As I have mentioned before, we have been completing a lot of projects as we push towards our departure date. Here a few that have been banged out in the last couple of weeks.
Upgraded Battery Selector Switch
My go to guru for all things electric, Maine Sail aka Compass Marine, has said on several occasions that all battery switches not made by Blue Sea Systems are essentially crap. This means that our stock Perko battery selector switch was on the list for an upgrade.
After checking the measurements I was glad to see that the Blue Sea Systems 9001e Selector Switch would fit exactly in the same spot. The only down side is that the Perko switch had 5/16″ terminal studs while the Blue Sea Systems switch had 3/8″ terminal studs. This mean cutting off the old terminals, putting on new ones and new heat shrink. Using the same hydraulic crimper I had purchased last year (cheapy for Amazon) I made the new terminals. Luckily there was enough excess wire to do this without too much difficulty. I also had to add larger terminals to the wires from the analog volt meter and the bilge pump.
I did have to get longer machine screws to mount the switch to the electric panel. But the whole size is perfect for a direct change. This took about an hour and cost about $60 ($40 for the switch plus terminal lugs and heat shrink).
Installing an Inverter
After some back and forth I decided to go with the Xantrex ProWatt SW 2000 true-sin wave inverter. Our primary uses for this will be running power tools at anchor (i.e. heat gun, drill, jig saw, dremel), using our small 2-hp shop vac, and recharging our cordless tools (i.e. Dyson DC44 cordless vacuum, impact gun, drill, etc.). Finding a location to mount the inverter was a little bit of a challenge. According to the manual, Xantrex recommends mounting the panel within 6 feet of the batteries (12 foot total run) and using 0 AWG wire. However the location of the batteries on a C310 make this a bit difficult. The only places I could find were the port lazarett or on the bulkhead in the rear berth. But we want to use that port lazarett for dry food storage and mounting it here would mean that I would have to open the lazarett every time I wanted to use the inverter. The bulkhead in the rear berth is where I think we will install a water-maker, if we choose to get one. While it’s not ideal, I found that with a 10 foot distance (20 foot total run) I could mount the inverter below the navigation table. This was not perfect but it will do. To accommodate the extra length I went up one wire gauge size to 2/0 AWG wire. I had already installed the fuse holder in the positive buss bar when I did my last battery system upgrade. So I ran the wires, put on the end terminals and installed the inverter. I used a 300 Amp ANL fues from Blue Sea Systems.
Initially I had thought to tie this into the boats 120 V outlets but after thinking more about it I decided it was fine just to use the two outlets on the inverter instead. This made the install much easier and cheaper. After the install I ran a couple of tests. I can run my heat gun on low but not on high, which is sufficient to shrink heat shrink electrical connections. I had no problem running a drill or jig saw off of the inverter.
Chart Book Holder
We insist on always having paper charts with us and easily available. Typically this is easily accomplished from one Maptech Chart Book covering a large area. As we start to head south we will need more and more chart books since our cruising area is expanding. To keep these charts readily available but out of the way we bought a teak magazine rack from Defender. We mounted this on the bulkhead between the head and the saloon area by a couple of through bolts. It’s now a convenient area to keep charts, cruising guides and some other items.