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  1. #1
    Tahitibelle is offline Registered User
    Location : Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Battery charging

    How do you Jesters et al, keep your batteries charged up (assuming you do not have an inboard engine to charge up with). Wind;Towed;Solar (in which case what size and type); Honda type portable charger?

    I had a Ampair water towed genny on Tahiti Belle, very good at producing power but slows one down - OK on a trimaran with boat speed to spare but a bit of a drag (gedit) in my little Kingfisher 20+ (one all round white nav light!)

    What size batteries do you carry? - I have 2 x 110 Amp batteries, in the hope that they will last the voyage with minimal power use, but they are bloomin heavy and I am not sure it was a clever decision. Perhaps better to use 4 much smaller cheaper batteries and give them the heave ho when empty.

    Good idea though to have a small 12v golf buggy type battery sited well above the waterline as emergency VHF Radio power.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    You can sometimes save money on batteries by purchasing 6v Batteries and linking them in series, although if one fails you will lost your 12v system which won't happen with 2x 12v in parallel.

    For charging I use 2x 30W solar panels, not so great in the UK but should get better when I reach the sun. I also intend to get a Rutland wind genny, not sure of the model yet, if I'm careful that should be adequate.
    I'm using LED's where possible, including in the Tri-colour.

    This is on a Sadler 25.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Hydrogenerator

    I used a aquagen 6 hydrogenerator but for a Jester an aquagen4 should be better.
    it works very well in blue water but is easily fouled in coastal areas.
    As I had an electric autopilot, I used the engine as a complement to fill up the batteries.
    I had 2 85A service batteries and a dedicated battery for the engine.
    Of course the hydrogenerator needs speed and solar panel should be a good complement if not sailing too far North.
    Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire complique ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Battery charging

    I have 2 x 75 Ahr domestic and 1 x 75 Ahr engine start batteries. I have a 300W solar panel on the coachroof. This has proved less than ideal, because Sodís Law being what it is the boat is usually heeled away from the sun or shaded by the sail and the panel produces next to nothing, but itís great for the mooring and whilst laid up ashore in the winter. I doubt if funds will permit, but a couple of extra panels that I can rig in place of dodgers would work much better. I also have an Aquair towed water generator, which is fantastic Ė I have never had to run the engine to charge batteries and most of the time I have excess power and regulate battery voltage by switching load on and off. Drag is minimal and I would suggest that it is less than a wind powered generator in anything but light airs (at 6 knots I can hold the unit easily in two hands). I guess a feathering prop would probably comepensate for this, but thatís also on the ĎI canít afford that listí. Battery management is helped by LED lights (interior and nav) and eating the main meal during daylight hours (donít need lights on down below to see what youíre cooking). I also make extensive use of an LED headlight, great for reading and great for foredeck work. I have a wind genny, but have taken it off because theyíre noisy and ugly and not very good in light airs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007


    I've also spent some time debating battery charging.

    I, like some others, didn't find the Rutland wind generator I had (the smaller version??) very effective as it was forever spinning around particularly when heeled over and losing charge capability. It also needed a good blow before it got charging and was noisy. In the end I copied a fellow Jester who tied it down so it faced the right direction and therefore charged reasonably well.

    I like the idea of solar panels but don't want all the kit needed to ensure they receive uninterupted sunlight.

    I plan to go for a tow log on the basis that my power requiremnt is fairly modest (perhaps not so modest compared to some purists!!! but 2*85amp batteries).

  6. #6
    Noddy's Avatar
    Noddy is offline Registered User
    Location : Thames Estuary
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    On JAC 08 I had three sources of electrikery:

    Wind generator. Aerogen - good!

    Solar panel: 35W portable. When I was testing this I had it putting 2amps into a battery. I covered one cell to see what the effect would be and the charge dropped to 0.5amps. So just a rope shadow across the panel is going to really harm output. I moved it around the boat to keep it out of shadow and perpendicular to the sun - great bit of kit.

    Water generator: Brilliant power output (you could weld with it) but quite a bit of drag. I only used it on long downwind runs when the sky was overcast - rendering both the solar and wind systems useless. It also helped to keep the speed under control when the surfing got a bit too exciting!

    As Stingray is a multihull (confuses wind vanes) I used a Simrad TP10 tillerpilot. It worked pretty hard.

    Like Duncan I used a head torch with a red and white LED to protect night vision.

    If, and i mean if, I do JAC 12, I will stick with the same kit but with the addtion of a servo blade driven by the tiller pilot. This should significantly reduce consmption. I've got the servo blade (thanks Stan!) Hopefully I will get time to fit it this winter for testing in '11.

    Rules are for the guidance of wise men, and the obedience of fools.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Hello !
    And you what do you take for charge your battery ?
    For the JAC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Hello all,
    Finally, I chose a solar panel of 50 W directional.
    3 battery 70 AH.


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