Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flying Batteries

Journeyman has two batteries, a big "house" battery (pictured here) and a smaller starting battery, located under the sole just aft of the house battery, in the same space. The main switch allows me to choose between batteries, or to run them in parallel, or to turn the electrical system off, in which case only the bilge pump circuit remains energized.

I can hardly imagine the calamity that could allow my batteries to fall out of their space, but good practice requires that batteries be secured, so I put a piece of maple across the opening, held by a screw at each end. Does the job.

The Coast Guard requires fishing boats to have batteries in two locations. Typically the main bank is low in the boat and the other, which may be a single battery, is in the wheelhouse. The idea, of course, is to allow the radio to function even if the boat has taken on water. I don't have that set up on Journeyman, but I do carry a handheld, waterproof VHF.

If I were crossing the Atlantic I might set up a separate bank, but perhaps I would instead change over to Absorbed Glass Mat  (AGM) batteries, which it is claimed will provide power even if submerged.

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