ASK THE EXPERTS
Wiring up a solar panel correctly; geting the right length of rope; replacing a traditional engine with a modern one; and what on earth is this big square-ended baseball bat-like thing for?
In the marina recently, a mechanic turned up at the next door boat. When he started and revved the engine a loud squeal was emitted. This told me that the boat had very flat domestic batteries or a faulty alternator drive belt. Later, I saw the mechanic changing the batteries. They looked large and expensive. I think it’s been a year or more since I saw the boat with a shoreline and the inevitable result was the batteries had self-discharged until they were ruined. The discharge rate is around 5 percent to 8 percent of capacity a month but more when old or hot. Now the point of this; my Exide leisure batteries are six years old and work well enough despite not using a shoreline charger. The replaced batteries looked newer than that so why a difference in battery life? The answer is that I have had 60 watts of solar charging for years so when we leave the boat, the batteries get fully charged. If you have no access to shore power it is cost-effective to fit solar charging.