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Ray Cullum
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection

I am considering adding a electric windlass to my boat and I would like some
opinions on the best way to connect to the electrical system.

The windlass will be approximately 40 feet from my house battery bank which is
700amps. It has been suggested to me to place a small battery up close to the
windlass so you don't have to run heavy battery cable such a distance and
sustain the power loss. Small cable could be run to the battery strictly for
recharging.

Thanks for the help.

Ray Cullum
S/V FROLIC
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Dick Locke
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection

On 27 Jul 2004 15:50:00 GMT, (Ray Cullum) wrote:

I am considering adding a electric windlass to my boat and I would like some
opinions on the best way to connect to the electrical system.

The windlass will be approximately 40 feet from my house battery bank which is
700amps. It has been suggested to me to place a small battery up close to the
windlass so you don't have to run heavy battery cable such a distance and
sustain the power loss. Small cable could be run to the battery strictly for
recharging.

Thanks for the help.

Ray Cullum
S/V FROLIC


Two For What it's Worth items:

West Marine in their Advisor pages in the catalog suggests not doing
this on the grounds that the proper cabling for full charger output or
full alternator output is almost as big as the proper cabling for the
winches. Remember most people have their engine running when raising
anchor. For a small savings in cable cost you lose storage space and
add weight in the bow.

Second, the boat I bought is wired this way and the forward battery is
connected through disconnect switches to both the windlass and a bow
thruster. It also has the capability to utilize the forward battery (I
think it's a 4D but I haven't opened the box yet) as a house battery.
It works fine but when time comes for battery replacement I'll examine
rewiring the cables that run forward ( think they are about size 0 or
2) and getting the battery out of the bow.

  #4   Report Post  
rhys
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection

On 27 Jul 2004 15:50:00 GMT, (Ray Cullum) wrote:

It has been suggested to me to place a small battery up close to the
windlass so you don't have to run heavy battery cable such a distance and
sustain the power loss.


The expense of the properly sized cable is daunting as well. I don't
have an electrical windlass, but everything I've heard seems to prefer
the dedicated battery, close to the windlass method. Ideally, it would
be sized for the application (i.e. 10 minutes of intense output, not
so often).

Small cable could be run to the battery strictly for
recharging.


I suppose that would work, or you could trickle charge it from solar
or wind directly. If you put switches and isolators in the circuit,
you can have a scenario where you have one "cranking" battery for the
engine, two "house" batteries for refrig., nav stuff, lights, etc.,
and one "windlass" battery. They could all be charged off a decent
sized charger when on shore power, but the alternator would primarily
charge the cranking battery, then the house batteries, then the
windlass battery. A combiner could reroute power where needed if a
battery fails or is otherwise compromised.

It sounds complex, and perhaps space would be an issue under 40 feet,
but it's workable.

Another way I am exploring to keep the wire runs shorter is to
relocate the charger and batteries under the port settee by the
mast....including the electrical panel.

Benefits: Short runs and easy access via head to terminal block for
mast wiring.

Ease of access in the most spacious part of the boat.

Gets wiring away from the companionway and opens up the nav station
there.

Gets batteries away from engine heat/spark.

Longest runs (to stern and bow nav lights) are 1/2 the boat length.
Mast nav light runs are reduced.

Downside: House battery run to engine starter is longer. Solution:
dedicated single cranking battery charged mainly by alternator.

Hope this helps...mainly me thinking aloud.

R.
  #5   Report Post  
Gordon Wedman
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection

I think there are more disadvantages to this system than advantages.

The disadvantages a
-another battery to purchase/maintain/eventually replace
-locating a battery forward in an area possibly not well designed for
batteries
-you now have two sets of wiring to route and maintain: battery to windlass
and charging system to battery
-devising a method of keeping the battery charged but not
overcharged/interfere with charging other batteries
-lower total power to the windlass than from a big house bank

The advantage would seem to be saving money on heavy cable and not having to
route this cable through the boat.
I just purchased 2/0 tinned battery cable from Hardware Specialties in
Seattle for $1.69 per foot. I don't consider this to be that big a cost. I
could have bought 2/0 welding cable for $1.04 per foot if I really wanted to
save money. I prefer going with the cable as once its installed the work is
over. No batteries to maintain and I get full power from my house bank.

"Ray Cullum" wrote in message
...
I am considering adding a electric windlass to my boat and I would like

some
opinions on the best way to connect to the electrical system.

The windlass will be approximately 40 feet from my house battery bank

which is
700amps. It has been suggested to me to place a small battery up close to

the
windlass so you don't have to run heavy battery cable such a distance and
sustain the power loss. Small cable could be run to the battery strictly

for
recharging.

Thanks for the help.

Ray Cullum
S/V FROLIC





  #6   Report Post  
Jeff Morris
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection


"Gene Kearns" wrote in message
...

A run of 80 feet is going to be some truly huge cable.


