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Light going dim!!

Discussion in 'Pacific Mariner' started by glynn, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. glynn

    glynn New Member

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    Ft. Lauderdale
    I have a 2007 65' Pacific Mariner and I love it but I have an issue that I would like to find out if others have with this yacht. In the evening time when I have guest on the boat we are using a lot of lighting all over the boat. In a few ours the batter charger/inverter beeps saying low voltage. I have to start the main engines for at least 20 minutes to charge up the batteries enough to continue the evening.

    I find it very strange that we can not entertain the entire evening on the yacht without having this problem.

    Has anyone else had this issue and if so has there been a resolution?

    Thanks, Glynn
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It's hard reply without knowing details about your exact set up

    How many batteries, type and size in your house bank
    Do you have only one inverter/charger or do you also have a battery charger
    What voltage do you have on your main DC panel when lights gets dim?

    It sounds like for some reason your charger isn't putting up with the DC loads You are using but if it wasn't working at all your house batteries will go dead. 20' of charge time with the engine is really nothing, not enough to recharge the house bank

    One possibility would be that your inverter/charger is setup to use less amperage in charger mode. Again without knowing what kind of inverter you have. It s hard to be sure. Most inverters have a setting, often called shore power, which lets you reduce the amount of power available to the charger. If this has been changed to a low setting it s possible that the charger output isn't enough to keep up with your loads

    Also, how old are the batteries? If not AGMs have you checked water level? If original to the boat they may be getting tire

    But again you need to be a lot more specific. Boats that size aren't like cars, one size fits all. Builders install different options, inverters, etc...
  3. glynn

    glynn New Member

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    Thank you for the response.
    Since the 65' Pacific Mariner is a turnkey yacht and basically identical if the years are close, I was hoping to here from a PC owner.
    Your questions are valid of course the correct way to try to find out the problem.
    I changed the batteries because of this problem and of course the problem didn't go away. I have 2 x 8D gell cell batteries.
    Actually the inverter/50amp charger starts to beep at 22 volts and of course will shut down completely when the voltage reaches 20.

    You point about the amperage setup in the charger mode is something to look at.

    My capt. did say that he did change some settings that were not correct so that just might be the problem.

    thanks for your help!
    glynn
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    So you have an extra charger on the boat? Usually inverter/chargers only have one Charging output so there has to be another charger on board to charge the starting banks. Often that charger also charge the house bank since most larger charger have 3 outputs

    Even if the inverter/charger is set to as low as 10amps AC input, that still should be plenty to keep up with DC loads. How much power are you using? What's the average amperage you see on yr dc panel

    Two 8D is a little smallish for a boat that size especially if you have an inverter hooked up to them. But that is not your problem, clearly the charger is failing to keep up with the loads. This is not very complex, your captain should be as to troubleshoot this easily
  5. glynn

    glynn New Member

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    Hey, thank you for all the help.
    Glynn
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    2 -8d's are very small for a boat that size, and I would expect to see at least 4, if not 6 or 8. In fact, I'm pretty sure that there has to be more batteries than that, on that size vessel. Unless, you're talking about just the house bank.

    The inverter is also designed to be a battery charger as well and will charge the batteries. It's quite simple, the battery charger/inverter is not big enough to keep up with the demand.

    Starting the engines for 20 mins will definately help charge the batteries because each alternator is probably putting out 200amps an hour.......400 amps/3= 133.3 amps put back into the batteries in 20 minutes......Chances are the alternators are not putting out a full 200amps per hour at idle speed......but realistically it would put a decent amount of amperage in the batteries.

    You may also be able to install more efficient lighting that would help aleviate the issues, such as some 120 volt ac lighting, or DC Led's.......

    Without seeing the boat it's hard to tell.
  7. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    It's not too clear what the circumstances are. Some responses assume that there is a power supply either from shore or a generator and that the inverter/charger is in charge mode and not keeping up. It seems likelier to me that your situation is one where you're at anchor and powering the whole boat from the house battery bank and the inverter. If that is the case, and you start with fully charged batteries (that are now new), then you can only reduce the power consumed, or increase the size of the battery bank to solve the issue. Many yachts have the small halogen lights in the overheads, and plenty of them. At 20w each, they can use a lot of power. The yacht that I run has 17 of them in the salon and galley area alone.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    You re right, I assume the issue was at the dock since it would otherwise be so obvious what the problem is...

    Indeed on the hook with the genny off, a couple of 8Ds with an inverter powering not only lights but everything else including fridge/freezer/ice maker would not last more than 2 or 3 hours...

    On the 70 footer i run, we have 4 8Ds for house bank (just the lights and pumps really) and 16 golf cart batteries for the inverter. We get about 18 hours out of the inverter bank, and barely make a dent into the house bank by then
  9. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    Virtually all larger yachts have dedicated starting batteries in addition to whatever the house configuration is. There are usually one or more 12 volt generator starting batteries, as well.
    The following electrical system description is from a 1998 65' Pacific Mariner:
    The Northstar 73 that I run has two separate main engine 24 volt battery banks, two separate 12 volt generator battery banks, and a single house battery bank of 12 L-16 batteries.