DC Electrical

Originally the boats were all 32V DC, with a converter for some 12V stuff like engine gauges, radios etc. In the boating world 32V lost to 12/24/48. Kinda like the Betamax and VHS thing. Many people convert to 24VDC. Mine is still in pretty darn good shape though. So there’s lighting, Galleymaid head pumps, water pump and a few more things. 8 humongo 8V batteries, 4 in series each side. SB is start only, port is also house bank. Two 32V alternators, starters on the engines and a big charger.

But the bow thruster that the PO installed was new and 24V. So they installed a 24V bank with charger.

And then there was the 12V side. PO also installed a Garmin Nav suite with radar/autopilot and a new AIS VHF. All this is 12V of course. So there were new breakers, switches and another 12V battery. For reasons I’ll never understand they left the old technology Guest charger in place. The thing emitted a LOUD 60HZ buzz which was the reason I wanted it out. But, when I took it out three (!!!) hard wired CO alarms and the Nav systems started screaming that their voltage was low. In fact it was at 9.7VDC. So the battery was in fact not charging and the charger was carrying the entire 12VDC load directly. Not a good thing, for as of now there is no inverter and no alternator(s) other than the 32V ones, so the generator HAS to run to keep the avionics battery charged and the battery would give an X hour reserve, except in my case. Closer inspection of the group 31 battery revealed that it was not, as I originally thought, sealed. There were in fact 6 caps, it’s just that they were flush with the top. It took .6 gallons of distilled water. Fortunately it didn’t appear dead dead as after 16 or so hours the charger did go to float charge.

The old beast… (Now relegated to 12VDC power supply in the shop):

New charger with new GFI outlet. Yes needs a cover. On order.

Cables coiled up, but they had 4 nice inline fuse holders in them and shortening the other end would mean opening the thing up. Also not pretty. They are hiding under the air tank quite nicely.


While I was down there tending to the 12V battery I checked the 8VDC ones, and found they were sitting in an inch plus of liquid which turned out to be battery fluid. Fortunately they are in large FRP boxes so the damage was contained. Still it took a few hard hours to clean it up. Slowly mopping it out with paper towels and a set of kitchen tongs, which didn’t look too good afterwards. They just don’t plate things the way they used to…… Access to these is a PITA, especially the SB aft box. Pass the vitamin I. But I got it cleaned up. Checked the levels and found them to be well above the plates. There was a watering bottle down there and I suspect someone over filled them. The 32VDC charger appears to be cycling normally and not putting much more than 8-10 amps in there. Monitoring the situation…..