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solar, leds, hydronic, seadek upgrades

solar, leds, hydronic, seadek upgrades

Postby Tim Lewallen » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:02 pm

We just completed a bunch of upgrades to our 32 (hull 290). This included a seawise davit, new highfield tender with 10 hp yamaha, LED light fixtures along with adding some exterior courtesy lighting, solar panels with charge controllers and espar hydronic heating. In addition we added Seadek to our swim step and cockpit. Cap Sante in Anacortes, WA did the work and Marine Detail Specialist did the Seadek (also buffed and waxed the boat). I was very impressed with the work both contractors did. It took a little longer than we were expecting but the work is very well done.

We did not option for a generator (went with extra house battery and inverter) when we purchased the boat. The one big issue we had was not being able to make hot water while on the hook and having to run the engine twice a day to charge the batteries. We looked at getting a genset but the price was high (20K) and would add another engine to maintain and carry spares for.

The benefits of what we added/changed:

- Changing to LED fixtures (a couple of fixtures remained due to replacement cost and we added LED bulbs to those) lowered the electrical consumption a bunch. We can leave some lights on all night (along with the refrigerator, etc) and batteries are at 94% or better when we wake up in the morning (starting at 100% at dusk). We added 2 courtesy lights in the cockpit and 2 more up at the bow so we can see where we are walking at night. We also changed the courtesy light color from red to blue (no real benefit, just like blue).

- Adding Solar panels with charge controllers (530W of panels) has kept the batteries at 100% regardless of use during the day (including some inverter use with microwave). No more running engine to charge batteries (as long as we have some sun).

- We removed the engine heating circuit from the hot water tank and ran the fluid line from the hydronic system through the water heater. We can make hot water any time. We still have shore power ability to heat water. We sacrificed the ability to make hot water while running (the engine), but that is ok. The hydronic heater replaced the espar diesel furnace and we installed 2 radiator box/fan units and connected the existing ducting to the boxes. We now have two thermostats (stateroom and salon) to set temperature in the cabin. If we want hot water and not to heat the cabin, we turn the unit on but not the fans. The heater uses about .33 gallons of diesel per hour when heating up the coolant, but after that it only comes on when needed and uses much less fuel. I have noticed it come on about every 2-3 hours if we leave it on for hot water (it monitors the thermostat on the hot water tank and comes on when the temp in the tank drops).

- We decided to install Seadek as we have a dog and wanted him to have some cushion to sleep on when he is on the aft deck. We would also like something padded to walk on. Seadek is used a lot in florida for sport fishing/center console boats along with many ski boats. From my research it seams to be a good product. They measured it, we picked out the top and bottom colors, they had the material made and cnc cut and installed it. We have not had any amount of time to give an opinion on durability, but it looks nice.

- the last thing we did (unexpectedly) was to replace the rudder and rudder shoe. While the boat was out of the water a fair amount of corrosion was noted. Cap Sante indicated that back in 2007 (when the boat was built and we purchased it) they used 304 Stainless that was not pacified. I don't think pacified was the issue, I think they either received or purchased some below grade material. Anyway we had new parts made from 316L stainless and installed. We also asked Cap Sante to test the electrical system on the boat and to test for stray current around our boat at the marina (just incase that was a contributing factor in the corrosion). The electrical tested fine and no stray current was detected.

Here are a few photos and if anyone has questions about the work, feel free to ask. We are very happy with the work and results.
Tim Lewallen
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:12 pm

Re: solar, leds, hydronic, seadek upgrades

Postby Paul Schwartzman » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:15 pm

Thank you for sharing your upgrades, Tim. We also opted for solar panels, and their performance is very similar to what you are experiencing. I am eager to see how they perform in the fall and winter with fewer hours of sunlight and more clouds.
Kittiwake, NT 32 #293
Paul Schwartzman
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:29 am

Re: solar, leds, hydronic, seadek upgrades

Postby Bob Carnahan » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:38 pm

We are seriously looking into solar panels. Who did your work? Julia from SNUG
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Bob Carnahan
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:02 am

Re: solar, leds, hydronic, seadek upgrades

Postby Tim Lewallen » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:09 pm

Cap Sante Marine in Anacortes did our work. They did a very good job.
Tim Lewallen
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:12 pm

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