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Old 04 July 2012, 05:20   #11
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Steve

How far are you towing the boat?

I have an 80W panel stuck (with sikaflex) to the top of my caravan. Works a treat in keeping my batteries full charged even during the winter. It charges all the time even when towing. I am not saying you need an 80 watt panel, but what I am saying is even a small panel discreetly mounted on the A frame will help keep the batteries topped up. It will also me a lot less messy that having to run wires from the lighting board back to the batteries etc etc.

If you take the battery home with you and charge it and then have a small panel on the boat to keep it topped up this should do the trick.

You can even buy flexible flat mount panels now, although they are expensive.

Cheers

Buzzin
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Old 04 July 2012, 06:07   #12
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I have two marine batteries connected together with a 1/2/Both/Off switch, and when in storage or not used this is set to off. Then on battery 1 I have the bilge pump connected and my tracker – so these always have power –the idea being that if the boat is left on the water and we have bad weather the pump will work, and if it drains the battery below starting power I select battery 2, get her started then select both to charge both back up. When in storage for a long time, I don’t have the rain worry, but have the drain from the tracker.

I thought that marine batteries could cope with losing the charge, and wouldn’t be damaged – similar to the leisure style battery, but I don’t know of a way to recharge in a dark barn.

I am going to speak with the storage facility and see how much / and the possibilities of getting power to the boat, as then I would just leave a maintenance charger on and that would solve my problems – but I doubt this is possible.

I have one of these 13pin plugs on my car, so assume one of these is for the caravan leisure battery charging – so was thinking of rigging up an extra wire that connects to a plug in the console while towing to charge the batteries – understand this will take a long time, but my normal towing distance is at least an hour, and my last few trips have been about 7 hours.
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Old 04 July 2012, 06:14   #13
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Get a good deep cycle battery for battery 2 e.g. domestic (tracker, bilge, not starting) and use the other for starting. Deep cycle batteries are made for this type of work and have thicker plates, call Barden for free brilliant advice, you will need the physical size and amps of your current batteries and storage size including height and the power draw of the tracker and bilge pump plus anything else 'left on', Barden Battery Introduction, Lead Acid Batteries, AGM, Gel, Engine Starting and Deep Cycle I bought a Red top Optima which is an agm battery, brilliant but maybe over the top for your usage, they will sort you out
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Old 04 July 2012, 07:07   #14
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Steve

If the boat is stored in a bar perhaps you could put some logs leads on a panel, which can then be left outside the barn, obviously where it can't be nicked!!!!!. Lots of people do this. You could make the panel removable from the A frame using weather tight connectors. This would solve any charging issues you have.

Tend to agree with SR4 regarding battery type and selection. You live about 4 miles from me. Go and talk to Alpha batteries at Spotland Bridge in Rochdale. I've had a new battery for the boat off them this year plus a caravan leisure battery.

They offer good advice and supply batteries nationally (Biggest battery retailer on ebay) Good for us Rochdale lads as we can pick them up and not pay the postage.

PM me if you want to look at a panel in situ an how it wired on my van.

Regards

Buzzin
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Old 04 July 2012, 07:09   #15
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Just noticed I keep dropping my "n"'s. I wish my boat was stored in a bar not a barn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04 July 2012, 08:08   #16
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Steve, if you are going to charge batteries whilst towing you will need one of these :-

Towbar Split Charge Relay Wiring Kit - Solid State Standard Wiring Kits Universal Towbar Wiring Kits Towing Electrics Towin...

it is very easy to fit, was standard fare when i had the caravan
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Old 04 July 2012, 08:27   #17
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Or go with a yachty solution and get a wind driven thingy on the barn and some flying leads on the boat to connect up when its stored in the dark and no need to worry about charging when towing etc.

Make a hell of a noise on the back of boats in marinas but seem to do the job and may well keep your batteries in good /better condition.
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Old 04 July 2012, 08:28   #18
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Why not simply buy another battery? When you pick up the boat, swap the batteries over and put the one you've just removed on trickle-charge for the next trip. You can rotate them if you want - so they're always being topped up. : thumbs:
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Old 04 July 2012, 08:28   #19
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I'm pretty certain with a 13-pin socket you already have a permanent live supply available to you. All you then need is a 12v to 12v charger unit to allow it to charge your depleted boat battery without affecting your car circuit.
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Old 04 July 2012, 08:35   #20
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In a combo of a few of the ideas above:

I have a Bulgin Buccaneer 2 pin socket on the side of the boat. Connected direct to the battery terminals via a 20A fuse. (Use that socket as it means I unplug, screw the cap on & go - no messing about inside the console)

When stored in the garage for long periods, I connect the trickle charger to it.

When towing, I have a jump lead that connects it to the split charge on the car.



Now, if your barn has no power, a cheap solar panel on the end of a lead will do the trickle charge nicely. Then, hook it to your car for a bit of a top-up en troute to the water, and when afloat the O/B does the rest.
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