No it isn't, for an 80 Amp load and 80 foot run "2" gauge is only 10% loss.

You
could go up to "0" gauge and still be only 35 pounds. And this is weight
distributing across the length, not just in the bow.


It is kinda hard to respond with any sort of specificity, since the
poster never mentioned the ampacity required for the windlass. Thus,
I don't know how you came to the conclusion that you arrived at.....


With the exception of the bigger Maxwell windlasses, the current is 85 Amps or
under for the windlasses in the West catalog. The 1/0 AWG is good to 130 Amps,
though you could go to 2/0 for another 10 pounds (and $50). Of course, if you
had a large windlass, you probably don't want a minimal battery, so everything
gets scaled up.


For example, S-L specifies for 12V:

6 AWG for 80' for the Sprint 600.......... $1.89/ft
1/0 AWG for 89' for the Sprint 1000.... $5.99/ft
2 AWG for 89' for the Sprint 1500....... $2.89/ft
1/0 AWG for 89' for the Sprint 3000.... $5.99/ft


West Marine is the last place to go for bulk wire. You can get a 100 foot spool
of 1/0 for less than $200.
http://bestboatwire.com/catalog/default.php?cPath=24_48

Although more than a battery, you don't have to replace it periodically, you
don't have to mount it, or think about combiners, etc. The fittings and breaker
for the main cable are essentially the same either way, so the battery just adds
more stuff.


Prices per West Marine retail.

10 AWG feeder.....................................$.69/ft


You might want to think about the voltage drop on a battery charging wire -
giving up 10% would mean that the battery is chronically under charged. That
10 AWG is only good for a trickle charge. You'd end up running 8 AWG, or maybe
even 6, and you still don't have enough wire capacity to run the windlass if the
forward battery is dead, though hopefully you could put some charge on it in 15
minutes.





  #7   Report Post  
Ray Cullum
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection

Sorry about not including the Windlass Amps. It is 125 underload.
  #8   Report Post  
Doug Dotson
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection

The concept is that that windlass battery is used so seldom that you can
trickle charge it. Personally, I installed the heavy cable and generally
only run the windlass when the engine is running. An extra battery,
extra charger, etc seems more trouble than it is worth.

Doug
s/v Callista

ps. When did the word "ampacity" enter the alphabet?

"Dick Locke" wrote in message
...
On 27 Jul 2004 15:50:00 GMT, (Ray Cullum) wrote:

I am considering adding a electric windlass to my boat and I would like

some
opinions on the best way to connect to the electrical system.

The windlass will be approximately 40 feet from my house battery bank

which is
700amps. It has been suggested to me to place a small battery up close

to the
windlass so you don't have to run heavy battery cable such a distance and
sustain the power loss. Small cable could be run to the battery strictly

for
recharging.

Thanks for the help.

Ray Cullum
S/V FROLIC


Two For What it's Worth items:

West Marine in their Advisor pages in the catalog suggests not doing
this on the grounds that the proper cabling for full charger output or
full alternator output is almost as big as the proper cabling for the
winches. Remember most people have their engine running when raising
anchor. For a small savings in cable cost you lose storage space and
add weight in the bow.

Second, the boat I bought is wired this way and the forward battery is
connected through disconnect switches to both the windlass and a bow
thruster. It also has the capability to utilize the forward battery (I
think it's a 4D but I haven't opened the box yet) as a house battery.
It works fine but when time comes for battery replacement I'll examine
rewiring the cables that run forward ( think they are about size 0 or
2) and getting the battery out of the bow.



  #9   Report Post  
Doug Dotson
 
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Default Windlass Electrical Connection

That was kinda my point (poorly made). If you approach the gage
necessary to do a good job charging the "forward" battery properly,
you are dangerously close to putting in cable appropriate to running
the windlass. A trickle charge *forces* you to use the battery almost
exclusively.


That is the theory of the forward battery. It is trickle charged and is
used exclusively to run the windlass with no fallback. That is why
just taking the plunge and laying in the heavy wire is the better solution
in many instances. If one is going to go to the trouble of installing a
windlass then wiring it properly is part of the project.

Doug
s/v Callista


  #10   Report Post  
Dick Locke
 
Posts: n/a
Default Windlass Electrical Connection

On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 17:36:58 -0400, "Doug Dotson"
wrote:

The concept is that that windlass battery is used so seldom that you can
trickle charge it. Personally, I installed the heavy cable and generally
only run the windlass when the engine is running. An extra battery,
extra charger, etc seems more trouble than it is worth.


OK, I see. Doesn't seem very reliable to me...solar/wind depends on
good weather, AC-DC charger requires an inverter or being on shore
power, and I'm not sure there's a DC-DC trickle charger.

Doug
s/v Callista

ps. When did the word "ampacity" enter the alphabet?


It's not in my vocabulary either, check the person who used it ;-)


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