For months I’ve had battery problems. They would charge up really fast but couldn’t retain the charge for long. I had to run the engine for ages each day to make enough electricity to power my laptop and tv for just a few hours. And running the engine uses up diesel.
I bought a new set from Uxbridge Boat Centre but when I got them back to the boat the positive and negative terminals were on the wrong side of the batteries and the leads wouldn’t stretch over. It’s obvious in retrospect but hadn’t occurred to me at the time. I couldn’t be bothered to do any rewiring so I took them back and bought two new 110 amp hour leisure batteries for 80 quid each from Halfords. I had assumed I should buy a specialist marine battery but then I read this faq about batteries on the Sterling website.
What a difference it’s made. I hardly run the engine at all now, the lights stay bright all night and I don’t miss the end of movies because the tv suddenly cut out.
My Sterling 500 watt inverter broke down a few weeks back. An inverter converts 12 volt to 240 volt electricity and I need it to run a household tv, laptop and other “essential” equipment. It would have cost over 100 pounds to replace but I calculated my energy usage and realised that I have never used that much power, so I bought a 150 watt inverter for 30 quid from Maplin instead. It simply plugs into the boat’s cigarette lighter socket and then I plug my 240 volt appliances into the inverter.
Trying to reduce my energy consumption further, I recently bought a Polaroid tv/dvd which has a 12 volt adaptor. The screen is quite small but then where would I put a 40 inch plasma tv anyway?