Our battery charger wasn’t working so this became a high priority project as well.
Don took the charger apart in an attempt to get it working with the change of a fuse. And then
We didn’t know if a new fuse was going to work, but it was definitely not going
to work now. While working on the reconnection, a short between a wire and the screw
driver made the whole thing go POOF. POOF is not a good sound. Installation of the
new battery charger wasn’t too bad, other than the many contortions required
to get into the locker where it was hanging. Now we have lights, refrigeration,
and running water - all the comforts of the 20th century!
But, the amount of power we had at our disposal was extremely minimal. We were fine while
at the dock - but worried our engine wouldn't start while at sea. Our surveyor also uncovered
some electrical issues that - although minor - we believed for safety's sake needed to be
dealt with sooner rather than later. The number one cause of boat fires is due to electrical
wiring. Adding to all this concern was the confusion over what type of batteries to get, how
much wattage we would need, where they should be located, how they should be wired, and what
would it take to recharge them.
~ Electrical Panel ~
Taking this all into consideration, we opted to enlist the help of a certified marine
electrician to upgrade our power-plant. We ultimately chose to go with NorthStar AGM batteries.
They require no maintenance, take up very little space, are safe enough to locate in the
living compartment (and thus better distribute their weight), and are strong enough to
back up the starter battery.
I can't state unequivocally
that I am now a 12 volt expert, but I am amused that I can have a somewhat educated
conversation about batteries with my father, an electrical engineer.