Need help: DC power needs for my boat

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by bearfrog1, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. bearfrog1

    bearfrog1 New Member

    Messages:
    268
    State:
    Mount Pleasant,
    Hello all.
    I have a question that I need some input from, in regards to DC power needs for my boat. Before I begin, I'll describe what I have and how I like to night fish ect. For Smokin99 and Sunbird, they already know my
    setup and have given me some good ideas for my boat on our last trip out back in November.

    My current boat setup which is about to change:
    I have a 25ft Crest pontoon boat with a 115 Honda 4 stroke. I have a dual battery setup on a switch that is set to "Both" at all times. I also have a separate battery up under the console, not connected to the others for the bait tank and a few lights which I'll describe below. One battery on the dual switch is a cranking battery and the other is a deep cycle. The third battery up front is also a deep cycle. The two batterys are connected to the motor for cranking / recharging. The third is a standalone with no recharging at the moment.

    My nighttime fishing style:
    When I night fish, I like to have my boat lit up where a helicopter could land on it, or our US sattelites could see me eating Bojangles chicken from outerspace. My lights are all DC lights connected to batterys. I have fished with Rivercatsc and Sunbird and they prefer pitts dark Stealth style with glow sticks attached to each rod tip. One of my other friends has a gas generator that he uses on his boat to power 2 AC 125W lights and a Sodium Vapor light as well. Though his idea does put off alot of lights, I think the generator idea is too loud and scares the fish (My opinion) though it does keep the bugs away with it's exhaust.

    The power consumption I've measured while night fishing is as follows:
    2- 12Volt 100Watt DC lights (~17Amps)
    1- 3 foot Green submersible light (~1.5 - 2Amps)
    Lowarnce LCX 17M FishFinder with GPS (Not sure of current draw)
    Navigation lights (Not sure of current draw)
    Bait Tank (2 Amps)
    Total estimated draw ~22 Amps
    I turn off both my marine radio and music radio to save power. I do however turn on my headlights while in motion but the motor is charging, so I'm not counting those.

    My idea:
    I am in the process of running some 6 gauge wire up from the battery storage area in the back to under my console to link all my batterys in parallel so they will all charge / discharge together.
    I will still keep one of my deep cycle batterys since it is new. It is a Exide Nautilus deep cycle 12V 100AH. I plan to replace the cranking battery and remove or replace the other deep cycle. That deep cycle battery barely holds a charge these days. It is over 4 years old. I'm not sure the age of the cranking so its gotta go too.
    Sunbird gave me some ideas on some interior LED lights or "Gigalo lights" as it was put too, but I'm still undecided there.
    Been looking online at prices and comparing AH ratings ect AGM versus standard you name it. Found a website that seems the best as far as price and selection goes. www.batterystuff.com Found MK brand AGM
    200AH deep cycle batterys there for like $436.

    Question for the brothers:
    Obviously my batterys are near dead by morning and the bait tank noise is proof in the pudding there. I want to go all out but $$$ is always a factor. Should I go for 2 - 200AH AGM batterys for the back with the existing one
    up front? Should I go for one instead? How about less AH batterys 1 or 2? Or what do you think or what would you suggest?
    I know this has been longwinded and if you have read it all to here, you've got my sympathy. I just think something needs to change and you guys have great ideas so lay it on me...
    Thanks,
    Jonathan
    bearfrog1@yahoo.com
     
  2. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    They are "Pimp Lights" not gigalo lights.:confused2:

    I will wire your boat up just right...................in trade for that there Honda motor ya got?:eek:oooh: See here.....that there motor is all your problem. It sucks up all your power and battery charge. I could hook ya right up!

    Pimp Lights and all!:cool2:
     

  3. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I would take all of them lights sell them and buy some glowsticks.:big_smile:
     
  4. bearfrog1

    bearfrog1 New Member

    Messages:
    268
    State:
    Mount Pleasant,
    For some reason I expected that one from you or Sunbird. I may come around someday but I still like my lighting system for now.
    Thanks,
    Jonathan
     
  5. bearfrog1

    bearfrog1 New Member

    Messages:
    268
    State:
    Mount Pleasant,
    I've got a few ideas in mind but was hoping for some more ideas from the SC bunch here.
    I'm rethinking this some more along the lines of power conservation and 2 new medium sized / priced batterys........
     
