describes C34 owners' battery upgrade projects.
Please contribute yours!
The question of refrigeration "at sea" was solved
in our case by a major upgrade to the battery system.
We also fit an inverter/microwave and other mod cons needing
much power. Our solution was to fit 6 (six) Trojan
T105 golf cart batteries aft in the lazarette as the inverter
bank; 4 (four) T105 batteries midships in two banks for the
fridge and house; and a single 12 volt just aft of the engine
as a dedicated start battery. All banks except the
engine bank are breakered.
All are fed through two battery switches (original at the
board and second one under the sink in the head) allowing
individual parallel connection "to the bus".
Normal operation isolates each back for its own use. We
have limited shore power available so most charging is engine
or wind turbine provided (Marine Air). May go to a
larger alternator but haven't missed it so far.
When on shore power a two leg built-in charger and the
inverter "in reverse" works wonders. Batteries
are interconnected !during charging via West Marine battery
combiners. One of the major requirements for the
engine harness upgrade was solved when the alternator was fed
direct to the engine battery first, hence to the other banks
via the combiners. This also eliminates the
potential of "switch off" damage to the alternator.
The six volt Trojan T105 golf cart bateries are brutes and
our fridge runs 2-3 days on the forward bank without charging
depending on the weather and the number of ice cubes needed
for the gin. If there is much wind at all the Air
Marine wind generator makes all ergs required. The
other part of the upgrade which was essential in my view was
the replacement of all 4 gauge cable with 00 gauge.
Its tough enough to make the amps without wasting them in the
cable! (The original system had 14 feet of #4 from
the batteries to the starter! NOT!) All in all the
new system works a treat. The effect on my crew of
a toaster, curler and hair dryer at anchor was wonderful!
The computer and margarita blender were, of course,
Wiseman (Up Spirits, #894 ).
Freedom 20 Inverter
The following describes a Freedom 20, 2000 watt inverter
installation, mounted under the nav station. It is
connected to 2 - 8D Gelcell batteries located under the
starboard settee which I converted to a battery compartment
after removing the existing water tank. To make the connection
I used the recommended 2-0 cable which I had made up at a
local battery shop and I purchased the 300 amp fuse for
safety. The fuse is mounted on the inside wall of the
combination Settee/Nav seat. Being located there it is easy to
string the wires from the F-20 back through the power panel
compartment and down behind the settee to the fuse. The 2-0
wires from the batteries are taken to a Battery switch mounted
on the aisle side of the old battery box. (just in front of
the sink/water heater area) two cables (+ & -) are then
brought out the bottom of the battery box/settee to the same
area via the bilge.
For backup I also added a battery and fiberglassed shelf
behind the engine next to the muffler to hold an additional
Group 24 GelCell battery. This is my emergency starting
battery and is hooked to the #2 side of the battery selector
switch in the Nav station. The other Battery Switch wires are
connected to the #1 position.
When I use heavy loads like a microwave (mounted under the
sink) or a toaster (what a luxury!) I tend to run the engine
with it's 124 amp Ample alternator. I do not like to discharge
the batteries below the 50% mark. I like the Gelcells as I do
not have to equalize them like the Wet Cells (Gerald
Important: The opinions expressed here are those
of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of
the Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc.
Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by Catalina
Yachts, Inc. for technical accuracy. This page's maintainer
cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information or the
desirability of suggested modifications or upgrades. Please
obtain assistance from a competent marine mechanic or boatyard
prior to making any significant modifications to your vessel.