Modernizing a Little Harbor 62

Presently, Safe Harbor Great Island is working with the owner of a Little Harbor 62 to update existing electrical systems with an efficient, state-of-the-art installation that will allow enjoyment of the sailboat without the frequent noise and smell of a generator, whether underway or at anchor. This particular project represents the most complex electrical installation Great Island has done to date.

“At the core of the project is the installation of a 51 volt lithium ion battery system. This will power the boat’s AC power needs through two Victron 10 kw inverters which will allow us to eliminate the generator. Re-charging of the 48,000 kW-Hour bank will be accomplished by a unique and cutting edge engine-driven DC generating system named Integrel by Triskel Marine. The twin-screw boat is being re-powered with Yanmar 4JH110 common rail engines. These will drive the Integrel systems which are, “designed to turn the engines into efficient DC generators while also accommodating propulsion loads,” says Bobby, Project Leader. “Re-charging will now be done with briefer more fuel-efficient run times of the new diesel-powered charge source. The Lithionics lithium ion battery bank will run the air conditioning system for up to 24 hours before re-charging is required,” Bobby explains. 

This boat will live primarily in southern climates and the owner’s goal is to run his air conditioning for 24 hours without re-charging. To that end, a highly efficient six zone Termodynamica air conditioning system will be installed. The Termodynamica system uses as single variable speed, variable volume compressor in a central chilling plant to meet the air conditioning needs of all zones. This should allow for temperature to be maintained in the Caribbean, using as little as 1200 watts.

In addition, the 24 volt house battery system will be replaced with two 315 amp hour Lithionics batteries with built-in BMS and Bluetooth communication. “Two 185 amp/24 volt alternators, one on each engine, will maintain the 24 volt house bank,” Bobby says. “These will be controlled by Wakespeed WS500 regulators which also interface with the engines CANbus network to optimize alternator output to engine load and leave ample power for propeller thrust.”

Two 10 kw Victron inverter/chargers will be installed and housed in an air conditioned enclosure. There will also be a conventional 12 volt system for communication electronics and 12 volt charging for engine start systems. DC to DC converters will supply charging to 24 volt and 12 volt banks from the 51 volt bank.

New circuit breaker panels are also being produced to replace the boat’s vintage 1981 panel and accommodate new voltages and equipment while bringing the electrical system up to ABYC standards. Considerable abandoned wire and cable will be eliminated.

This project calls for several new equipment installations, including six electric cockpit winches, electric genoa and staysail furlers, a tank for onboard waste oil storage, new VHF and SSB radios, a backup hydraulic autopilot drive, and a new SeaFrost refrigeration system. In addition, the team will replace two integral fiberglass fuel tanks with aluminum tanks and repair a leak from an integral water tank.

While all of these vessel updates are desirable, what really motivates this particular boat owner is his interest in technology. He is eager and committed to having the most efficient boat possible. Our team shares his enthusiasm.

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