Sunday, April 2, 2017

Working on the 12 Volt System

It has been a while since my last post.

The reason is that the pace of work when doing this tedious stuff doesn't provide a whole lot to write about!
Nonetheless, SOME progress has been made.  The galley area has been finished out, and the finishing work yet to do in the sleeping area is going to wait until later.

Our priority now is to get the systems in, and possibly the off-centre board installed so we can take her out and start using her under power.  I fear that her sailing rig may be next winter's project.

So, yesterday I made the DC distribution panel.  It is very simple.  I am using an automotive fuse block and readily available car fuses to protect the circuits.  Lighting, since it is all LED and requires little power, will be on one.  Another will supply the electronics that consist of a VHF, a chartplotter/depthsounder, and a stereo.  A third circuit will supply the fresh water galley pump, the propane shutoff solenoid, and the desiccating fan for the composting head.  There are three spares for later circuits - if any.

I also bought a small 450 watt inverter to run our coffee grinder, stick blender, and a small food processor.  It also can run a computer and has a USB port for charging the phones.  It will come off the battery directly using a fusible link - since it can draw up to 45 amps.  It does not go through the DC panel.

I bought a small deep cycle battery to supply everything, and it will be isolated from the motor battery.  My plan is to keep it charged with about  100 watts of solar power.  We will also be able to charge it with shore power, or a small Honda generator.

The panel itself was made up with a piece of aluminum I had kicking around.  Mounted on the front are an automotive voltmeter that is activated (along with it's illuminating light) by a small push button that will be labelled 'test'.  Below that a row of four switches - one for running lights and another for the anchor light, and two spares.  On the back side of the panel is the fuse block, and a buss bar for the negative connections.  The positive connections will come off the fuse block directly, or a switch.


  1. Looking very nice Alan!

    Did I miss the post about where the Urine goes??

    1. Thanks Jon. I still have a few minor jobs to finish up with the head - pee tube included - before posting about it. Coming soon though. I finally have all the parts...

  2. It's all very homey looking, Alan. The contrast of white and bright is pretty. I can't wait to see it in more idyllic surroundings with a big ol' Colvin sail.

    1. Thanks David. It's a pleasure to be down there for sure. Especially since it has been a record year for rain. Nice and cosy aboard though, and the jobs are all fun and rewarding. Can't wait to have her out this summer - probably just motoring on Harrison Lake, since the sailing rig is probably next winter's project.