Category: Electrical & Engines

5

Helm ergonomics part one: Junior’s makeover

This spring and summer I redid all three of my boat helms — Junior’s above, plus the flybridge and pilothouse stations on Gizmo. So I’ve been thinking a lot about what electronics I need and/or want in those different locations and how to arrange them just so for maximum utility. And I’m eager to share my thoughts and photos in this Part One of a three-part series. But first…

9

Discovering new problems on my old boat, undersized wires edition

Have Another Day is a 2003 Carver Voyager 570 that I’ve owned for about six and a half years. I’ve probably taken apart more of this boat than most owners would, but yet — on a surprisingly regular basis — I still discover new things about her. Most recently I found some potentially dangerous undersized wiring in the gray water sump for the shower.

8

A guide to understanding boat batteries part 1, lead-acid

Earlier this year, unfortunately, we roasted the 1,855 amp hour battery bank needed to achieve electrical nirvana on our 40-foot trawler Bliss. And that meant a painfully expensive and unbudgeted replacement, plus a period of no lights, no engine, and no electric toilet. So having recently suffered through the battery selection process, I’d like to share in depth what I know about the multitude of deep cycle high-performance battery choices…

5

Veratron Debuts NMEA 2000 Intelligent Battery Monitor

Batteries are essential for engine starting and operating onboard utilities. With Veratron’s new Intelligent Battery Sensor (IBS), it’s simple to monitor their status and health in real-time. The system works with any OceanLink, AcquaLink or NMEA 2000-networked display, and is compatible with the latest glass cockpit systems.

16

Victron SmartShunt: easy install, networked, all-in-one battery monitor

I’ve found Victron’s BMV battery monitors to be simple, reliable, and easy to understand. Now, the new SmartShunt combines the BMV’s shunt and electronics into a single unit barely larger than the regular shunt with Bluetooth and Victron’s VE.Direct networking built-in. In my testing, the SmartShunt works just like a BMV. And I don’t miss the little gauge display because there are so many other ways to see and use SmartShunt battery data, suitable to boats large and small (and RVs).

21

How Wakespeed’s WS500 alternator regulator solves complex charging issues, now with NMEA 2000 UPDATE

It’s hard to imagine getting excited over a mundane appliance such as an alternator regulator, but there is a lot to like about Wakespeed’s WS500 device. For me, the primary reason is that this regulator has addressed a gnarly charging problem on Bliss, our 40’ pilothouse trawler. It may help with yours. Let me explain…

11

AC Energy Monitoring with Emporia Energy

Have Another Day seems to consume nearly unlimited electricity. So much in fact that I began to doubt the accuracy of the simple kilowatt hour meters on the shore power pedestal at my marina. Month after month of $300 plus electrical bills will do that to you. Spot checking the power consumption with a clamp meter seemed to agree with the meter on the pedestal, but I wanted to know more which sent me searching for a tool to help me understand my boat’s electrical usage. It took me some time, but I eventually found a cost effective and easy solution.

9

The future of outboard steering? Dometic Optimus All-Electric Steering system

Dometic’s Optimus All-Electric Steering represents a major change to a critical system onboard the highest volume sector of boating and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call it the future of outboard steering. I’ve now tested Dometic’s steering and my enthusiasm for the system has only grown. It has delivered on the promise of simple installation and operation while allowing precise control without hydraulics. Be warned, all this excellence comes at a higher price but probably not forever.

3

ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus 3HP Electric Outboard Now Available in the U.S.

ePropulsion, the global leader in marine electric propulsion systems and services, announced today the Spirit 1.0 Plus electric outboard motor is now available in the United States from its national distributors Mack Boring (East Coast) and Four Seas (West Coast). The innovative Spirit 1.0 Plus system provides lightweight, efficient, simple-to-use, quiet propulsion that is vibration, emission and exhaust free. Providing enough power to easily match a 3-hp four-stroke gasoline outboard motor…