DC panel contains the switches for most of the boat's 12
volt electrical circuits. 12 volt functions are
always available, both when at sea and when connected to
On the other
hand, the 110 Volt switches (which are on a
separate panel to the right and below the DC panel)
only function when plugged into shore power with the
yellow cord. The 110 Volt circuits charge the 12
volt batteries, power the AC outlets, and provide hot
water when the engine is not in use.
disconnected from shore power, there is no 110 volt
power available, only 12 volt DC unless you have a
little inverter to plug into the 12V outlet.
When the boat is tied
up and not occupied, all DC switches should be "off",
however when cabin lights, navigation, running lights, etc.
are needed, appropriate switches must be turned on.
When they are, the shore power should be connected before
the battery runs down.
DC switches should
always be turned "off" promptly to conserve battery when
their functions are not needed. For example, don't forget to
turn the masthead [anchor light] switch off at dawn or to
turn off the autopilot and the instruments when tied up.
If DC switches
are left "on" for more than a few hours when AC (shore)
power is not connected, there is risk of running the
'house' battery down too far.
to shore power, make sure that the AC breakers on the
boat and dock are "on" and working. Otherwise, the
boat's batteries could discharged to the point where
Be sure to
monitor battery levels when on board and make sure the
DC switches are off when appropriate. The
batteries can power conservative lighting, instrument
and furnace use for several days, without need for
charging by engine or shore power but if lights and
instruments are left on needlessly, that time is much
This boat is
equipped with LED cabin lighting which uses 10% as much
as conventional lighting. The anchoring (masthead)
light is also LED, so these lights can be used as needed
without much affect on battery charge.
Be sure also to
turn the Espar furnace switches off when the boat is not
in use. It bypasses the DC panel and will run if the
temperature drops unless it is turned off.
This all sounds
quite arcane and a bit scary, but all that being said,
do your best, and enjoy yourself. Don't worry.
I'd rather replace all the batteries than have someone's
holiday ruined by fear of using the systems. They
are quite forgiving.
When turning switches
on and off, always press firmly to ensure positive contact.
All switches are
labelled clearly as follows:
Fresh Water Pump
Cabin Lights (Starboard Side)
Cabin Lights (Port Side)
VHF Radio 1
Anchor Windlass 2
Install remote (RAM) in cockpit before turning on
this switch or the remote mike will not activate.
Always idle the engine while using the windlass to
prevent electrical overload. The
windlass is only designed to lift the chain and
anchor vertically, assuming the anchor is free to
lift. Motor the boat forward or back so that
the chain is always hanging loose and more or less
vertical while retrieving the anchor to prevent
overload damage to the windlass or electrical
circuits. Do not try to pull the boat with the
windlass or try to force a fouled anchor if doing so
slows or stalls the windlass.