A busy day today

I’m off to the boat show today, so no time to do the blog. I’ll be at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle all day, then tomorrow (Friday) on a plane all day (going to Cabo!) — so, no blog update until Saturday.

I did receive one piece of good news today. I passed the Marine Electric Certification! I also received the study materials in the mail for three other ABYC courses which I’ll start studying.

The only boat related issue today was trying to make a decision on batteries. I’m receiving advice to pull out my AGM batteries and replace them with Lead-Acid batteries from http://www.dynobattery.com/ . I know that this would be a step backwards, but I’m aggressively trying to simplify the boat. Currently, I crammed too much stuff into my lazarette, and some things, in particular the batteries, are wedged in so tight I can’t maintain them. I’ve challenged the technicians on my boat to give me ideas for dramatically opening up space in the lazarette. I currently have 1530 amp hours, at 24v. By making the change, I can keep the same number of amp hours, but fit in half the space, and have the battery terminals where I can easily get at them. It’s not that the lead-acid batteries are more efficient, the space savings will come from having the batteries custom made for my boat. They will be sized to perfectly fit the space available, with no waste. A tough decision.

I have a few things to check out at the boat show tomorrow:

– Mini V-Sat (which I’m probably installing for my primary internet)
– Iridium Openport (which I’m probably installing as the backup to the V-sat unit)
– Navnet 3d (which I’m thinking about upgrading to)
– And more!

I’ll post anything interesting I see in Saturday’s blog.

-Ken W

6 Responses

  1. Furuno used to offer their own map chips as an alternative to C-Map. Perhaps in their home waters they offer their own chips, albeit in Japanese. If Navnet 3 is used in Japan, they’ll have the cartography. If you do decide to go with lead-acid batteries, be sure and get the platinum catalyst caps which will drastically reduce the requirement for adding distilled water.

    However, there are denser AGMs available which have a smaller footprint. One name, I think, is Energy 1. I think that these were British aircraft batteries whose patent was sold to another company. The East Coast distributors are in Norfolk.

  2. Ken – Aside from the performance and maintenance issues relating to AGM vs. wet cells, be sure to consider the implications of taking custom made (custom-fitted) batteries on a long, round-the-world journey.

    If you need to replace one or more batteries at some distant (perhaps remote) location (and rest assured that you will), will you be able to fit standard-sized, off-the-shelf 8D replacement batteries into the space left by your custom-fitted original batteries?

  3. Ken,

    I strongly advise you against wet batteries. I had an early N46 with no stabilization and after some good rolls in weather I would end up with only half the acid I needed in the batteries, in spite of “tight seals” on the cells.

    Emory A.

  4. Noel: Good question. The rumor I’ve heard is that Navnet 3 is weak on charts. I’ll be much smarter on this after tomorrow, but my current understanding is that Furuno (makers of Navnet) used to use C-Map charts, but that C-Map was acquired by Jeppeson (makers of Nobeltec). Allegedly, Navnet 3 does not include C-Map charts and is weak on charts.

    As long as the charts on Navnet 3 are decent, I’ll be fine. I consider Navnet 3 as the backup for Nobeltec. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I completely lose Nobeltec – thus, it’s not critical that the charts be “perfect” in Navnet 3.

    And, of course… I’ll also have paper charts as the ultimate backup.

    Thank you for the comments on the blog!

    -Ken W

  5. Hi Ken. I had the boys at Furuno do a demo of NAVnet 3D… What a great bit of gear.. Ideal for your kind of boat… Do they have the software for your trip over the topend to Japan????? I look forward to blog very day, I’v be lerking since the early days. I find it quite remarkable that so much knowlege and information is os freely passed around…. great job….

    My kind regards to you & your wife, Noel in New Zealand.

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