Originally Posted by jambo
Spot on Neil they ate a total drain!!
Same here on the yacht. I wired a small 500 auto pump directly to the battery so it couldn't be turned off accidentally. A month later one 110 amp battery completely flat and the bilges are dry so it wasn't pumping anything.
Having fitted a new battery the bilge pump will go back in via the battery master switch as the yacht is dry.
We also have a 45w solar panel fitted. This gives about 10 AH a day for most of the year (Dec and Jan excluded). Max output would be about 15AH but this means tilting the panel and avoiding any shadow which is tricky with a mast and rigging. There is a quick calculation to give an approximate idea of the amp hours a 12v panel will give in ideal conditions. Divide the panel wattage by 3 = the amp hours it will generate. Panels do get hot and this reduces the efficiency. Mount them up on the A frame with a flow of air under them for best results.