  6. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    My take on the whole deal, Jonathon. AGM batteries are good, but you can buy standard trolling batteries for a whole lot less, and with good maintenance and maybe a little luck, 4-5 years or more of service life. An on board charger will help extend the life of them. Some info on selecting batteries can also be found at http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wc...1/-1/10001/SelectingaMarineStorageBattery.htm

    Linking your batteries in parallel for charging, without some sort of control device, may not be a good option, due to individual requirements for each battery. If you are going to use two batteries for power, they should supply enough power for a night of fishing. The alternator on your outboard may not have enough output to charge them and the starting battery, although you can set up a system for charging on the run;
    http://www.in-fisherman.com/magazine/articles/IF2704_rigging_recharge_1/index.html

    There is a lot of good information, including videos, on a lot of things at the West Marine site: http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wc...tView?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001

    Hope everything works out well for you. :big_smile:
     
  7. cattastrophe

    cattastrophe New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    South Carolina
    Jonathan, I like to be bright when i fish at night also.I had the 2 ft black lights on both sides of my pontoon before with neon line on my reels and at night it looked like a disco out there,but it kept the bugs away,with 1 trolling batery.But now I have an energy smart 60w that pulls only 13w in a regular squeese clamp lamp on a 14 ft pool skimer pole with a 12volt inverter,it last all night on 1 trolling battery also.With that light it's like you are under a street light. Both I like very much.
     
  8. bearfrog1

    bearfrog1 New Member

    Messages:
    268
    State:
    Mount Pleasant,
    I too have the pool skimmer idea with a socket in the end for light bulbs. Only difference is mine is connected to DC 12V lightbulb instead of AC. I do like your idea of an inverter to be able to run an efficient AC flourescent bulb. (I may steal that idea...)
    Thanks for the reply and I'll continue to keep getting ideas and mulling them over.
    Thanks,
    Jonathan
     
  9. billfish76

    billfish76 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    State:
    Rock Hill, SC
    In my opinion, The idea for a onboard charger like a 2 or 3 bank is the way to go. If you link batteries together and charge them off the same source(alternator, charger) they will only charge to the full point of the weaker battery. In your case the deep cycle which takes more to charge wont reach a full charge, or if it does then youll probally cook the starting battery in the process(depending on the charger used). If using a 2 or 3 bank charger its like having 2 or 3 chargers in one so the kind of battery doesnt matter. You can do more damage to the motors charging system that the cost of a battery and charger if your not careful.

    Hope this helps
     
  10. bearfrog1

    bearfrog1 New Member

    Messages:
    268
    State:
    Mount Pleasant,
    So what would you suggest? Battery types, charger ect. Give me model #'s if possible. I'm thinking heavy what to do and the boat is coming out of the shop in 2 weeks so I'm gonna want to hit the ground running...
    Thanks,
    Jonathan
     
  11. billfish76

    billfish76 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    State:
    Rock Hill, SC
    On my boat I have a regular marine starting battery for the motor, 2 deepcycle marine batteries for the trolling motor (24v). I have a minnkota 3 bank charger that charges all 3 batteries when Im at home. When I fish at night I mostly anchor so I use my trolling motor batteries to power my lights using lighter plugs. During tournaments I do put another battery on the boat in a poratble box that has terminals on it to run my live well also a deep cycle that I charge with a regular charger after I use it.
     
  12. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    I run a total of three batteries on my boat; tow marine batteries and a cranking battery. One marine battery powers all the electronics, boat lights, bilge, etc. and another marine battery powers the trolling motor, bait tank, and overhead lights at night. I run a totally separate cranking battery that ONLY starts the motor.

    Personally, I like the comfort and security of three batteries to meet all my electronic needs while on the water.

    Cary and I use a fluorescent light that is attached to a painters pole and we extend it up in the air above the boat once anchored. It lights the ENTIRE boat, and the rods, and takes very little energy. It is a good lighting option.

    Marine batteries are $61.00 at Wal-Mart; I bought one yesterday. Be sure to bring in your old battery so you are not charged the $9.00 core fee. The last Wal-Mart battery gave me 2 1/2 years of service fishing 80-90 days a year. So, between the two of them, thats a cost of less than a .75 cents a day for power. Not bad if you ask me.

    One day, if the economy gets good again, I want a 1000 watt Honda generator so I can totally MAC DADDY PIMP my boat out with some 400 watt halogen lights for crappie, pech, and striper fishing at night!!!
     
  13. bearfrog1

    bearfrog1 New Member

    Messages:
    268
    State:
    Mount Pleasant,
    OK. Here is an update. I thank you all for your ideas.
    I have ordered and received a Dc to AC inverter from West Marine. They had their's onsale for $19.99 instead of the normal $39.99. Had to get one. I got it at home today and began my mad scientist experiments haha.
    I cut the cigarette lighter adapter off of it and put alligator clips on it instead. I got my pool skimmer light pole and rewired it for AC now instead of DC using an old computer power plug I had and put a 20Watt AC flourescent bulb on it (75watt equivalant light output). I had my 7 year old help me with my meter and I hooked up my new setup and checked the new Amp reading, 2 Amps. MUCH BETTER THAN MY OLD DC 8.5AMPS OUTPUT!!!

    I also bought a battery isolator and I plan to isolate my new batterys when I get them so they don't discharge one another against the weakest. I may need help with the wiring when it comes in but who knows...
    By doing all this, I may have a better setup with power to spare by morning on my future night trips.
    Thanks again all!!!
    Jonathan