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Barbara Joyce's Battery Charging Systems  

May 11, 2016. John Wadman posted in the Forum his (solar) set up on Barbara Joyce, Yankee #141 (minor edits)

I had two 95s (chargers), an M25 solar panel with a rail clamp mechanism and a charging coil on my Suzuki 8hp. I usually stowed the outboard in the cockpit locker while making passages so relied on just the solar panel to charge batteries. In rough weather I took the panel off the stanchion and stowed it below.

With charged batteries, I could do an 8 day passage leaving the VHF on but not using it to transmit much unless I sighted an approaching ship, used nav lights most of the night each night, and used a red lensed 12 volt florescent light only long enough to write in log every hour. I would put the solar panel out of the sunny side of the boat during daylight hours when weather permitted. In essence I used electricity sparingly.

New lighting technology and better solar panels mean even more longevity today. I cruised from late 80s to early 90s. I had nicads and a charger for my Walkman stereo for watches at night. I wired two cigarette lighter outlets into the boat for stuff like the charger, etc. I also had a cassette stereo that I used sparingly when I could use solar panel. Once in port I left panel out all day, every day, and played stereo whenever I wanted. Within a day or two the batteries would be topped off again.

Wind generator is bulky, has a rapidly whirling blade, great for a bigger boat with space to set up and to stow but probably not too practical for a 24-footer. Today's solar panels are the hot technology. Easy to stow because they are flat. No moving parts.


Barbara Joyce




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