I’ve been thinking lots about power for TL this spring. Specifically electrical power. I ruled out solar panels and wind/water generators quickly. It’s a racing boat. Solar may be possible, but not until I figure out where it might live.

The fuel cells look promising, but they’re not cheap, and fuel requires some advance planning. Maybe in the future. I participated in a discussion on Trawler Forum not too long ago on this. I should also say that I’ve learned a lot about 12v batteries and charging systems hanging out on that forum.

But I have a little diesel under the cockpit, a Yanmar 1GM. And I don’t mind the noise of running it while sailing. Currently there is a single group 31 battery well mounted.

My house needs are minimal. Charging mobile devices and my Juul. Running lights are LED. It’s the autopilot, navigation system and instrumentation that requires power. I have radar as well, and plan to use it extensively for watch keeping. Digital, it only draws 2 amps. I’m estimating a continuous load of 10 amps for everything.

The stock alternator on the Yanmar is rated at 35 amps. After some consideration of options I decided to spring for a new Balmar 70 amp replacement alternator. Good stuff, with a solid external regulator. I’ve also ordered a Balmar monitoring system that will track and report charge and discharge rates, state of charge, etc. If I have to run the motor for an hour once every 4-5 hours I can live with that. I’m going to continue to use a single battery, but am considering a jump pack for backup.

One of the cool features of this alternator is that it can be wired with a switch that will limit it to 1/2 power. Since I’m over propped I’ll dial it back when under power.

It should be here tomorrow.

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