Best setup for a small boat

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Best setup for a small boat

Postby KymarSubsea » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:08 pm

Hey Guys,
I am going to set up my boat for use with the VideoRay and am looking for advice on the best setup. It is a small boat (21ft) and I am thinking of adding the following stuff. Recommendations on specific items as well as general feedback is appreciated.

1. Add and Aux deep cycle battery. Not sure what capacity I should be looking for though. I dont want to run the engines while I am working so it needs to be large enough for a few hours use and I dont want to go much below 1/2 capacity.
2. Battery charger / solenoid/ isolation device. I am thinking about just getting one of the rotary switches that they sell at west marine and attaching it to the charge terminal for the starting battery. I only want to run the VideoRay and accessories off of the large battery, but it would be nice to be able to start the boat with it in am emergency.
3. Inverter. Recommendations on size and brand are appreciated.

Anything I am forgetting? Once I get this set up anyone who wants to head out to San Diego and take it for a spin is welcome :)
Thanks for the help guys.
~Pete
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby ncuwi » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:02 pm

I rigged boats (amongst other jobs) in San Diego, so I know your neighborhood pretty well. I'll be interested to hear other opinions but here's my 2 cents:

1. Batteries - Depends on your budget. If you're on a limited budget, then go for golf cart deep cycle batteries. Interstate Batteries in San Diego sells good quality deep cycles for a reasonable price. If you can afford it, then go with gel cells. Oh, by the way, NEVER drain your batteries below 50% of charge. That'll shorten their lives big time. Incidentally, you cannot have too large a battery bank. Ideally, you don't want to drain the batteries more than 20-30% per day if you want to use it on a regular basis.

2. Charging system - If you plan on using this system regularly (ie. daily), then go for a 3 stage charging system and a matching alternator. You can save some $$ by having an automotive alternator re-wound for a 3 stage charger. Do some homework on the subject if you want to save some $$ otherwise, use what the charging manufacturer recommends. There was a guy in town that did this for me but for the life of me I can't remember the name of the shop.

I personally like using an A - B - Both switch like you suggested, simple, easy and cheap. But you'll need to be careful not to leave it on "OFF" while charging as you'll blow out your alternator.

3. Inverter - I believe I read that the minimum inverter required is 500W but I think most guys are using 750 to 1000 watts. Harbor Freight sells inverters for cheap, but make sure you test them before taking it to sea. Some generate a lot of EMI which might interfere with your ROV.
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby Chief » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:28 am

Pete,

Is it an outboard or I/O system? If it's an I/O system and you get your alternator re-wound like Paul suggests, make sure it can not produce a spark accidently (It must be intrinsically safe) :(

One of the three way battery switches is an easy and sure fire way to go. Gel cells are nice and require a lot less maintenance (there is no such thing as maintenance free battery in a boat...) but they are more expensive. I would go with the largest capacity you can fit into the space you've allocated for it.

I had a Black & Decker 800W inverter that lasted almost 3 years (it was dropped in the ocean by accident). I bought it at Walmart for about $60. I was able to buy almost an exact replacement for just under $50 at Walmart a little while ago.

I think your biggest concerns are going to be location of the ICB and Tether Deployment System. Getting those set up for ease of operations will make a huge difference.

Give me a call when you get it set up and I'll see if I can't find a reason for coming down there...

Chief
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby KymarSubsea » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:51 am

Thanks for the advice guys.
The boat is a twin engine Yamaha jet boat. It actually has 2 135hp jet ski engines in it. Probably not the ideal boat for ROV ops but it is what I have :)
I am going to pick up a big Gel Cell from PowerSonic (I can get it a wholesale) and go with the Walmart inverter. My only concern is the charger. I dont know that I can change the alternator on the engines and I cant run them during operations anyway because they push the boat a bit when on (no neutral on the motor) and i dont want to suck the tether up in the jet. I am thinking about just getting a 120v AC charger with the battery and making myself a portable setup that I could put in the boat when I need it. Charge it up at the house, have the inverter and battery all in one box and just move the box to where I need it. It will be a bit heavy but should be handy I think.
What does everyone think of that?
~Pete
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San Diego, CA
www.kymarsubsea.com
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby ncuwi » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:56 am

Sure, you can use a shore-side charger instead. Just be sure to look for a 3-stage charger that's rated for the size battery bank you plan on having. Your batteries will last longer if you remember to never let them run below 50% charge (even better would be not to ever let them run down more than 30%) and use a 3 stage charger to bring them back up and maintain them.
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby KymarSubsea » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:41 pm

Sweet!
I am going to put some specs together and post them up for you guys to take a look at before I buy anything.
~Pete
Pete Weber
Kymar Subsea
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby ncuwi » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:44 pm

West Marine's website has some good info on this topic:
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/st ... arging.htm
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby tom_glebas » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:42 pm

With all this talk about batteries and inverters, I'm surprised no one has mentioned a small generator as an alternative. The Honda eu1000i is small, quiet and runs a long time on a tank of gas. We've used one often on boats of the size mentioned at the head of this thread, and even smaller. It's probably as light or lighter than a deep cycle battery, but it probably costs more.

Tom
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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby Chief » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:13 am

So Pete,

What'd you decide on and have you rigged up your boat yet???

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Re: Best setup for a small boat

Postby tom_glebas » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:25 pm

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