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32 volt system

 
 
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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32 volt system

I am restoring a 1978 Bertram 46 Sportfisherman that was submerged during hurricane Ike. Wondering if I should do away with the 32 volt system and go to 12 volt. Not all components are trash, several have been cleaned/rebuilt and checked out fine. What are the pros and cons?
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hpm1
I am restoring a 1978 Bertram 46 Sportfisherman that was submerged during hurricane Ike. Wondering if I should do away with the 32 volt system and go to 12 volt. Not all components are trash, several have been cleaned/rebuilt and checked out fine. What are the pros and cons?
If given the chance, I would go to 24 volts or even 12 volts in a heartbeat. They stopped building new boats with 32 volt systems as far as I know around the mid 80's. If the boat was submerged, chances are if many electrical items have been cleaned etc. they won't last long.

I ran a 58 Hatt YF that was 32 volts (up until a few years ago). Finding spare parts while travelling is non-existant. Light bulbs, bilge pumps, oil change pumps, battery charger etc etc etc. All of these items are getting very hard to find in 32 volts. Your choices in components are limited. You still need a 12 volt source for electronics and such. If you convert, most of these parts can be found at your local west marine or boating store. I probably would convert to 24 volts personally.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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if you have to redo most of the electrical system, i agree, go to a 24V system.

on a boat that size, i'd stay away from 12v, the wire runs are longer and 24v will have less loss.

that said, 32V isnt' as bad as some make it seem. Worst Marine does stock some 32v stuff like bilge pumps, some light bulbs, water pumps, etc... not a lot but who wants to pay their prices anyway... you can order 32v stuff online and get it within a day or two.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I concur with CaptJ and Pascal but with a caveat: the original 32VDC system utilized a 'floating ground'. If you don't know what that is, you'd best hire a good marine electrician for the re-do.
Also, those 8V-71s utilized 32VDC starters for a reason of minimizing sheer size.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi,

Any DC System onboard worth it's salt should be a floating ground setup.

What is the Battery arrangement with a 32V System.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What is the Battery arrangement with a 32V System.
four 8V batteries... i use golf cart batteries on my Hatt... four Exide E4800. One set for each engine/house... they crank the 8V71 just fine...
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I concur with CaptJ and Pascal but with a caveat: the original 32VDC system utilized a 'floating ground'. If you don't know what that is, you'd best hire a good marine electrician for the re-do.
Also, those 8V-71s utilized 32VDC starters for a reason of minimizing sheer size.
Newer boats have 24volt systems and crank 8v-71's and even 12v92's with 24 volts just fine. There are even some boats that crank 8v71's with 12 volts as well and utilize 2 8D batteries to crank them (or more). Or you could do like Ocean Yachts (and I think Viking for a period as well) did many years and had 12 volt battery banks and used a solenoid to combine 2 banks to make 24 volts. I wouldn't recommend this system though. 24 volts IMO would make a lot more sense. Perfect example, when we installed vaccuuflush heads in two of the heads, we had to install transformers to bring the voltage down to 24 volts for each head. Same with engine gauges and such.......PITA.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I once skippered on a boat with 12, 24, 32, 110 and 220 volts all on a 65 footer. Not what you would call easy.

The reason 32 volts was easier back in the day was that it had more punch. These days 12 and 24 volt are so much more efficient, Capt J is right, 12v92's can easily be started on a 24v motor.

Just finding bulbs for 32v lighting and instruments is a nightmare.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1W1
Hi,

Any DC System onboard worth it's salt should be a floating ground setup.

What is the Battery arrangement with a 32V System.

Hi,

Could you explain to me why you say this? **** poor day i don't learn something and i need to be enlightened on this one.

Thanks.

Ted
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the feedback. I will most likely ditch the 32 volts; makes it so much easier to find parts and less batteries. More questions to follow.....
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi,

This is more of a metal boat thing as a non metalic boat can't be used to carry the current anyway.

A floating ground doesn't use the hull as the negative side of the battery it returns all negatives to the negative of the battery.

Having the negative connected to the hull ( ground) is like making your own earth fault and will be a sure equipment life shortener.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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32 Volt

What is involved in changing from a 32v system to 24v and 12v
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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32 volt

You have to change out all your 32 volt components and perhaps some wiring if the amp draw is pushing the rated capacity of the wire. I have found many of my motors to be salvagable so, I am going to stay with 32 volts.

I am wondering if 2-12 volts + 1-8 volt batteries will work?? Charging issues?
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hpm1
You have to change out all your 32 volt components and perhaps some wiring if the amp draw is pushing the rated capacity of the wire. I have found many of my motors to be salvagable so, I am going to stay with 32 volts.

I am wondering if 2-12 volts + 1-8 volt batteries will work?? Charging issues?
Definately not, all of the batteries in a bank should be the same size and volts. The 8volt battery would get fried by the 2-12 volts (less cells)
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Stop!

If you go down with the voltage, you need higher currents!
With higher current you must increase the wire diameter.

Switching from 32V to 12V is a No-Go! (for the same power increases current by factor 2.7 !)

Calculate the currents!
Check all wires! Do NOT take a higher risk of fire etc...!

IMHO my 2 cents
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