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b2dvm

boat electronics-renovating houseboat

Question

b2dvm

I am renovating an old houseboat, that is on pontoons. I just

had an evinrude 110hp outboard/with single 12volt battery put on.

I would like to get some information on connecting an additional battery for charging, lighting, etc..I also want to add

AC power to use while it is docked. Any advice or professional direction would appreciated. The boat is dry docked in Winona.

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Farley

You'll have to get a little more specific with what you want help on.

What I would do is run 2 or 3 batteries and get a 2 or 3 bank on board charger so when you get back to the dock all you have to do is plug the charger in and it charges all batteries at the same time. Spread out all your electronics onto these batteries, meaning put the stereo on one, depth finder on another, lights on another, that way you have your 3 biggest draws on your batteries all on their own battery, then take the smaller stuff like guages, outlets, etc... and spread them out as well. It sometimes helps to draw out on a piece of paper where in the boat the batteries are stored and any wiring you'll have to run.

As far as the AC you will need a inverter, you can find them at Fleet farm, menards, probably an RV accesory store, etc... but if you have access to power to charge your batteries at the dock like I explained above you could just run your AC power from the same outlet you plug your charger into.

If you dont have access to AC at the dock, then your other alternative besides pulling the batteries out and charging them at home, would be a generator. This will also give you the AC at the dock you are looking for but are sometimes noisy.

Get a little more specific and we'll see if we can help you out some more.

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Capt. Don*

What you are looking to do it quite normal in most modern boats 24' and above that have cabin facilities. As far as an extra battery, are you wanting to add circuits or just have more 12VDC capacity. If you want to add circuits you will need to get an ac/dc breaker/distribution panel, they are available from any marine dealer that deals in larger boats, possibly even from an FM advertiser. They come in various sizes and prices depending on how many circuits you plan on having in ac and dc. Wire accessories through it much like you would in a residence, do not use solid wire in a boat. Then connect to a shore power inlet mounted on the boat for the a/c side, these are readily available as well, Marinco and Hubbell are the leading producers.Plug into the dockside power and its alive. There are standards or codes in which a boat has to be wired per the Coast Guard and are available from the ABYC website and CFR 33, this may or may not pertain to your situation, but is good information for overall system familiarity. Get to know a few people at the marina the boat is at, look at some systems on their boats and others and determine what your needs are before you start buying, I've installed panels that people had built before they knew their needs that cost over $2500 and could have gotten by with a $250 panel.

It is a fairly simple process and install, but familiarize yourself and gain some knowledge about the systems before you begin.

Good Luck

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