Running power to your boat is a big task but we are fully prepared to help you find the best electrical solution for your boat. Our team of experienced fitters and sales specialists can work with you to put together a great system that suits your needs, meets regulation, and works smoothly.
A marine generator will generally run on diesel or petrol, though the main difference between a marine generator and a regular generator is the marine generator’s ability to withstand the salt and water battering typical of life aboard a boat. The team at marine electrics can help you choose the right generator for your boat.
You can use solar panels to power any size of boat. When it comes to smaller boats the main use for solar panels is primarily to keep the battery fully charged, and potentially run some smaller appliances. Their use on larger boats can help reduce or eliminate the need to run the engine for extra power. Depending on the size of your boat and your electrical needs you can run your boat on as little as one 100 watt solar panel. The first step in setting your boat up to work on solar power is calculating your electrical load. Come in or call to talk to us about how to calculate your boat’s electrical load for solar conversion, to upgrade your system, or just to learn more about solar options for boats.
Working with electricals in wet conditions always requires some extra features, which is why marine electrical components such as alternators are specially equipped to deal with the conditions onboard. Maintaining these components is particularly important and we can help you make sure that your boats electricals are safe and meet required standards.
Wind power generation has always been of interest in the boating world, and modern wind turbines can be fitted to boats and provide impressive wattage for their size. Wind generators provide the same kind of power output as other generators whether solar or traditionally fuelled, and just like those other kinds of generator they require special maintenance. Talk to us today about maintaining or adding wind generators to your boat set up.
Power conversion is a vital part of your electrical system. AC power is converted from DC by inverters, so you can use ‘household’ voltage appliances on board whether this is a TV or other mod cons. DC power is converted from AC by battery chargers that connect your boats battery system to AC shore power.
If you don’t want to install a generator – and have enough battery power to do so – you have the option of running an inverter to take the DC power of your boat battery and convert it into AC so that you can run ‘household’ voltage electricals onboard without being hooked up to shore power. We have a range of inverters and the expertise to be able to advise you on which inverter to choose for your boat.
We get a lot of people asking ‘Do Marine Batteries Need a Special Charger?’ The answer is no, but they do need the right charger – just like any battery. You will need to make sure that the charger matches the voltage and chemistry. As with most marine specialist items, those chargers that are designed specifically for boats take into consideration the water factor whereas most regular battery chargers are more vulnerable to water damage than marine ones. Whether you’re looking for marine battery charging advice, upkeep, or upgrades – we can help.
Having an isolation transformer on your boat can help to prevent electric shock drowning, protect the underwater metal fixtures your boat has, and avoid reverse polarity when connecting to shore power. For safety an isolation transformer is needed for your boat. the transformer is responsible for electrically disconnecting your boat from shore power. You install it on board the boat between the inlet for shore power and your boats main AC distribution panel. Through the principles of magnetic induction, it insulates the boats power from shore power. If you need to upgrade, replace, or work out what transformer set up you need, get in touch today and we can help you out.
Talk to us about your battery solution today.
There are three different chemical types of lead-acid marine batteries to choose between for your boat – and each have different benefits. Wet cell (flooded), gel cell, and absorbed glass mat (AGM).
Wet Cell Marine Batteries
Wet cell or ‘flooded’ lead-acid batteries are common due to their low cost and ability to withstand over charging. However, they do require maintenance and inspection, don’t handle vibrations well, and are prone to self-discharge quicker than is ideal.
What is an AGM Battery? AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat and is an advanced type of lead acid battery. It’s sealed, spill-free, and maintenance-free. This type of battery rose to popularity in the 1980’s and found a home powering motorbikes, aircraft, and even submarines. Today, though, they are often found in regular vehicles. They are so popular largely thanks to the fact that they are a maintenance free alternative to traditional lead-acid batteries. A great choice for marine deep cycle batteries, they hold their charge well and respond well to trickle charging. They are a little pricier than wet cells, but usually cheaper than gel cells.
The next price bracket is the gel cell. These are maintenance free, spill proof, and leak proof but are sensitive to overcharging. They are a great choice if the housing is exposed to extreme temperatures.
Lithium-ion marine batteries are generally considered to perform better and longer than lead-acid batteries. They tend to be lighter and take up less space which is always a bonus on a boat. Lithium batteries can also provide a higher percentage of their nominal capacity, but this doesn’t affect the battery’s life span. In fact, many lithium-ion battery brands claim their batteries last for somewhere around 3000 to 5000 life cycles as opposed to between 200 and 300 life cycles that most other types of battery are good for. They are, however, more expensive due to a range of costs including the price of lithium itself.
House/Deep Cycle Batteries
Deep cycle or house batteries are designed to operate for longer periods of time and provide fewer amperes, they’re primarily used to run the components on board and be recharged slowly. Many ‘pure’ deep cycle batteries should not be discharged below a certain point – typically around 60%.
Start Batteries AKA Starter Batteries or Starting Batteries
Start batteries provide a huge jolt of amps to the system and are used to start engines, they discharge and recharge quickly.