Date: 31 May 2018. Voltage Meters for
anchor watching the power is a habit. I don't want to take my
batteries down too low. It is important to be able to start my
engine should I need to leave immediately. To that end I have a
bunch of voltage meters scattered about Seaweed.
Life on the hook is solitary. The isolation is not good for all
people. My friend Bob from the
article was one such individual. Bob got a great deal of pleasure
talking boats with other cruisers.
He was also
adamant about power consumption. In Bob's view, wasting power was a
sin. Yes, I am a sinner! A life of decadence requires power for
non-essentials. I do not suffer out here. As a matter of fact my
life is dang-near perfect. I am truly fortunate.
This is Bob ↓ aboard his
27' sloop named Maverick.
During my friendship with him, Bob always seemed to have one more thing
to do before dropping the dock lines. Be it a gizmo that enhanced safety, newer
electronics, or yet another back-up part, something was always being
done to improve Maverick. In retrospect I have come to realize that he
loved the fixing-up and marina life more than being at anchor by
he'd have had someone to share
his boat with him, he'd have been
I've written a bit about
relationships. Those articles are found listed on the
My happy spot is at anchor... doesn't much matter
where, just out there is good.
Above is Janet and Keith's
↑ motorsailor. Her name is S/V
Grace is a Schucker made by the same company who built my Seaweed..
Janet enjoys life at anchor. Each of us have our own preferences.
Finding out what yours is can be challenging. If the budget is tight
anchoring out is less costly. As for me, even if the budget were not
a consideration I prefer to be at anchor. It is peaceful.
Saul Creek is described in the
Silence Reigns (Saul Creek)
Some of my favorite memories
took place up the coast on Saul Creek. It was quiet with so many
stars in the sky you simply cannot imagine. Now hunters and
fishermen did go flying by at all hours. To me that was a bonus.
Were I to need help, it was available from fellow boaters.
When at anchor it is critical to monitor the state of the batteries.
At a dock with unlimited power that's not such a concern. To that
end I have multiple voltage meters scattered around Seaweed.
Out here at anchor is a lesson
in solitude. The Kindle has been a lifeline. And I've got a tablet
now so surfing, watching Netflix and YouTube have become real time
sinks. I have come to rely on the tablet for more than for simply
information. It is just the coolest thing ever.
I can start out to watch a video on repairing soft decks (overhead,
in the galley) and end up four hours later watching a video on
canning, then on to prepper stuff, much of which is flat out wrong.
How do these guys get their subscribers when they cannot even get
the voltage/wiring correct for a solar system!?!?!?
Always I have hope.
But I digress...
For Seaweed I have found the best method of battery
care is for me to always be aware of what voltage I'm at. To
that end, EVERY PLACE where I sit or relax has a voltage meter
in sight. This allows me to know right away if there is a
I have one meter near the
light I use at night by my bunk. It's a bit of a pain to view
in that I have to roll over to see it. Life afloat has its
challenges. Somehow I manage though. hahaha.
That little light is
quite bright at close range. It also burns just .01Ah. That
means that in 24 hours the light uses .24 amps. Using less
power is a good thing. When you make all your own *juice,
having lower consumption means the power you have lasts
*Juice aka power. My
wind generator supplies power to my batteries, as do the
battery status is Important.
Meters allow me to know the voltage.
One voltage meter is above a net basket in the aft corner of my
galley, starboard side.
Note for the observant: Below the voltage meter is a
little Mickey Mouse ornament. I bought it at Disney when my Kidlet
took me on holiday last year. Of course I remember well my first ever
real holiday. It was a truly amazing experience. Disneyworld is simply
fabulous. I especially liked Animal Kingdom and Epcot. The article
tells about that wonderful vacation. I will never
forget that week.
My grand ↑ speaking
with Mary Poppins.
But I digress...
There are special monitoring
systems (Xantrex Link is one brand) that
will tell you how much power is left in your batteries. They are
costly. The meters I use are from China and are priced at less
than $3 each. Search eBay for voltage meter.
When you shop for voltage
meters, DO NOT
pick the mini's. The larger ones are easier for old eyes to
read. Mine are 1 7/8" by 1 1/8" and the numbers are clearly
visible from across my admittedly small cabin.
I chose blue numbers so color
blind visitors could still read the meters. The blue is bright
and easy for me to see.
Screening My Hatch (eBay advice)
explains how I find the best prices on eBay.
Side Note: You know that by using
link (found at the top left corner of each page on my website) I
receive a small percentage. I REALLY appreciate it when you buy via
the links. It costs you nothing and does help me.
This time however, at least when I
purchased the meters for Seaweed, eBay had the better price.
People who spend the majority of their time at a dock don't need to
monitor batteries as closely as I do. Still, it is a good idea to
regularly check your voltage. Having a dead battery bank is no fun
at all. Not being able to start your engines because of lack of
battery power is frustrating too.
Dead battery bank:
More upcoming. I'm testing out a
shorter article format. Well, this was supposed to be a brief
post. I do tend to run on at the fingers, don't I? Thanks for
sticking with me to the end.
I'd love to hear how you monitor your batteries?
And, are you living life on the hook or at a marina?
Storm Update 29 May 2018 (and boat
insurance fiasco) ~
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