would think 30 amp would be more appropriate for your boat. That also might be overkill. 50 amp is typically used on bigger boats that run a fridge and a air-conditioner as well as other high draw items.For example: The cost of a 30 amp shore power cord is $41.99 at West Marine. A 50 amp cord is $539.99 for the same length. I think you do not have a 50 amp set up on your boat. That said, I do not recommend that you do the install yourself. Shay
jimh posted 03-17-2004 08:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An excerpt from the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) Recommended Practices (that apply to boat alternating current (AC) electrical systems operating at frequencies of 50 or 60 hertz and less than 300 volts including shore powered systems up to the point of connection to the shore outlet and including the shore power cable) can be found at:

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